Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
Atlanta resident, Darrell Shack, Sr., experienced mixed feelings of pride and sadness, as he helped his son, Darrell, Jr., move into Clayton State University's Laker Hall residence facility, on Thursday.
The father said he graduated from the university as the residence hall was being built a couple of years ago -- the first person in his family to graduate from college, he added. Now, his son will be the first person in the family to live on a college campus, according to his father.
Over the last few weeks, it almost seemed like the dad was going to be the one moving on campus as he did all of the shopping and preparing for the move-in, said Brenda Giles, Darrell Shack, Sr.'s, mother. In the end, however, the father conceded that the day belonged to his son.
"The big day is here," the elder Shack said. "I'm feeling a little sadness, and a little happiness, but overall, it's just a proud moment for me."
Thursday was Clayton State's first "Move In" day of the 2010-2011 school year, as freshmen and new transfer students moved into Laker Hall, which is the school's only, on-campus residence facility. Students, who are returning pupils at the university, will begin moving in today.
Jeff Jacobs, the university's associate dean of housing, residence life and student conduct, said approximately 250 students had moved into Laker Hall by 3 p.m., on Thursday. The facility can house up to 432 students, he said.
"This is our primary move-in day," he said. "The majority of the hall is going to be filled up by the end of the day. Students will, technically, be moving in through Sunday, or in some cases, early next week, but most will be moved in by the end of [today]."
As Resident Assistant Andrea Loyd took a brief break, while waiting for the building's elevator to reach the ground floor, so she could shuffle people into it, she said Thursday was tiring, with so many people showing up to move into the building. Every time the elevator came down, she had to arrange people in it, based on who had to get off first, and depending on how much stuff they were carrying.
Still, Loyd said things were moving smoothly because of a staggered move-in schedule the university put in place. "We set up assigned move-in windows for people at like, 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and so on, and that made it better with the traffic," she said.
But, university officials were not the only people who were worn out on the first "Move-In" day. As Ellenwood resident, Ryan Wilkerson, 18, set his last few items -- a couple of shoe boxes and a jug of green Kool-Aid -- down in his room, he took a sigh of relief over the fact that he was done moving in.
"It's tiring," said Wilkerson, an incoming freshman, who will be studying biology at the university. "I've only had to make two trips, but I was carrying all of my stuff with me. It feels good to be moved in. Now, it's just time to relax."
The hot temperatures, which were in the 90's on Thursday, did not help, either. Loyd and other resident assistants were handing out chilled bottles of water to people, while they waited at the elevators. But, as Savannah resident, India Walker -- a 19-year-old transfer student from Armstrong Atlantic State University -- sipped on some water, she said the heat was still tough to deal with.
"It's just been hot, and we're just getting started," Walker said. She added that she was still enthusiastic about moving in, though, because this is her first time living on a college campus. She said she lived at home when she attended Armstrong Atlantic. "I'm happy," she said. "I finally get to live on my own."
And, it was that sense of independence that in-coming freshman, Darrell Shack, Jr., 18, said he was looking forward to. He said he will be studying computer science at Clayton State.
"It feels great to be moving in," he said. "What's great about it is me moving in, being on my own, and getting to live my own life. I'm a little nervous, but I'm going to adjust, and be on my own after a little while."