Sophomore and first floor East A resident assistant Khoreen Johnson woke up at 7:30 a.m. to begin greeting her new residents.

“This is somebody's first time at college and we're moving you in and this is exciting, and I'm glad to get to be a part of that,” Johnson said. “It's gonna be so great. The kids are excited and I'm excited.”

Johnson was inspired to become an RA after living in Danieley during her freshman year. She said her RA built up a community on her floor and made her feel more connected to campus.

“I hear the joy in her voice when she talks about her residents and I was like, ‘I need to do that,’” Johnson said. “I want to be able to give somebody that connection and be able to inspire somebody to do things like I was inspired.”

East Neighborhood residents are all freshmen. As the newest neighborhood on campus, hvaing opened in 2018, East is still expanding. The East common building is set to open fall 2024 and will contain student rooms, study spaces and residence life offices. Johnson said she is excited for the common room to open because it will make neighborhood staff more accessible to students and give students space to socialize outside of their dorms. 

“For first-years, it's very vital for them to have a community within themselves because that's when relationships are introduced or growing stronger,” Johnson said. 

Freshmen Sam Yanoshik and Michael Johns were assigned as random roommates over the summer. The two connected over Instagram, but met each other for the first time during move-in on Aug. 18. 

Johns said he knew he wanted to go to a smaller school, and when he had the chance to first visit Elon, it clicked. 

“I got on campus and I was like ‘I have to be here.’ It was just so amazing,” Johns said. 

Johns is the oldest child, but his roommate Yanoshik is the youngest in his family. Yanoshik said he felt prepared for the college experience after hearing about it from his siblings and parents. 

“I've heard a lot about college. I know a lot of the easy shortcuts and stuff,” Yanoshik said. “My parents who told me about what to do, and so I just basically have been following them.”

Johns and Yanoshik were working with their parents to unpack their bags and set up their new dorm in East C. Just upstairs, Neve McGowan and her parents Matt and Heidi McGowan were unpacking.

Matt, Neve’s father, said he is proud to see his oldest daughter start her journey at Elon. 

“I think I've been sort of waiting for the storm to hit and it hasn't,” Matt said. “I'm sure it will on the ride home, but I am overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and feelings of excitement.” 

Neve is the oldest of three children and one of 1,688 students in the class of 2027.

“It’s surreal. It's weird, being the oldest and not knowing how my siblings are feeling and not being with them anymore,” Neve said. “But I'm excited to start a new chapter.”

Neve and her parents drove to Elon from Raleigh. According to Matt, Neve has a tight group of friends from throughout middle and high school, but he is excited for her to meet new people. 

“Neve is definitely ready,” Matt said. “It's just sort of fun to watch her do her thing and watch her fly.”

Neve said she is excited to meet new people from across the country, and the world, at Elon. 

Matt’s own father is a former president of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Matt said his father had admired different programs and initiatives at Elon, so Matt said he felt more confident in Neve’s choice.

“Just everywhere I looked it was a win, so I was just excited that she felt so at home and Elon.”