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USCB welcomes new Sand Sharks

Freshman Sunny McAlhaney, of Hampton, takes containers full of her belongings out of her car as she moves in to her dormitory at USCB’s Hilton Head Gateway Campus during move-in day on Sunday. McAlhaney was one of some 500 freshmen moving in with the help of family, friends, upperclassmen volunteers and USCB staff. The first day of classes is Thursday.
Freshman Sunny McAlhaney, of Hampton, takes containers full of her belongings out of her car as she moves in to her dormitory at USCB’s Hilton Head Gateway Campus during move-in day on Sunday. McAlhaney was one of some 500 freshmen moving in with the help of family, friends, upperclassmen volunteers and USCB staff. The first day of classes is Thursday. jkarr@islandpacket.com

Students flooded back into the dorms on Sunday at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. About 500 of them moved in for the very first time.

Freshmen settled into their new digs with a hand (or several) from the nearly 200 move-in day volunteers made up of USCB students, faculty, staff and community members, Deonne Whaley, director of housing and judicial affairs said at the Hilton Head Gateway campus in Bluffton on Sunday. Athletes, members of Greek life and housing staff were all represented to give the newcomers a warm welcome, she said.

“It is definitely a family affair,” Whaley said of the diverse range of Sand Sharks who come to help with move-in day.

Freshman Mia Sgromolo, an 18-year-old from Charleston, said her belongings were out of the car and up to her new living space in about 15 minutes. Volunteers and her resident assistant were right there to help her unload at 8:30 a.m., she said. After that, all the marketing major had to handle was unpacking and decorating while her parents ran to collect a few things from the store.

Nearly half of the university’s 2,000 or so students live in on-campus housing, Whaley said.

In the last handful of years, the university has seen an uptick in the number of upperclassmen looking to remain in on-campus housing, Whaley said. This prompted the construction of the new Broad River residence hall, filled with upperclassmen who chose their housing by seniority, she said. Talks began for the project about a year ago and construction started up in the winter. Now, the hall is open and ready for the start of the semester.

Senior Ashton Purvis has lived in the residence halls her entire college career. Throughout her years studying computational science, she has lived in Beaufort, Colleton and Port Royal residence halls, and this year she moved into Broad River. The 21-year-old veteran resident assistant said she loves the atmosphere of living on campus; all of her friends and classmates are nearby.

This year, she’ll work as a resident assistant for all upperclassmen, which she says she prefers and is excited about.

“When I was a freshman, I had a roommate issue,” she said. Since her resident assistant was so helpful to her in her difficult situation, Purvis decided to become an RA herself. “I wanted to help other students.”

Her most important piece of advice for freshmen: “Go to class!”

Joan McDonough: 843-706-8125, @IPBG_Joan

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