Thousands of ECU students begin moving in today
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More than 4,000 East Carolina University students are moving into their dorms today through Sunday, prompting officials to divert traffic and take other measures to ensure a smooth transition back as campus comes back to life.
Officials will close portions of 14th Street, Elm Street and Charles Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Wednesday as students and their families begin the check in process at the Minges athletic complex then fan out to the dorms on College Hill and main campus.
“This will allow us to be able to get our move-in residents on campus without having to get tied up in the typical traffic congestion that just occurs with our local motorists,” ECU Police Capt. Chris Sutton said.
The added traffic that comes with the return of students to campus and off-campus housing, coupled with a number of existing road closures in town, will require all drivers to be on alert, Sutton said.
“Our drivers need to re-condition themselves to be patient and defensive in their driving on and around campus,” Sutton said.
Move-in days are scheduled all week including the weekend.
Early move-in begins this morning at ECU’s neighborhood services offices, which are located along College Hill at the West End Dining Hall and Gateway East. Those check-ins will take place from noon to 10 p.m.
Regular move-ins begin Wednesday and continue through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. After hours move-ins will take place Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Late move-ins will begin after 7-10 p.m. Friday and continue 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Designated move-in times and days help campus officials and volunteers manage the chaos.
“It will also allow us to move (students), hopefully, a little bit safer onto campus or around campus,” Sutton said.
Students and parents will be required to stage near Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and Minges Coliseum then will be directed by officers who will help them get to their dorm.
“As our motorists check in and get their keys to go to their dorm, we’ll have them staged. We’ll have officers at key points that will direct them to the dorm they’ll be checking in,” Sutton said.
Volunteers and staff will be available to helps students haul belongings from vehicles into their rooms.
Sutton gave an example.
“If students are going to a dorm on Fifth Street, they’d likely be directed to travel down Elm Street, cross over 10th and go to Fifth and then turn on Fifth and travel to their dorm that way so they avoid the Uptown area, where there’s more traffic congestion and closures and likely confusion.”
ECU police will begin deployment of a crime suppression team this year to identify problematic and threatening areas on or near campus then work to reduce those threats, Sutton said.
Other improvements include enhanced pedestrian crosswalks and signage to alert drivers to pedestrians.
“For pedestrians, we have marked crosswalks. We encourage the pedestrian traffic to use those areas. New equipment is also being installed throughout the semester goes along,” Sutton said.
During move-in week, Sutton said drivers need to obey posted speed limits and watch out for pedestrians. Likewise, pedestrians should use designated crosswalks as they can be ticketed.
During move-in week, ECU police also will conduct tests of the ECU Alert emergency notification system at noon on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, a news release said.
The tests will assess multiple communication systems including the ECU homepage, email, indoor and outdoor loudspeakers, VOIP phone text and voice, SMS text messages, desktop pop-up notifications, and messages on digital signs.
Portions of the system will be tested separately on Wednesday and Thursday, then all aspects of the system will be tested at noon on Friday.