University must streamline early move-in process

Wake Forest should utilize their extensive time and resources to better meet students’ needs


Courtesy of Residence Life and Housing

The inconsistencies with Deacon OneCards during the early move-in period can be easily rectified, writes Sophie Guymon.

Sophie Guymon, Opinion Editor

Every year, Wake Forest allows a number of students to move onto campus early. These students are typically participating in pre-orientation programs or are involved in student organizations such as the Old Gold & Black, Student Union or the Spirit of the Old Gold and Black (SOTOGAB). However, students without these types of obligations can also move in early if granted special permission from the university. 

In spite of the fact that Wake Forest welcomes hundreds of students on campus for early move-in every year, they are never well-prepared to meet these students’ needs. 

First and foremost, the early move-in schedule is not released to students until about a month in advance of move-in, despite the fact that the academic calendar and regular move-in dates are determined well before that — the undergraduate calendar for the 2022-2023 academic year was published in February. While this may be fine for students who live in-state or are able to drive to campus from their hometown, it is incredibly inconvenient for those who do not live in-state and are not able to drive to campus. 

Additionally, the Office of Residence Life & Housing (RLH) often only designates one specific move-in day for students from a certain organization, despite the fact that multiple days are offered throughout the process, creating further inconvenience. 

When arranging my move onto campus, I had to change my flights not once, but twice due to a lack of clear communication from RLH. Scheduling and changing flights at the last minute often incurs steeper costs and fees — something that the university should be considerate of and aim to avoid, especially for those students who are receiving need-based aid. These changes also become more difficult to make as time passes — I had to call my airline directly because I was unable to make any changes online. 

Additionally, storage services that are partnered with the university do a poor job of accommodating early move-in, charging additional fees for early drop-off in spite of the fact that students who move in early are already paying extra money just to be in their living spaces, and that the storage units are located in convenient proximity to campus. 

I was not able to monitor the delivery of my items because they were dropped off on a day entirely different from the one I had designated and began to unpack my boxes only to find that multiple items were broken or otherwise damaged beyond repair. While the university may not be directly responsible for the failures of these services, companies such as Storage Scholars would probably be better able to accommodate the early move-in process if the university released early move-in schedules in a more timely manner. 

Students who move in early often also face issues with their Deacon OneCard access. While buildings such as the Pit and Benson operate at more limited hours prior to early move-in — a fact that I have no issue with — students will often attempt to use their meal plan at an open dining location only to be asked to use a different payment method instead. 

However, on freshman moving day, these Deacon OneCard issues are magically solved, with all the restaurants in Benson catering to an influx of new students. 

A transition period of a few days does not justify the difficulties that thousands of students over the years have faced during early move-in. Wake Forest certainly has the time and resources to streamline the early move-in process for students whose presence on campus is typically helping the university, and it is appalling that they have not.