Move-in begins as the 2022-2023 school year kicks off 

Jennifer Baggett, Contributing Writer 

Thousands of University of Alabama students began moving onto campus on Aug. 3 in preparation for the beginning of the fall semester. 

Early move-in began for members of the Million Dollar Band, some honors students and students involved in sorority recruitment. More than 1,200 students moved in on Aug. 3 alone. Additional students arrived, Aug. 6 and Aug 7, in order to participate in Biology Boot Camp, Bama Bound orientation and Camp 1831.  

“Regular move-in begins on August 12. Over the course of move-in a total of 8,700 students will move on campus,” said Matthew Kerch, executive director of housing and residential communities. “We really pride ourselves on being a coordinated effort; it’s not just housing staff, it’s UAPD and parks and services. There are so many campus partners participating.” 

Planning for the move-in process began six to eight months ago.  

“We try to make it as seamless as possible for the students,” Kerch said. “There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work.”  

With move-in under way and Alabama Panhellenic AssociationF recruitment beginning on Aug. 7, freshman women began moving into the new Tutwiler Hall.  

“I’m excited for students to finally move into the new Tutwiler Hall. We started planning for this in February of 2016,” said Steven Hood, interim vice president for student life. 

The former Tutwiler Hall was demolished on July 4 after over 50 years of operation. Initial construction for the current iteration began in 2019, and fall 2022 will be the building’s first semester housing residents.  

There are currently 2,569 women registered for recruitment, the third largest class behind 2016 (2,875) and 2017 (2,655), according to the APA executive council. 

“We are very much moving back to a normal recruitment process,” said Elise Anzaldua, UA panhellenic director of recruitment. Recruitment is moving to a more values-based process, more focused on understanding the potential new members shared characteristics and values rather than decor and superficial things. 

As students return or move in for the first time, many could not wait to get started on the upcoming year. 

Freshman Eli Hill was able to move into John England Jr. Hall on Sunday. 

“Since it’s my first year here, I’m probably more excited than anything else,” Hill said. “The campus is really big. I’m super excited to meet new people and branch out.” 

Makayla Davis, a freshman majoring in criminal justice, agreed that she’s excited to meet new people and get started on campus.  

“I’ve never been away from home for a long time so it’s definitely a new experience,” Davis said. Like many students, Davis is interested in getting to participate in several of the upcoming events that start out the new year.  

“I’m looking forward to the spa day event,” Davis said. Tied with the Tide Spa Night was an event held as a partnership between University Programs and UA Panhellenic Association that included facials, manicures, and the opportunity to create DIY kits. 

According to The University of Alabama Quick Facts, of the 38,320 undergraduate, professional and graduate students enrolled in the fall semester of 2021, 42.1% came from Alabama, and 57.9% came from somewhere else in the United States or one of 92 countries. 

Many new students are coming after losing a year of high school to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns. Caden Johnson, a freshman majoring in communications, is particularly looking forward to being back in an in-person setting.  

“I’m really looking forward to a different experience. During COVID, I lost a whole year of high school and only took one class senior year, so this is really an opportunity to be back in person at school after not going for almost two years,” Johnson said. “I’m also a lot more excited after seeing the dining hall. It’s a lot better than I was even thinking.” 

A group of Blount Scholars program freshmen were specifically excited about the opportunity to attend back-to-school events. Grace Neil, Emma Hurst, Brandon Suerth and Elizabeth Harrell all found the move-in process very quick and easy.  

“It was really smooth; it took less than 10 minutes for them to unload my car with four people,” Harrell said.  

When students move in on campus, many are excited and eager for new experiences.  

“I encourage students to participate in activities, get connected and put themselves out there,” Hood said. “Connecting with student involvement is a great way to find out about opportunities on campus.”  

The group of Blount students were also interested in getting to look around and find opportunities at Get On Board Day, which is Aug. 25 from 5 to 9 p.m. on the Quad. Get On Board Day is an involvement fair hosted each semester by The Source that provides an opportunity for students to learn about over 600 student organization options on campus.  

“I’ve already looked up some clubs that I want to find and am really excited about seeing what’s offered there,” Neil said. 

The beginning of early move-in also marked the start of the University’s Week of Welcome (WOW), a series of more than 30 events throughout August designed to welcome new and returning students. The goal of WOW is to help students find resources, build a sense of community at the University, and have fun. 

Many parents are also experiencing campus move-in for the first time. Naomi Barnes, who is from New Jersey, helped with move-in on Sunday.  

“The process has been really good, very organized,” Barnes said. “My daughter and her friend were able to live together, and it’s been an excellent process going through it with another family.” 

Assisted on-campus move-in ended Aug. 14, while unassisted move-in concluded on Aug. 16.