Saturday, Mar 24, 2018
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Students, parents flood UT in annual moving-in ritual

They came with cardboard boxes and boom boxes, pickups and pick-me-ups.

They came with mini-fridges and minivans, little brothers and fraternity brothers.

They came and they came to the University of Toledo yesterday, the first day that all students were able to move onto campus.

A row of vehicles with their trunks and hatchbacks raised outside Parks Tower was testament to that fact.

There Kenny Gesling of Westerville, Ohio, stood guard while his freshman daughter, Ronica, escorted a giant blue bin full of things up to her room. It was the third or fourth trip up of the day, with a couple more to go, he said.

“I think her roommate is bringing herself, and my daughter's bringing everything else,” said Mr. Gesling, who'll be back this weekend.

“My wife has to come and make sure my daughter is moved in properly,” he said.

Ariel Dreskin, a freshman from Cleveland, said everything about moving in went smoothly, from the people who brought water to those waiting in line to the First-year Resident Orientation Guides (or FROGs) who helped UT's 2,545 freshmen living on campus move their things.

“They were really good,” she said. “We needed them.”

Brittany Jensen, a freshman from Port Clinton, showed up at The Crossings with her parents about 9 a.m. The first thing she did was claim the bottom bunk. She said she's still a bit nervous about upcoming classes and “the roommate thing.”

“I've never even talked to her,” she said.

While students continued to make themselves at home, UT President Daniel Johnson welcomed back faculty, staff, and others during a convocation speech in Doermann Theatre in University Hall.

He told an audience of about 350 people that the university has an opportunity to make itself a positive example for others despite current fiscal constraints. In making his point, he referred to a popular Alaska bumper sticker that reads: “Unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes.”

“From my vantage point ... the view is changing,” he said.

A key to progress will be the work of a UT task force helping to prioritize academic programs and administrative services with an eye to possibly reallocating between $5 million and $15 million to institutional priorities, he said.

“This effort may well be one of the greatest opportunities for UT to move out of the middle of the pack and into an important, nationally recognized role as a leader among metropolitan universities,” Dr. Johnson said.

The president stressed that everyone at the university must become engaged with the community, now more than ever.

“Our fortunes as a university are linked to the fortunes of the state,” he said. “For UT faculty and administrators to be actively involved in the economic development of our city, region, and state is to be actively involved in the development of the university.”

By the end of the weekend, a number of area schools will have welcomed their students back to campus, including Bowling Green State University, Bluffton College, Defiance College, Siena Heights University, and the University of Findlay.

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