Making a big school feel small

Move-in volunteers describe why they love helping incoming Tigers.

photo of students helping with move-in

Aug. 13, 2021

The University of Missouri starts welcoming new students to campus on Aug. 14. To help make the transition to Residence Hall life as smooth as possible, hundreds of volunteers from across campus and the broader community are stepping up to lend a hand.

Among the volunteers is Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bill Stackman and his dog, Mac. “Move-in is not just about moving stuff but a campuswide initiative to welcome students and their families and make them feel at home,” Stackman said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a fun way to celebrate our incoming students and demonstrate our Mizzou pride.”

Volunteers help with a number of tasks including directing traffic, unloading belongings from vehicles and transporting them to students’ rooms and interacting with families on the way.

“To me, it’s a great celebration,” said two-time volunteer Miguel Ayllon, who is also director of Study Abroad and a former Residence Hall coordinator. “If somebody is coming to your home, you want to welcome them. You work up a good sweat, but you’re happy. You get to know your future students. You see colleagues that you haven’t seen in a while because they’re there with you.”

Junior Maya Townsend is a first-time volunteer who wants to give incoming students a positive start at Mizzou.

“I want to give freshmen a good experience, so whenever their parents leave, they’ll miss them, but it doesn’t hurt not to be with them anymore,” she said.

Townsend says she was pleasantly surprised by the warm, friendly exchange with the volunteers who helped her move in when she first arrived on campus. “It wasn’t just such a serious thing where they get you in and out,” she said. “We had a good time joking around.”

Molly Froidl first heard about the move-in volunteer opportunity at a chapter meeting of the Mizzou Alumni Association. She recalled her own experience as a Mizzou student, moving in without volunteers.

“I definitely remembered the very hot August day that I was moving in and thought, ‘Wow, that’d be great to help out,’ ” she said.

This August will be the fourth time Froidl and her husband, Tom, have volunteered to help students move in. They attribute their interest in helping to their involvement when they were members of Marching Mizzou.

“I want people to see that passion and know that they’re making a great choice,” Froidl said.

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