A new student meets with an orientation leader at the beginning of New Student Orientation.

NSO by the Numbers

A glimpse at what goes into one of the busiest days on campus
August 15, 2018

It’s common knowledge that WPI does things differently from other colleges. And starting August 19, new students will get to see it firsthand, starting with move-in day and New Student Orientation (NSO).

From decorating residence halls and participating in games on the Quad to getting to know all the new dining options on campus, NSO is a whirlwind of activity that’ll introduce students to life at WPI in the best way possible.

Students and their families gather on the Higgins

House Lawn for the NSO BBQ.

Most of what’s done at WPI is a collaborative effort, and the same can be said about NSO. Countless offices and departments across campus, ranging from Residence Services and IT to Dining Services and Academic Advising, work together to ensure that new students’ first days—and subsequently, their next four years—at WPI are the best they can be. Here’s a look at NSO by (just a few of) the numbers.

  • Key to the City: Potential isn’t the only thing students unlock in college—there’s also their room. More than 1,300 room keys will be distributed on move-in day.
  • ID, Please: Incoming students upload photos of themselves for their new student IDs as part of their housing applications—during the summer, over 1,300 ID cards are printed so they’re ready to go for distribution during NSO.
  • Helping Hands: Move-in day is usually a blur of activity, but among the hundreds of individuals helping new students, the work of 48 insight advisors, 49 community advisors, 68 resident advisors, and eight professional staff members won’t stop there: they work all year to ensure day 234 is just as great as day one.
  • Make Yourself at Home: Eight residence halls on campus will be opening their doors to new students: Morgan, Daniels, Riley, Stoddard A, B, and C, Institute, and Founders.
  • I Call Top Bunk: Within those eight halls, 452 rooms will soon be home to new residents—get those bed risers, care packages, and customized nametags ready.
  • All Hands on Deck: The WPI community is known for taking care of their own, and that’s displayed full force on move-in day. From athletes and residents of the newly opened Messenger Residence Hall to fraternity and sorority members, club volunteers, and more, this year’s volunteer move-in crew will include nearly 575 people.
  • Beat the Clock: Helping friends move into new places is usually an all-day affair, but thanks to WPI’s move-in crew, new students can expect their cars to be unloaded in a matter of minutes.
  • Bon Appétit: Move-in day can’t happen without the free food, and that’s no different here—it’s estimated that 1,000 pounds of burgers, 84 bags of buns, 212 pounds of cheese, 1,062 pounds of pasta salad, and 2 pallets of watermelon (not to mention roughly 3,500 plates and utensils) will be on hand for the NSO Welcome BBQ.
  • No Sleep ’til NSO: All that food can’t cook itself, which is why Chartwells chefs will be prepping days beforehand and cooking by 1 p.m. the day of the BBQ. Catering staff will be arriving at 5 a.m. to set up for the cookout and other NSO events held throughout the day.
  • The IT Crowd: About 40 IT staff members and student helpers will be assisting new students in their residence halls, at the IT service desk, and in the Rubin Campus Center.
  • Got WiFi?: Based on previous years, the IT crew expects to help new students connect about 2,000 devices to the WPI wireless network on move-in day.
  • Virtual Search: So far, 620 first-year students have started IT’s online scavenger hunt—and 13% have completed it. And they’re just getting started; those numbers will only go up during NSO.