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Officials to begin HVAC, roof repairs this weekend
By Jenna Lee, Assistant News Editor • July 12, 2024

Talia Balakirsky: Students should be able to move in to residence halls earlier

Updated: June 14, 2016 at 8:05 p.m.

Talia Balakirsky, a junior double majoring in journalism and political science, is a Hatchet opinions writer. 

It still feels like summer is just getting started, but we’ll be moving back to D.C. for the fall semester before we know it. And while many of us are away from campus right now, GW is getting ready for our return, with Colonial Inauguration underway and early move-in applications coming out in the next few weeks.

Although coming back to school is exciting, moving back into residence halls before school starts can be a less-than-ideal experience. The official move-in date for the fall semester is Aug. 27, leaving only one full day for students to acclimate to campus before classes begin on Aug. 29. That isn’t enough time to unpack our bags, readjust to campus life and get ready for classes.

Officials should consider pushing back the fall move-in dates so that upperclassmen and freshmen who are not interested in any of the freshman-specific early move-in programs are still able to prepare for the year without the stress of starting classes soon after.

My freshman year, I joined Community Building Community, an early move-in program for freshmen that gives participants an opportunity to get to know campus, make friends and volunteer around D.C. before taking on their first semester at college. My sophomore year, however, there wasn’t a similar option. Instead, I became a move-in volunteer, which allowed me to move into my residence hall early.

Upperclassmen – like freshmen – need time to adjust back to campus life before starting classes. Even though upperclassmen do not necessarily need early-move in programs like the ones freshmen participate in, they still deserve an opportunity to move in without having to pay a rate of $175 per night or work as a volunteer. Although freshmen who participate in the early move-in programs have to pay to participate in the programs, their meals, Metro rides and adventures around D.C. are included in the cost with the benefit of living in their residence halls for a few extra days. GW is covering the cost of move-in volunteers living in their residence halls early, but upperclassmen should be able to move in without volunteering their time. 

Other universities have implemented early move-in days for both freshmen and upperclassmen. New York University, one of GW’s peer institutions, has its move-in day on Aug. 28, but doesn’t start classes until Sept. 6, giving students ample time to get settled. And officials at the University of Virginia allow students to move in on Aug. 19 or Aug. 20 to begin classes on Aug. 23.

The beginning of any semester can be stressful. But the fall semester is most daunting for both new and returning students. If officials shifted the University-wide move-in date one or two days earlier, students would be more prepared to start a new academic year on the right foot.

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