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New class arrives on campus

Karen Langley | Saturday, August 20, 2005

The last time Jonathon Metallo visited Notre Dame, the high school senior found a cold, grey day in February. But as he checked into Morrissey Hall Wednesday, the sun was out and the freshman was full of enthusiasm for band tryouts and the Notre Dame experience.

“I’m a little nervous but looking forward to it,” he said. “I’m ready to start classes and meet people.”

While the vast majority of Notre Dame’s 2,000 incoming freshmen arrived on campus Friday for Freshmen Orientation, some students began their collegiate careers days earlier because of obligations to athletics, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) or band.

Dorm rectors have been doing their best to ensure that the freshman transition goes smoothly for both early and standard arrivals.

Welsh Family rector Candace Carson prepared a packet for the freshman that includes the hall weekend schedule, the University orientation schedule, hall staff information, tips on room configurations, conversation guidelines, this season’s football schedule and a list of local taxi numbers.

Carson also gives each student and her parents a copy of her business card, complete with hall staff names and numbers on the back.

“We greet not only the girl but also her family,” she said. “We want to make everyone feel comfortable. We take the name Welsh Family seriously. We are a family. Notre Dame is about community, and that starts in the hall.”

Dorm Freshman Orientation staffs have also been preparing throughout the summer for the weekend’s events.

“We’ll be there with a big smile and a helping hand. We’ll show them the ropes,” said Emmanuel Zervoudakis, a Dillon junior.

Zervoudakis’ Freshman Orientation memories include a “Braveheart” night when Dillon freshmen ate stew with their hands and then engaged in a water balloon fight. Fellow Dillon junior Joe McKenna remembers running through the fountain.

While freshman Sarah Schreiber has wanted to attend Notre Dame from an early age, she acknowledged that leaving home for college brought with it mixed emotions. The change was eased by phone calls received from people in both Farley Hall and the band, she said.

“I want to be [with the band] on the sidelines,” said Schreiber, a Las Vegas native whose biggest concern about Notre Dame is the weather.

“I’m worried about the winter,” she said. “I’ve also never had humidity before.”

Avery Ambrose, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, will also be in for a change of climate. Part of the three percent of students in the Class of 2009 from outside the United States, Ambrose selected Notre Dame for its history and reputation in athletics.

“I want to have fun and get my degree,” he said.

Freshmen in the ROTC program moved in for the second time on Wednesday, when they transitioned to their own dorms from temporary housing.

Ken Shamrell and D.J. McGill were more than happy to move into their Siegfried double after a stint in Keenan, which housed ROTC male freshmen.

Shamrell, a Vancouver native, described the transition as “glorious.”

Incoming freshmen at Saint Mary’s expressed many of the same emotions as those at Notre Dame, emphasizing the difficulty of gathering up all their belongings and moving them into a dorm room.

Becca Mason described the frustrations of packing her clothes, posters, pictures and stereo for the drive from St. Joseph, Mich.

“The hardest part about packing was just getting everything done,” she said. “I wanted to wear some stuff, but it was already packed. My mom was getting angry at me.”

Neither Mason nor classmate Alicen Miller described their farewells as overly emotional. Miller and her mother drove from Indianapolis to Saint Mary’s in a car packed full of all her college necessities. She arrived at school early due to commitments with the Saint Mary’s cross-country team.

“I’m ready to be out of the house,” she said. “I get along with my family and whatnot, but I am ready to move on.”