Kent State prepares to welcome freshmen, returning students

Gloria Pissos (left) takes a dolly from her car as she helps her son, new Kent State Mike Pissos move into Tri-Towers for his freshman year on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.

Nicholas Hunter

Welcome Weekend marks the yearly move-in for Kent State freshmen and kicks off this Thursday. Beyond unpacking and getting settled into dorms, new and returning students can participate in a full slate of events both on campus and in downtown Kent.

To help ease the chaos, Kent Interhall Council hosts Movers and Groovers to help students with the move-in process. Parking Services has alternate traffic patterns to keep the flow of traffic moving around the dorms.

Parking and Traffic Restrictions

On Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Parking Services will direct a special traffic pattern to account for the heavy influx of traffic near residence halls.

“To minimize traffic congestion on campus, the department of Residence Services, in cooperation with Parking Services and Kent State University Police Services, have designated a traffic-flow pattern that has proven to be effective in reducing traffic delays,” Kent State Parking Services said in a statement sent out via email.

Traffic will be one-way on Eastway Drive near the Twin and Eastway complexes to maintain steady flow of traffic.

Staff members are advised to avoid streets near campus dorms from the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to avoid heavy traffic.

For more information, visit

Movers and Groovers

On Thursday, Aug. 24 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Movers and Groovers will be on campus to aid incoming students. 

Kent Interhall Council is responsible for organizing the event, and brings together a group of faculty, staff and students to volunteer.

Residence Services Executive Director Jill Jenkins said in a statement released by Kent State via email that more than 500 volunteers will be participating.

Movers and Groovers volunteer through academic and campus ministry groups, fraternities and sororities and university departments, Jenkins said.

“Move in truly takes a village, and Movers and Groovers really highlights the community support on day one for helping to ensure new students feel welcome,” Jenkins said.

Welcome Weekend Events

This weekend will feature a host of events across campus and downtown Kent.

There are required events for all students, including convocation at the M.A.C. Center from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday, First Year Experience luncheon at 11:45 a.m. and the first FYE session from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Beyond that, Joshua Perkins, the assistant director of Student Success Programs, said there will be a wide variety of events and activities all over Kent.

This includes the college-specific luncheons, where throughout the weekend, each college will host an event to bring together students across majors in the college.

Other events taking place on campus include is a show by hypnotist Michael C. Anthony in the Student Center Ballroom on Saturday at 10 p.m., and Real Late Reels, which will be showing “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” on Friday and Saturday night.

Aside from on-campus events, Discover Downtown is an opportunity to take a tour of downtown Kent and discover local businesses. The trolley tour takes off from Manchester Field, and the walking tour starts at the M.A.C. Center, both at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

“Discover Downtown is a great event to get connected with other people and to get to know the community,” Perkins said.

To finish off the weekend, students can attend BlastOff on Sunday night, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The event gives students the opportunity to sign up for student organizations on campus.

Aside from getting a feel for the extracurricular opportunities, there is plenty more happening at BlastOff. Students can take hot air balloon rides, take a run through inflatable obstacle courses and receive free food from Grazers, Fresco, Starbucks and the Fork in the Road food truck.

Perkins said he sees Welcome Weekend as an opportunity to bring students into the Kent community.

“We want students to start the semester knowing they are supported and have a place here,” Perkins said.

For more information on all Welcome Weekend events, go to

Nicholas Hunter is an assigning editor, contact him at [email protected].

Editor’s note: The Movers and Groovers dates previously reported were incorrect. The information has since been corrected.