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Back to school for Alfred State Pioneers

Printer-friendly version Posted Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 15:00

While it may seem as though it was only yesterday when students were donning their caps and gowns for graduation, it is already that time of the year when Alfred State is welcoming Pioneers back to campus for the start of a brand-new academic year.

This week, roughly 1,000 first-year students began moving in to the living spaces they will call home for the next several months, hauling furniture, clothing, accessories, and more into their rooms. Niche.com recently ranked Alfred State residence halls very highly, as the sixth best out of all public colleges in New York. Altogether, around 2,400 students enjoy on-campus living.

female with suitcase and male rolling a fridge
Students, professors, staff, coaches, and parents all help the
new Pioneers arriving at Alfred State.

For these students, they and their families don’t have to go it alone when it comes to the move-in process. In fact, according to Matt Ryan, senior director of Residential Services, a number of “helpers” are on hand to assist, from athletes, to members of student clubs and organizations, to faculty and staff members, and even President Dr. Skip Sullivan.

“When students are moving in, they’re going to have some random guy next to them helping them, and it ends up being their English professor, or one of their coaches,” Ryan said. “They can start building some of those relationships in a real, authentic way immediately.”

Also immediate is the sense of welcome that students feel once they’re on campus.

“Move-in day is high-energy,” Ryan said. “Around every residence hall, the residential staff and the residence directors have set up decorations to welcome the students coming in. We’ll also have all of the staff in their Alfred State shirts ready to welcome and invite students.”

While Ryan admits helping the students move in can be quite a bit of work, he says it definitely pays off in the end.

“At the end of the day, you’re tired, but you see the students going off to the first parts of an activity after hugging mom and dad goodbye and you see a lot of those heartfelt moments,” Ryan said, “so it’s definitely worth it.”

And after mom and dad have dropped off their son or daughter at Alfred State, they can rest assured knowing that their student is welcomed with open arms to a close-knit, caring community.

“Every time I’m asked this question of ‘What’s special about Alfred State?’ I can honestly answer ‘It’s a very close-knit community,’” Ryan said. “The faculty, staff, and students all work relatively close together, there’s always a welcoming atmosphere, doors are held for people on a normal basis, people say hi on the sidewalks. So it’s just a nice, warm place I’ve enjoyed working at for the last 15 years.”