News: Featured Stories

September 5, 2018

UMass Boston welcomes 1,000 new students on first move-in day


  • Boston

More than 1,000 students and their families, coming from as far away as Thailand and Ghana, moved into UMass Boston’s new residence halls today, marking a milestone for the university as it becomes a residential 24/7 campus.

A team of more than 200 faculty, staff, and students, along with 31 Resident Assistants, helped students haul in everything from refrigerators and microwaves to desk lamps, books, plants, and wardrobes. The 2018-19 academic year begins Tuesday, September 4.

“Nobody gets to do this kind of stuff. First-ever housing! And you’re a part of it. Make memories today as you go through this. Document the whole thing because it is historic. Welcome to UMass Boston!” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Gail DiSabatino told the cheering crowd of students, families, and volunteers right before move-in started.

Interim Chancellor Katherine S. Newman, along with her husband Paul Attewell, walked up and down the lines of students and their moving bins, introducing herself, finding out why families chose UMass Boston, and assuring parents that their students are in good hands.

“What a great spirit. I mean really, what a great spirit, and everybody feels well taken care of. I’ve met families from Thailand, from Ghana, from, I mean, they’re coming from all over the place. It’s wonderful. In some cases there are two or three kids that have come. They’re sending their siblings and younger kids, and that speaks well for the university,” Newman said.

Students arrived from everywhere Sunday, with 81 percent calling Massachusetts home, 16 percent arriving from out of state, and three percent international.

The 1,077-bed, 260,000-square-foot residence halls, located at the campus’s Mt. Vernon Street entrance with views of both the harbor and Boston skyline, consist of two buildings, ranging from seven to twelve stories, offering a mixture of styles ranging from single-occupancy apartments to four-person units. It includes living-learning amenities open to the entire campus community, such as seminar rooms, study lounges, and a 500-seat dining commons.

The new residence halls include living-learning amenities open to the entire UMass Boston community, such as seminar rooms, study lounges, and a 500-seat dining commons. The buildings feature tutoring and course support in dedicated learning spaces,  a Faculty-in-Residence, and co-sponsored living-learning communities.

The university held a ribbon cutting earlier in the morning with the first 15 students who signed up to live in the Residence Halls.

“Thank you for being the first to sign up to join us. You stepped out. … Everybody started coming after you. You all led the way,” DiSabatino said

One of the early signers and legacy student Cameron Clasby, a nursing major from Westwood, arrived bright and early with his parents, Kathleen and Mike. Kathleen Clasby graduated from UMass Boston in 1988, and marveled at how much the university had changed

Reno, Nevada native Destiny Crowder, who plans to major in international relations, came to campus with five suitcases, and a lot of warm clothes, ready for a new adventure.

“When I heard about the new dorms coming out I thought that it was kind of meant to be ... It was the perfect opportunity,” Crowder said.

Hope Splaine, a nursing major from Tewksbury who is the first in her family to go to college, was moving into the fourth floor of the West Building.

“The minute I got my letter that I was accepted to this school, I decided I was going to come here,” Splaine said. “I was just excited about the whole atmosphere here.”