First-year and transfer resident students recently moved into University housing. The 1,250 members of the Class of 2026, including commuters, and nearly 200 transfer students are now taking part in Charge In and Welcome Week activities that will enable them to connect with their new classmates and learn about everything the University has to offer.
August 26, 2022
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Jordan Paulin '26 and his parents stopped for a bite of Italian ice to cool off after they moved his belongings into his new residence hall at the University of New Haven. They were excited, as Paulin was beginning the next chapter of his life: that of a college student.
"It will be a fun ride," he said. "It will be a new experience, and I'm especially looking forward to the people, sports, and extracurricular activities. I'm excited to have fun and to be responsible."
Paulin and his parents, who are from West Haven, are already familiar with the local community. They are excited to now be members of the University community, and for the myriad opportunities Paulin will have as a Charger.
"I'm happy for him, and I'm glad he's doing this," said Jeff Paulin, Jordan's dad. "I'm glad to see him succeed. I'm looking forward to great things for him."
"This is emotional, since my first born is now going to school," said Nicole Robinson, Jordan's mom. "It's great to see him get here and accomplish his goals. It's emotional because he's leaving home, but I'm glad he's spreading his wings."
'This is why we do what we do'
Paulin was one of the many first-year and transfer students who moved into the residence halls on the first day of the University's move-in period, and he is among the more than 1,250 students who make up the Class of 2026. Nearly 200 transfer students are also joining Charger Nation.
Greeting students and their families was Sheahon Zenger, Ph.D., interim president of the University. Extending a warm and friendly welcome, he chatted with new Chargers, sharing in their excitement. For Dr. Zenger, it was a great way to connect, and it was also personal.
"It's been a lot of fun," he said. "We've met some of the new students and their parents and seen the excitement. This is why we do what we do. Also, I just recently took my son to the airport to fly 1,200 miles to go to college, so I'm more attuned to what the parents are feeling than ever before."
'The best thing ever'
To help ensure a seamless move-in, families were assigned a campus entrance to use, all of which were marked and color coded. Students were also assigned move-in time slots every two hours, and the University offered bins and the assistance of student-athletes. Returning students – known as the "Welcome Wagon" – volunteered to help with the move-in process and welcome the newest Chargers.
To further assist students with the move-in, the University offered "Charlie's Fast Pass," an opportunity for students to come to campus a few days before their assigned move-in date to bring some of their belongings to their residence hall during one-hour time slots.
Devin Spitz '26, a new sport management major, was one of the new students moving in. He and his mother came to the University from Long Island to move him into Bethel Hall.
"I'm very excited, but also, a little nervous," he said. "I'm excited to go to football games when the semester starts, and I'm looking forward to having more independence."
His mother, Diane Spitz, says she was impressed by the entire move-in process. It wasn't her first experience moving a student into a university residence hall, and she says everyone she interacted with at the University was very helpful.
"Devin is my youngest, and I found the move-in at the University to have a very easy flow," she said. "Charlie's Fast Pass was the best thing ever. The move-in wasn't crazy."
'A great full circle moment'
In addition to the Italian ice available to Chargers after moving in, families were invited to get something to eat together on campus. Students' meal plans had already started, and their families and guests received coupons so they could enjoy a meal together. There were also food trucks on campus, as well as music and Chargers swag giveaways.
The festivities were just a preview of what's to come for students as the semester kicks off. First-year students and transfers are taking part in Charge In leading up to the start of classes on August 29. The entire incoming class also came together for Convocation, a time-honored tradition to mark the start of the new academic year.
Aiyannah Lewis '25, an Orientation and Transition Leader, was among the returning students welcoming her new classmates to the University. She enjoyed helping with the move-in, and she hopes they will enjoy the festivities and the opportunities to connect with each other.
"It's a great full circle moment for me as a sophomore," said Lewis, a psychology major. "Seeing first-year students move in and the excitement of starting their college journey is amazing."