On this year’s move-in day, Elon University will again renew a tradition that began in 2019, as the school’s varsity fall sports teams will assist with new-student move-in.
Elon’s dance team has been a part of this tradition since it began three years ago. For junior Isabella Venziale, who first participated last year, helping new students and their families get settled on their first day at Elon is a rewarding experience.
“It’s funny seeing all the parents super excited to just get their kid moved in,” Venziale said. “It was kind of a funny thing to bond over and reminisce on how we had done it a year prior, but doing it together and helping everyone get set up was really nice.”
This will be the third time Elon fall sports teams will participate in new-student move-in, as they did not partake in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. Responsibilities for athletes extend beyond just moving furniture and boxes into residence halls, as they also answer questions, share their experiences and help direct families to spots on campus, which Venziale remembers doing often in 2021.
“Everyone was looking for the mailroom,” Venziale said. “I feel like that was one they got stuck on. No one knew how to get there. I think it was funny trying to explain, ‘you’ll go here and get this and that.’”
While having athletes assist with move-in helps new students, it can also help the teams. Fall sports athletes arrive on campus in late July and early August and participate in team bonding activities to prepare for their seasons.
According to Venziale, participating in move-in last season and other pre-season activities helped the dance team grow closer to each other, which she said was a key to the team’s national championship victory in the spring.
“It’s really great for new members or people who haven’t been there to get integrated into the team,” Venziale said. “It’s definitely a good time to bond and just spend more time with each other. It’s a great way to start the season and have another event where we all can kind of come together and do something for athletics and also for our team.”
Director of New Student Programs Emily Krechel said partnering with Elon Athletics for move-in day also helps introduce new students to the sports culture at Elon.
“Having our fall sport athletes help new student move-in begins getting our new students excited about supporting Elon Athletics,” Krechel said. “The athletes can talk about their experience and encourage the new students to attend their games.”
For Krechel, the partnership with athletics has been a success, as the participating teams can efficiently assist families move into the dorms and help create a positive atmosphere.
“Having the athletes help with new student move-in is always a positive experience,” Krechel said. “The students truly appreciate the assistance, and the athletes help make quick work of their move-in experience.”
Venziale said she is excited to help with move-in again this year and is glad she and her teammates can offer their assistance on what can be a long and emotional day for families.
“It can sometimes be high stress, but I think it’s nice to have other people around to help everyone navigate it way easier,” Venziale said. “It helps to have athletics incorporated in move-in since we’re all already on campus, and it’s nice to be there to help support. So I think that it’s a nice tradition that Elon does.”