By Sunday evening, Corvallis should have about 3,600 more residents than it does now.
The influx of residents is expected to arrive throughout Sunday as part of Oregon State University’s annual dorm move-in day. As in recent years, most students are all slated to arrive on a single weekend day, instead of the past approach of staggering arrivals over two weekdays.
Brian Stroup, who runs the move-in event for University Housing & Dining Services, said the Sunday move-in works better than the old system because the traffic of people moving in doesn’t interfere with OSU’s daily traffic.
Stroup said the students moving into the dorms have pre-set two-hour arrival windows that are staggered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. so that traffic doesn’t get bogged down with too many people at once.
Stroup said most of the congestion likely will be confined to campus. The university has worked with Oregon State Police and other public agencies to manage traffic through reader boards on Highway 34. They will direct arrivals onto the bypass and then onto Southwest 26th Street for students who will live on the west side of campus and onto Southwest 15th Street for those moving into dorms on the east or south sides of campus.
Most congestion will be on 26th, Stroup said, because parking is most limited on the west side of campus. To combat this, the university will have a small army of volunteers working to help families unload cars quickly so the cars can be moved to long-term parking areas.
“We have over 500 volunteers that swarm cars and help get people unloaded,” said Stroup.
Stroup said weather and traffic accidents on I-5 can affect move-in day, so staff members monitor tripcheck.com for traffic alerts.
The university also moves in about 1,000 students over this week, he said, to ease some of the impact on Sunday. Students who move in early need a reason for it, such as being international students, University Housing & Dining Services employees, part of a Reserve Officer Training Corps program or in the marching band.
Stroup said having the flurry of activity on one day has made move-in day a big event for campus.
“It’s a really fun, high-spirit day,” he said.
Jennifer Vina, associate director for marketing and communications for University Housing & Dining Services, said it sends out information packets to families in advance about moving in, so everyone knows to be prepared to unload quickly. Housing & Dining Services also has barbecues at its three dining centers that day, she said, to add to what is a big and exciting day for campus.
“It’s a huge milestone for families so we try to minimize complications,” she said.
Vina said her staff looks forward to the move-in day, and they have been preparing, including a meeting with all 500 department employees Tuesday to prepare for Sunday.
“It’s the first time we get to welcome our residents. There’s an excitement in the air.”