Turning the key in the door with a small click, Sidney Hager enters her room for the first time. She sets down the boxes in her arms and before heading back out to retrieve the rest of her things, she takes a quick look out her window.
In the foreground is several other students just like her, carrying suitcases and boxes into the neighboring hall, West. Then there are the rows and rows of seats spread out Under the Oaks for convocation. Behind them, two mountains of dirt, representing the expansion of the School of Communications.
By the time Hager and the rest of the Class of 2019 graduate, the construction should be complete. In fact, many of those students will likely have a few classes there, but when it came time to move in, that construction led to a few changes in the usual move-in day plans.
Instead of parking and unloading along Lebanon Ave. next to the construction, the new students moving into West, Sloan and Virginia dorms had to park in Arts West before they could even drive past their dorms.
"We have them coming to the Arts West parking lot, we give them a tag and have them get in line for which building they're in," orientation leader Abby Dioise explained. "They wait here until they get the signal from closer to the buildings and we send them over to park on the main street and unload all their stuff."
Five by five, the orientation leaders sent families down to Haggard Ave. to unload all of their things before moving to McMichael for permanent parking, while the students checked in, got their room keys and prepared to move in.
Despite the changes, according to orientation staff and the new students, the process went smoothly.
"It's working like a well-oiled machine," orientation leader Alaina Schukraft said while helping the new students move into Virginia. "There hasn't been a backup or a line or anything at all."
To make the waiting easier for the new students, orientation also stationed students and faculty along the route to their dorms to answer any questions about Elon or simply talk to the new students.
"I met a lot of friendly people coming up and down the way. That was pretty interesting," Hager said. "Saw some sights and heard some different things so I had a blast. I enjoyed all the way up here."
Construction on the new School of Communications is expected to be finished in 2017, which, as an aspiring communications major herself, is one of the things Hager is most looking forward to at Elon.
"[I'm excited] to meet my roommate, make new friends and to major in communications and English with a minor in psychology"