Students settle in as new semester begins

Ottissa Lau and friend Miranda Souvanh carry boxes into the residence hall

Ottissa Lau, right, and friend Miranda Souvanh carry boxes into the residence hall. Photo: Joshua Clark/UIC Photo Services


UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares loves move-in day.

“It’s the parents and the students, their eyes are wide open, they’re excited,” she said Aug. 20 as freshmen arrived to take up residence for the new school year. “It’s the vibrancy of it all.”

Temperatures were in the mid-80s, and popsicles were available for all.

“I felt like I was really being welcomed,” said freshman Jaclyne Alfaro of Huntley, who hasn’t declared a major but is interested in nursing. Her parents and brother helped her move in. She packed “just enough — the essentials,” she said, noting that probably the most important item was her laptop computer.

Dane Kozak was starting to realize a few things he’d forgotten, notably his backpack and pants hangers. That’s OK — home, in Tinley Park, is “just an hour away,” said Kozak, who plans to study nutrition.

His parents helped him move. His father, Tom, said, “We’re looking forward to having a real positive experience,” adding, “It’s a beautiful campus.”

Dane is the first of their three college-going kids who chose not to commute, “so we have mixed emotions,” his father said.

Ottissa Lau, of Lakemoor, said her parents have similar feelings. “They’re really reluctant about me being in the dorm,” she said. Lau, a pre-nursing student who had move-in help from friend Miranda Souvanh, had no problem identifying the most important thing she packed: “A good bed set, with mattress pad and comforter.”

Looking around at other incoming freshmen, accounting major Timmy La of Chicago said, “I brought a little more than other people.”

La, moving in with the assistance of his father and brother, said “an extra amount of clothes” may be responsible. “I’m ready for any weather,” he said.

Susan Teggatz, director of campus housing, said UIC will have 1,241 freshmen in residence — 808 on east campus, 376 on south campus and 57 on west campus.


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