Moving into campus housing, thousands of students return to a University ready to welcome them
August 24, 2022
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.
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