Unpack the Quack

By UO student Chelsea Fullmer

Students with overly packed suitcases. Cars lined up on the sidewalks. Parents carrying mini refrigerators up flights of stairs. This is what move-in day to the residence halls on campus looks like.

Thursday, September 26, was move-in day for freshmen, transfer and other students living in the residence halls across campus. With most students arriving in Eugene for school for the first time, the day is full of excitement, anxiety, and bittersweet farewells.

Moving away from home is a big step for incoming students as they get ready to immerse themselves into college life with new classes, new friends, new roommates and new experiences. To help welcome these students and their families, the UO Housing department organizes an opportunity for alumni, friends, faculty and any eager volunteer to assist during move-in day called Unpack the Quack. Between 3,500 and 4,000 students moved into eight on-campus and off-campus residence halls, and roughly 300 to 400 volunteers joined this year.

Volunteers signed up for 2.5-hour shifts throughout the day to help unpack cars, carry boxes, or serve as welcoming greeters on a day full of chaos. This annual event gives volunteers the opportunity to serve as ambassadors and advocates for the UO and gives parents and students the opportunity to learn more about the UO from those involved in the UO community.

Lane County Alumni Chapter president, 1994 UO graduate, and lifetime member of the Alumni Association Brent MacCluer shares his Unpack the Quack experience:

“Every year Unpack the Quack is one of my favorite volunteer experiences.

Parents and students are so appreciative for the help on such a monumental day in their lives. It’s a great first impression and demonstrates to parents how the entire community is here to welcome their child to our school and town.

My first time at Unpack the Quack was exactly 20 years from when I moved into the UO residence halls. Helping move students into the Bean East dorms brought back so many memories and reminded me how fortunate I am to be a Duck.

Through the years I’ve been ‘lucky’ enough to move countless refrigerators up flights of stairs along with computers, clothes, bedding and everything in between. The most unusual items I’ve helped move are a few dozen mason jars of home-made soup.

Every year I volunteer with other UO Alumni members and highly encourage other people to join us next year. It’s a wonderful opportunity to help and a great trip down memory lane.”

With classes starting and new students settling into their new homes, the school year has officially begun, welcoming the class of 2017 and getting ready to send the remaining members of the class of 2013 on their way.

See more volunteer opportunities for alumni and friends.