California State University, Sacramento

Based on real user feedback and statistics, no longer supports Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Skip to Main Content


Story Content

Moving into campus housing, thousands of students return to a University ready to welcome them

Scenes such as this one were not uncommon during Sac State's Move-In Days, Aug. 25-26, as students set up their lodging in the University's residence halls in advance of the start of the fall semester. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)
move in luggage
Along with family and group movements, Move-In Days included scenes of individuals making their way to on-campus homes. About 3,200 students moved into North Village and Hornet Commons residence halls across the two days. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

More than 3,200 Sacramento State students moved into campus housing Thursday and Friday, Aug. 25-26, toting suitcases, laptops, and other belongings – and many with wistful parents helping out.

But this year’s Move-In Days marked more than a back-to-school rite of passage. It was a return to the closest thing to normal University life since the COVID-19 pandemic pushed most people off campus more than two years ago.

And the numbers show it.

Sac State’s seven North Village residence halls became home to more than 2,100 students this fall semester.

In addition, 1,100 students moved into Hornet Commons, an apartment complex on the south side of campus.

Another 200 students are on the wait list for on-campus housing.

“We will have a population of 3,200 students for the 2022-23 academic year. That is maximum capacity,” said Samuel N. Jones, executive director of University Housing Services.

“I think students are really ready to be back in person and back in classes.”

Officials say that 80% of Sac State students will attend at least one in-person class this fall, a level not achieved since the pandemic forced a high level of virtual instruction.

This year’s Hornet Nest Fest on Aug. 26 welcomed students and their families, provding food and entertainment for about 6,400 students and their guests.

Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen embraced the event.

"Being together on the Housing Quad with our students, their families, and other guests as they ate, played games, socialized, and danced, warmed my heart and fed my soul," Nelsen wrote in a messasge to the University.

The University began classes on Aug. 29 and is gearing up to celebrate its 75th anniversary with a yearlong series of festivities, programs, and events starting Sept. 22.

For the first fall semester since the pandemic shut down Sac State in March 2020, students are both living on campus and attending classes in person in large numbers.

Last fall, students moved into campus housing, but only a limited number of in-person classes were offered, with the number expanding significantly in the spring 2022.

Students are so eager to be back, they’re making sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, Jones said.

Residence hall students also were required to verify their COVID-19 vaccination status, and virtually all had done so. “Students are really excited about coming back to campus,” Jones said.

Volunteers from campus clubs helped students and their families with move-in tasks. In addition, 80 administrators, faculty and staff assisted with check-ins, testing, and parking. 

One of the goals was to get everyone registered and settled in time for the Nest Fest celebration, which included food stations with a variety of snacks and drinks, live DJs, games, exhibit tables, and the Sacramento State Marching Band.

Student-athletes also were on hand for a meet-and-greet.

“It really was a way for Sac State to welcome the students who are new to campus, but it’s evolved over the past couple of years because of the pandemic,” Billingsley said. “Last year, we were not just welcoming first-time students, but all students back to campus.”

“I think students are really ready to be back in person and back in classes.” - Samuel N. Jones, executive director of University Housing Services 

Last year’s Nest Fest was delayed until Homecoming in October due to the pandemic, and families were not invited.

This year, members of the President’s Cabinet bussed tables and treated students and family members like VIPs, Billingsley said, letting all know that they are "part of the Sac State family, too,” she said.

move in band
The Sacramento State Marching Band welcomed and entertained students and their families during Move-In Days, which stood as a celebration of a return to a more normal state of being for the University after two years of pandemic disruptions. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

Share This Story

url copied!

About Jennifer K. Morita

Jennifer K. Morita joined Sacramento State in 2022. A former newspaper reporter for the Sacramento Bee, she spent several years juggling freelance writing with being a mom. When she isn’t chauffeuring her two daughters, she enjoys reading mysteries, experimenting with recipes, and Zumba.

Editor's Pick

Media Resources

Faculty/Staff Resources

Looking for a Faculty Expert?

Contact University Communications
(916) 217-8366