COLUMBIA — Suitcases and mini-fridges lined the sidewalks, with unassembled bookshelves and unopened microwaves stacked alongside. Cars pulled in and out of crowded parking zones, and MU students pushed carts overflowing with personal belongings up and down halls in campus housing.
Freshmen from a record-breaking class moved in to campus residence halls Tuesday, with more scheduled to arrive Wednesday. About 5,500 freshmen will live in the dorms this year, said Frankie Minor, director of Residential Life. Of those, about 2,000 who are participating in Freshman Interest Groups, moved in Tuesday.
Minor said the freshman class was up to 10 percent larger than projected and, along with the closing of Stafford and Cramer residence halls, renovations on some residence halls have been delayed.
The increase meant more residents than rooms available on campus, prompting MU to offer incentives to students to break their housing contracts, Minor said. All students with housing contracts now have a place to live, with 707 freshmen and returning students living in university-leased extended housing at Tiger Diggs, Mizzou Quads, Liahona House and Prunty Hall at Stephens College.
As students and parents cart luggage into their residence halls, Minor said, the most common question he heard is, “How is this all going to fit?”
Unloading a trailer-full of belongings onto the grass Tuesday, Lauren Wetter of St. Charles helped her son Daniel unpack. Although she said she will miss having him at home, watching her oldest son go to college prepared her. “It’s probably a little easier with the second than with the first,” Wetter said. “I kind of know what to expect.”
For Ethan Wetter, 11, his big brother’s move means more space at home, and he has designs on moving his drums into his brother’s old room. Still, Ethan Wetter sees a downside to his brother’s departure. “I won’t be able to annoy him as much,” he said.
Marilyn Peveler, whose four daughters chose MU, dropped off her youngest today. “No more ball games and loud music,” Peveler said.
Kellie Peveler, a nursing student from Montgomery City, unpacking at Johnston Hall, said she will miss having her mom do her laundry.
Matt McCabe, an incoming psychology major living in Hudson Hall, had a more academic enthusiasm. “I’m really excited about my astronomy class, because that’s really off-the-wall,” he said.
Tim Lanfersieck , an economics major unloading at Discovery Hall, said he was looking forward to independence: “Being on my own for once—for the first time in my life.”
Teary-eyed Gwendolyn White of St. Louis watched her youngest granddaughter, Jenae Bradley, try out her new desk. “Words fail me—I shall miss her greatly,” White said.