Volunteers on Falcon Move Crew welcome new students
September 21, 2022
Sept. 3rd saw the arrival of over 825 students to the University of River Falls campus, where the Falcon Move Crew assisted them with the move into their residence halls.
The move crew, made up almost entirely of student volunteers, took on various roles: directing traffic, unloading vehicles, checking in students, and taking care of garbage, among other tasks. This year, 119 volunteers turned out, with about 105 of them being students.
This is an increase over the previous year, which had a turnout of around 100.
“I don't think I can overstate exactly how important [volunteers] are,” said Liz Brunner, the manager for Residence Life Student Leadership and Outreach, and director of the Falcon Move Crew. “Moving in can be a really exciting time and it can be a really stressful time.”
“Without [volunteers], I think moving would be a totally different experience. I think it would end up being way more stressful.”
Most UW-River Falls students move in on Sept. 3rd, while around 600 students, including members of the Falcon Move Crew themselves, move in earlier.
This year, the Falcon Move Crew tried something new: they set up tents on the east and west sides of campus to check volunteers in and out of their shifts, and provide bottled water and snacks as well as extra t-shirts and nametags.
In addition, the UWRF University Center delivered lunches to volunteers who worked both morning and afternoon shifts. “I think it was really helpful, and I'll plan on doing it again,” Brunner said.
On move day, the Falcon Move Crew focuses on engaging students and seeking opportunities to assist them. “Something that I really try to hit home with the volunteers is…be aware of the people around you and make the first move. Go say hello. Go introduce yourself and help them and let them know that you're willing to help,” Brunner said.
“I think that can make a huge difference and can be an important first impression.”
Brunner said that there are various reasons why students volunteer to help out with the move crew. “I hope that they volunteer because they want to be good neighbors and [because] it's a great opportunity to meet people,” she said. “I've heard from students last year and I'm hearing from them this year that it was a good way to get connected.”
As for the move on Sept. 3rd, Brunner said she deems it a success. “If students, families, [and] loved ones feel supported and volunteers feel supported, then to me it was a success.” She said she can’t thank the volunteers enough, and hopes to see them return to help with the move crew next year.