Wright State freshmen move into dorms, look forward to college opportunities

About 900 first-year students were moving into Wright State University dorms Wednesday and today, with the remaining students who will live on campus this year moving in on Saturday.

The first-year students are attending orientation on Friday, and the university wanted the students to get used to the campus before upperclassmen moved in, said Jennifer Attenweiler, associate director of residence life at Wright State.

That means things like getting students signed up for clubs on campus, finding classes and having residence advisors, or RAs, lead first-years to meals.

About 60 student volunteers, plus another 60 residence life staff, including RAs, and 30 faculty volunteers were needed to make Wednesday a success, Attenweiler said.

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“We started this morning at 9 a.m., and people were ready to go at 8 a.m., so it’s been great,” Attenweiler said.

Micaela Runion, a first-year student who moved in this week, said she’s excited to meet new people and have new experiences her freshmen year at Wright State. She plans to major in education and teach high school students.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunities, like the diversity of the campus,” Runion said.

Austyn Bielski, another first-year student, said she appreciated how kind people have been to her so far.

“Everyone’s willing to help each other and we’re all going through the same thing right now,” she said.

For budgeting purposes, the university has predicted a total of about 10,600 students enrolled at WSU this fall, counting all categories — undergraduate, College Credit Plus, medical students and other graduate students.

About half of the first-year students moved in Wednesday, and the other half will move in on Thursday, Attenweiler said.

Students moving in had to submit a COVID-19 test 48 hours in advance of move-in, she said. For the students who missed that deadline, a COVID-19 test tent was set up in the parking lot where students and their families were routed to pick up keys and welcome packets.

Attenweiler said she hoped students got a good experience out of living in the dorms. Multiple studies have shown students who live in the dorms their first year have higher GPAs than those who do not, and the results are even more pronounced among Black students and academically marginalized students.

“I mean, the biggest thing is they have a community of students who are going through the similar things that they’re going through,” she said.

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Attenweiler encouraged students to reach out to the staff at Wright State, and said she wanted to reassure parents their students are in good hands.

“The people who work here genuinely care about their students’ well-being and want them to be successful here,” she said.

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