Today is Move In Day, the day that West Virginia University’s student population returns to Morgantown. Today is also Friday, a day of the week, one of five in which the vast majority of the area’s population is headed to work. Someone somewhere decided that it was wise to schedule these two events so that they would overlap, thus ensuring that Morgantown essentially becomes a snarled, paralyzed mess. Here are five quick suggestions that might help to avoid this utterly predictable outcome in the coming years:
1. Schedule Move In Day for the Saturday before classes begin.
Imagine if Move In Day was scheduled for a Saturday. Instead of the incoming families running into the traffic associated with Morgantown’s working peoples, the streets they’d encounter would be relatively clear. Not only would this ensure an easier time for all of those families, it would also serve as a wonderful goodwill gesture from the University to the local community who, frankly, could use it, given what living in a city filled with 18-22 year olds is generally like.
2. Schedule Move In Day for the Saturday before classes begin.
It’s frankly shocking that the University hasn’t already instituted this particular plan. Is there any real reason that families need to move their children into the city a full weekend before classes begin? Ignore, for a moment, the fact that those moved in peoples have nothing to do with themselves for the entirety of the weekend. Ask yourself what the University is gaining by having those students here for two-and-a-half days with nothing to do. How is the University finding that arrangement to be advantageous?
3. Schedule Move In Day for the Saturday before classes begin.
Maybe the idea that the University owes the local community anything doesn’t hold water with you. Perhaps you’re of the mindset that the local community should feel grateful for the opportunity to simply live near such wonderful students. Fair enough. If you’re of that mindset though, surely you find it just as boggling as I do that the University wouldn’t want to make Move In Day as simple as possible for their customers. Afterall, the traffic isn’t just being snarled for members of the local community. It’s just as bad for those coming to Morgantown, made only worse by the fact that they’re coming to Morgantown during a day when the overwhelming majority of the city is traveling to and from work.
4. Schedule Move In Day for the Saturday before classes begin.
The only explanation for the current Move In Day scheduling is that it prevents University employees from having to work on a weekend. There’s simply no other reasonable explanation. Unfortunately, that explanation also represents the most selfish possible one. Instead of making a decision that mutually benefit the local community and the incoming students and their families, the University has made a decision about what is best only for them, everybody else be damned.
5. Schedule Move In Day for the Saturday before classes begin.
It is difficult for me to understand how an institution comprised of learned individuals, an institution geared to create learned individuals, an institution whose very existence is predicated on learning, can continually make the same dumb decision regarding something as simple as moving your student body into student housing. By choosing Friday, the University irritates the incoming families and infuriates the local community. By choosing Saturday, the University does neither. It isn’t particularly difficult to figure out which decisions makes the most sense. It is particularly difficult figuring out why the University doesn’t then make that decision.