For Archi Tamakuwala, Brock University “feels like home.”
The second-year Business Communication student says she loved her time living on campus so much during her first year, she had to come back.
The Brampton resident was one of more than 2,600 students who moved into Brock’s residences Saturday, Sept. 3 and Sunday, Sept. 4, marking the largest Move-in Weekend in the University’s history. The record number of students living on campus comes with the addition of Residence 8 — a new 308-bed semi-suite style building that opened in January — and the return to capacity for DeCew Residence, which underwent a major revitalization that was completed last year.
Tamakuwala, who moved with her family from India to Canada three years ago, says it was important for her to maintain a sense of “home” while living at Brock.
She says the support she received from her residence don and other University staff last year helped to guide her decision to return.
“My don was always there when I needed her,” Tamakuwala says. “It showed me that I can rely on this place.”
Making students feel welcome and comfortable in their new home is a priority for Residence Life staff, says Cindy Chernish, Brock’s Interim Director, Residences.
“Students are both anxious and excited because for many of them, this is their first time living away from home. We’re here to help ease that transition,” she says. “It’s critical for students to know that we’re here for them, and that we have the resources and support systems to see them through each step of their Brock journey.”
Brock University Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Lynn Wells was on hand Saturday to welcome students and their loved ones.
“This is one of my favourite days of the year on the University’s campus because you really get a sense of what coming to Brock means to these young people and their families,” she says. “It’s such an important time in their lives, with so many new adventures ahead, and we’re excited to be a part of that.”
Kimberley Kovacs was filled with both nerves and pride as she helped daughter Elisabeth, a first-year Nursing student from Sandford, Ont., settle into her residence room.
“I didn’t sleep all night,” Kovacs says, while admitting she’s shed a few tears preparing for this moment. “It’s tough, but it’s going to be a good experience for her.”
While also feeling “a little nervous,” Elisabeth says she’s mostly excited to live on her own and meet new people as her university experience gets underway.
“It started off well. Moving in was smooth,” she adds.
Planning for Move-in Weekend begins months in advance, which was particularly important this year with Brock hosting the Athletes Village for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games just weeks before students arrived.
“It was a quick turnaround coming out of the Canada Games, but as usual, our staff and key partners on campus were up to the challenge,” Chernish says. “We had a busy month, but it was all worth it to see the smiles on students’ faces when they arrived.”
Move-in Weekend was the opening event of a busy Welcome Week at Brock, which includes dozens of events and orientation sessions on campus. The first classes of the Fall Term will be held Wednesday, Sept. 7.