Giant teddy bear: Check. Boxes of ramen noodles, check. Free weights? Put them – carefully – in the yellow laundry cart.
With practiced efficiency, SUNY Broome’s fourth annual Move-In Day welcomed Student Village residents and their families to campus. For many families, the moment was bittersweet, mingling pride and sadness young scholars left home to embrace their future.
“It’s a lot of fun to see the excitement! Sometimes the excitement is on the parents’ faces and sometimes sadness is on the parents’ faces,” reflected SUNY Broome President Kevin E. Drumm as he watched Move-In Day unfold.
Home to 360 students, the Student Village opened for the first time in Fall 2014 and continues to draw interest from prospective students. As with every year since its opening, the college’s sole residence hall drew a waiting list of interested students, Dr. Drumm said.
This year, the Student Village starts the semester with two new residence directors – Alexandria Donkor and Maureen VanDeusen – and 10 student resident assistants, who were on hand to help their peers check in. All of them live in the building.
Unpacking her paisley-print suitcase, Taylor VerNooy of Walton felt both excited and nervous about starting the new school year. Already on her desk: models of human teeth – not unusual for a Dental Hygiene major.
VerNooy, who completed a year at SUNY Delhi, opted for SUNY Broome precisely because of that major – and for the Student Village “because I hate the highway.” The one thing she couldn’t bear to leave at home?
“My pictures,” she said, indicating a few that were up and others that were still packed. “I have all my animals and my family…. They remind me of home.” She has quite a few animals to miss: six horses, two dogs, fish, cats and chickens, to be precise.
Computer engineering major Rakib Hussain had the opportunity to move in several days earlier; as a student in the Educational Opportunity Program, he participated in an extended orientation. A native of Brooklyn, he credited EOP director Venessa Rodriguez with making his transition to college a smooth one – and tirelessly answering his multiple questions.
“I feel like this was a second chance. I didn’t have the grades for Binghamton University,” he reflected on his decision to come to SUNY Broome.
After finishing his Associate’s at SUNY Broome, he plans to transfer to BU and complete both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees there, ultimately leading to a career in computer engineering.
Already moved in, he decided to pitch in and help his peers on Move-In Day. So did fellow EOP student Djidi Diarra, one of the many volunteers helping move boxes and carts through the busy halls.
The Manhattan native opted for SUNY Broome because she wanted to major in Health Studies and Medical Assisting, with the goal of someday becoming a nurse.
“I also wanted to experience college life,” she said as her roommate unpacked in their shared suite.
Djidi is starting the school year ready to learn and determined to make the most of it. “It’s a long journey that’s ahead of me,” she said, outlining her plans to transfer to SUNY Oneonta and do an internship along the way.
In addition to students, volunteers included faculty, staff and other members of the campus community. Sometimes, students even had their luggage carted by a member of the Administration: SUNY Broome’s new Vice President of Student Development, Dr. Carol Ross.
“Good morning, families! How are you?” she said as she met cars curbside, helping them offload into the ever-present laundry carts.