MeetState moves in more than 2,000 students


Katherine Clayton Lifestyles Editor

Friends call each other, eat together and some friends even start college together.

Zulema Meza and Kayla Flanagan have been friends since middle school and throughout high school. Now, they decided to stay together for another big chapter in their lives—college. 

Meza, an undecided major, and Flanagan, a pre-nursing major, were just a few of the more than 2,000 incoming students who arrived on campus Friday, August 21 and participated in MeetState.

According to Tobias Uecker, the assistant director of residential life for living, learning initiatives, MeetState is a weekend of activities devoted to students’ holistic transition to SDSU.

“Friday is about that physical transition. Saturday is about the academic transition to SDSU, so that’s why you’ll see things on the schedule from Saturday like the academic convocation, sort of that first official ceremony,” Uecker said. “And then Sunday has it’s focus, the sort of cocurricular and extracurricular transition.”

The physical transition to campus involved moving students’ belongings into the residential halls.

“We’re in Young, so moving in was kind of a battle … and it was a big sweaty mess,” Meza said. Flanagan and Meza live on the fourth floor of Young Hall and said one of the many challenges of moving in was deciding on the best room arrangement.

Flanagan said at first they set their room up with the beds parallel to each other, but decided to switch to an L-shape because a lot of the other girls on their floor set their rooms up that way.

“I was kind of excited to see how our dorm would look because we put so much money and effort into making sure it would look cute,” Meza said.

During move-in day, hundreds of volunteers helped students move their belongings from their cars into the residential halls.

“There is involvement from every facet of the university community [for MeetState],” Uecker said. “I think that is especially true when you look at our move-in volunteers.” 

Uecker estimates there were 650 workers that included not only community assistants, but office assistants, admissions ambassadors, professors from all departments, custodial services staff and administrative staff from across campus.

Traditional and nontraditional volunteers helped students move in during MeetState. They represented student organizations or the student body. Uecker said that there were about 300 student volunteers.

On Saturday, the focus of the day was the academic transition, this included convocation sponsored by the Office of the Provost.

“Convocation typically has an academic emphasis and not only officially kicks off their higher education, but also impresses upon the incoming students the value of a college degree and the importance of applying oneself academically,” Provost Laurie Nichols said. “We want students to take their learning seriously and to engage with their classes.”

Other events throughout Saturday included Thumpstart, an introduction to the different colleges and academic communities, and the Welcome Back Bash. The bash featured inflatables, a concert and other activities.

The Campus and Community Fall Festival on Sunday afternoon promoted different student organizations and clubs in the Volstorff Ballroom. The clubs and organizations presented what their club was about by talking to students and having some sort of activity or prize that symbolized their club. 

After being on campus for less than 72 hours, Meza already developed plans for becoming connected on campus. 

“I’ve heard that there’s so many … clubs that will fit any interest or slight interest you might have so I definitely want to check those out,” Meza said. “[Kayla and I are] definitely looking for the State-A-Thon [booth] because we just went to the meeting and it sounded really cool.”

A new event for Sunday was be@Briggs, which took place at the Hilton M. Briggs Library. This new opportunity gives students a chance to meet the library staff and visit the library said Nancy Marshall, the distance information services librarian. It also included complimentary root beer floats for attendees.

“This is an opportunity for us to show students that we’re glad to see them,” Marshall said.  “It’s fun to do something unexpected and to connect with students.”

MeetState may be a weekend full of activities, but for first year students, it’s their first weekend being on campus.

“We want everyone to feel like they have found their home on a lot of different levels when they arrive on campus or when they return to campus for another year and home means … a place in a residence hall that they’re living in, but it also means the academic department that’s going to be their home for the next four years,” Uecker said. Meza said that she felt nervous before arriving on campus, but after move-in weekend she feels more comfortable and prepared for school to start.

“I definitely feel a lot more prepared and more at ease on campus; I’m nervous for classes,” Meza said. “I’m really looking forward to the year.”