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New and returning Sun Devils settle in for the new school year

Fall 2019 jumps into gear as more than 16,000 students move into residence halls

girls making a dorm bed
August 18, 2019

With move-in day, Arizona State University fills with laughter and excitement as new students flood ASU's campuses, unloading belongings, meeting new roommates and laying out fresh, new bedspreads, eager to start college life. This fall, more than 16,000 new and returning students moved into ASU residence halls across the four ASU campus locations on Aug. 16-18.

Current Sun Devils volunteer each year to help new students make ASU home. They fill the campuses with music and loud cheers, unloading and delivering belongings to residence-hall rooms in under 30 minutes.

What are students bringing? Bedding, decorations, mini fridges and, of course, clothes that are perfect for an Instagram-worthy shot on Palm Walk. And ASU’s assisted move-in team is waiting to greet students and make their move-in a memorable (and easy) experience.

ASU’s residential housing model helps students succeed by housing students together based on academic major. Whether students are pursuing degrees in engineering, journalism, science, music or business, it all begins the day they move onto campus. 

“Living on campus presents students with many great opportunities,” said Cassandra Aska, assistant vice president and Tempe campus dean of students. “Living with peers who are in the same classes as you and have similar academic interests helps build a community based on commonalities.”

The collaborative living spaces — including multi-use rooms that can be used for study-group space, workshops and events — allow students to live, study, learn and create a network of friends.

Aska added that living on campus allows students an opportunity to be part of a close-knit community while enjoying the academic, social and cultural resources of a large university.

Students are immediately immersed in a supportive environment led by community assistants — ASU third- and fourth-year students who live at the residential hall and serve as peer mentors.

“Our community assistants are prepared to foster community on the floor throughout the residential hall, as well as on campus and in the community,” Aska said. “Whether students need a specific resource, just want ideas to explore options, or need some sound upperclassman advice, the CAs are accessible and available to support.”

Amanda Andalis is a political science and communication major in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is one of the community assistants at Manzanita Hall on the Tempe campus. She says moving away from home can be fun, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. She dropped a few helpful tips for new Sun Devils.

  • Start creating a routine for yourself as soon as possible: Having a consistent bedtime and time to wake up will help immensely in developing healthy habits.
  • Look at your schedule: Deciding a few times that you’re going to be free to study is a great way to ensure that academics are a priority.

She said that although it might seem obvious, she wishes she had known that it takes time to make friends and form connections at college. Be patient and don’t rush the process of building a community.

“Because of my experience as a first-year student, I connect my residents and other first-year students with opportunities to be engaged on campus,” Andalis said. “I let first-year students know about Welcome Week events, ASU athletic games, and clubs and organizations, activities that help students form a community and make connections at the university.”

Students and their families found plenty of volunteers on all the ASU campus locations wearing “Ask Me” buttons, guiding people on where to go and what they can explore next. As the weekend came to a close, students placed the last decorative pillow on the bed, the last inspirational art on the wall and hugged Mom and Dad goodbye.

Before they set off to explore the ASU campus this week, Aska has welcoming advice: “Give yourself permission to learn and discover all that ASU has to offer as you pursue your best self.”

So what’s next? Welcome Week — the week to make new friends, take part and learn ASU traditions and get in the right mindset for the first day of classes on Aug. 22.

“One of my favorite events during Welcome Week is Sun Devil Welcome,” Andalis said. “Being surrounded by the entire freshman class, learning the fight song, cheering and dancing is such a fun and unforgettable experience.”

Welcome Week

ASU kicks off the beginning of the school year with more than 300 free events that give new and returning students a chance to explore everything ASU has to offer, make new friends, join student organizations and learn what it means to be a Sun Devil.

Video by Laura Sposato/ASU

Don’t miss out on the must-attend signature events:

Sparky’s Day of Service

Sun Devils have a huge impact on the local community and making a positive change in the world is what being a Sun Devil is all about. Each year ASU demonstrates this commitment to service through large-scale events. Join this universitywide initiative to participate, volunteer and make a change.

Monday, Aug. 19 | Time by campus varies

Sun Devil Welcome

Experience Sun Devil pride at its finest. This is a high-energy, exciting event to introduce the class of 2023 to what it means to be a Sun Devil. This annual event is the perfect way to officially welcome all of our new Sun Devils to ASU.

Tuesday, Aug. 20 | 3:30-5 p.m. | Tempe campus, Wells Fargo Arena


Celebrate the diversity that students bring to the ASU community. Enjoy performances, activities and food from a variety of cultures.

Tuesday, Aug. 20 | 5-7 p.m. | Tempe campus, Sun Devil Stadium

Passport to ASU

Passport is an opportunity to meet the hundreds of student organizations on the Tempe campus. Check out what students are doing, enjoy free food and fun giveaways and sign up for a club.

Wednesday, Aug. 21 | 6:30-9 p.m. | Tempe campus, Student Pavilion/Sun Devil Fitness Complex

A Golden Tradition

This ASU West tradition welcomes all new students to the West campus. Start on the right foot and take a walk with other new students through the Paley Gates for the first time. Walking through the Paley Gates signifies the start of your Sun Devil experience.

Monday, Aug. 19 | 6-6:45 p.m. | West campus, La Sala Ballrooms

Echo From the Buttes

This is one of the longest traditions at ASU. Students have been giving the “A” on "A" Mountain a fresh coat of white paint for the fall semester since the 1930s, a ritual that marks the start of the new year and a fresh start.

Saturday, Aug. 24 | 8 a.m. | Hayden Butte (“A” Mountain)

Sparky’s Carnival

The signature event at the Downtown Phoenix campus is a must-attend event with carnival-themed games and giveaways.

Friday, Aug. 23 | 5-8 p.m. | Downtown Phoenix campus, Civic Space Park

Explore all the Welcome Week activities at ASU Welcome Events, and share your photos, videos and the excitement using #ASUWelcome on social media.

Top photo: Seventeen-year-old Kaila Munguia (left) and her mother, Nekedra Fulce, help Alexus Munguia (right) make Alexus' bed in her new room at Century Hall on the Polytechnic campus on Saturday. Alexus is a freshman in pre-vet medicine and wants to work with all animals, large and small. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

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