Mississippi College

It's a Smooth Move, Thanks to MC Student Volunteers

August 20, 2007

Traffic came to a crawl near Mississippi College residence halls as an army of dozens of Mississippi College undergraduates, security officers and other staff helped make Saturday's move-in go pretty smoothly on a scorching summer day.

"I'm the loudest," said MC senior Haley Carter, 21, of Hattiesburg as she barked instructions on a hand-held microphone as parents and students took part in the annual event on Aug. 18 to make the transition to home away from home.

"It's a good welcome," Carter said as she took a moment's break from the action nearby the Hederman/Gunter lobby as teams of students from four social tribes unloaded cars, vans and trucks. 'It's a good way to be brought into the MC family," she said.

It was shortly before 11 a.m. and Carter, like other helpful students, was working up a sweat. The member of the Nenamoosha social tribe was out helping since 7:30 a.m. It wasn't too many years ago that other MC students came to her aid on move-in day when she was a freshman. The two-minute break was over and she got back to her job, telling drivers to ease down the road.

Others lending a hand didn't mind the temperatures inching towards the high 90s."It's hot, but it's OK," said MC junior Anna Ray Bird, 20, of Clinton. A social work major and member of the Swannanoa tribe, Bird lugged a big can of valuable stuff for any collegian, including a TV remote, and plenty of cans of juice.

Parents were thankful their sons and daughters were getting assistance as they settled in at the Christian university's packed residence halls. Housing is at a premium on campus because MC is seeing its record 4,162 student enrollment last year grow by at least 7 percent.

"Everything is going just great," said MC mom Vanessa Johnson of Fayette as her daughter, Alzena Johnson, 18, moved in to Latimer Webb residence hall. "Everything is good," agreed Alzena as the Jefferson County High School grad got a move-in boost from her 14-year-old brother, A.J. Alzena Johnson, who will be an English major, can't wait to get started with classes Aug. 22. She wants to be a lawyer.

Saturday's move-in day kept MC security officers like Gary Keyes busy for hours. "Where are we unloading?" he asked one driver outside Latimer Webb. "This is going well," he said later. "The students make this happen."

Keyes was talking about students like Whitney Clement, 21, of Covington, La., a Nenamoosha social tribe member as she carried someone's favorite pillows and other items into an MC dorm. Clement, a junior, will be living in a nearby MC residence facility, Hederman Hall. "I enjoy the convenience and getting to know the girls in the building," she said, before asking a driver where his U-Haul is going.

Later in the day, it was a much more peaceful and reflective time as scores of MC leaders joined a prayer-filled student/parent convocation at the A.E. Wood Coliseum to usher in the 182nd academic year at the Baptist-affiliated school in Clinton.

PHOTO: Pictured moving into the Mississippi College dorms on Saturday was Alzena Johnson (center), 18, from Fayette, with her brother, A.J., and mom, Vanessa.

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