MCLA freshmen get acquainted with their new campus digs


Photo Gallery | PHOTOS: MCLA students move in

NORTH ADAMS -- Boston, according to incoming MCLA freshman Steven Stengel, was just getting too small.

Stengel, from Hyde Park, was spending Sunday with friends and relatives moving into the Berkshire Tower domitories at the college. He is reminded by a reporter that the city of North Adams is considerably smaller.

"No, no, no," said Stengel. "Not that way. I just know too many people in Boston. I needed to get out of there."

"This part of Massachusetts is so beautiful," said his friend and fellow freshman Cheyla Rodriguez, of Dorchester. Rodriguez added that, she too was interested in leaving Boston for a more rural setting.

And for both incoming students, so far, so good.

"Everyone is really nice," said Rodriguez. "It's a very friendly atmosphere."

"It's great," agreed Stengel. "I'm impressed."

Moving in the freshmen is the annual rite of fall at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The college, according to Dianne Manning, director of the college's residential programs and services, has this particular endeavor "down to a science."

"We have it down," she said. "And we've also been blessed today. It's been muggy but it hasn't rained."

Manning's job is to direct traffic during the day. Not necessarily traffic flow, but actually directing cars into parking spaces to enable a small army of volunteers to greet the incoming students and their families.

A total of 125 volunteers are on hand to handle the incoming 300 or so students, said Manning.

"It's not too bad," said junior Kyrie Rainull, who is one of the volunteer movers. "They give us carts to handle the big stuff. The only thing that can be a problem is the weather. And it's kind of muggy today. That's the only thing I have a problem with."

"I really enjoy this," said sophomore Nia Scott, another volunteer. "I really enjoy greeting the students. That was very important to me when I first got here. I was so impressed with this [program]. And everyone was so nice."

The other aspect of the moving-in process is the presence of peer advisors to facilitate the transition.

"I'm sort of a formal greeter, today," said junior peer advisor Allie Kadell. "But we're someone incoming students can connect with if they have questions or issues."

Kadell said she will have a group of about 12 freshmen whom she will advise throughout the year, as well as someone who schedules activities for the students all year.

To reach Derek Gentile:,
or (413) 496-6251.
On Twitter: @DerekGentile


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