Returning students to help with check-in of residents
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – More than 200 returning University of Florida students will help thousands more to check into residence halls this week as part of the new Gator Aide program.
More than 70 percent of the 7,600 students who are coming to campus residences are expected Wednesday, the first day they are able to check in. In past years, traffic and parking congestion around campus on the first day has rivaled that of home football game days.
The Gator Aide program is designed to ease this situation by providing additional check-in support services. Support services include assigning all new admit students check-in appointments for Day 1 and Day 2 campuswide to control arrivals; purchasing additional carts campuswide; improving communication with students prior to their arrival; coordinating traffic flow to and from east campus; and providing remote check-in parking in the commuter lot with free shuttles to east campus. Gator Aide volunteers also will assist with unloading vehicles and carting personal items to rooms during the heaviest traffic period for Beaty Towers and Jennings, Broward and Rawlings halls.
The Gator Aides were selected through an application process and were given incentives, including the opportunity to move in Tuesday; a pizza party training Tuesday afternoon; official Gator Aide T-shirts; and snacks and drinks during check-in shifts.
“The response from students wanting to volunteer for this program has been overwhelming,” said Sharon Blansett, co-chairwoman of the Check-in Planning Committee. “We had to turn away nearly 50 students, but we are encouraging them to re-apply for next year as we hope to expand the program to other areas of campus.”
Check-in processes and procedures are highly refined once students enter residence halls; however, until this year students and parents navigated exterior check-in processes including parking, unloading, and carting personal items to rooms on their own.