Published: Aug. 30, 2023

Fall Welcome Staff VolunteersCU Boulder welcomed more than 8,000 students–including first-year and transfer students–to campus over five days of move-in. During this time, students living on campus moved in at scheduled times with the help of their families and volunteers.  

As part of the return to campus and launch of the 2023-24 academic year, CU Boulder hosts Fall Welcome, which includes events and programs to help students meet new people, get familiar with campus and have fun during their first few weeks at CU. 

Making move-in and Fall Welcome events a success requires coordination from departments across the Division of Student Affairs and other campus programs. This team effort leads to a smooth and inviting start to the new academic year.  

Welcoming students to campus 

Each year, move-in marks a foundational moment for new Buffs and their families. After months of anticipation, the start of their college experience is finally here. CU Boulder aims to make move-in and Fall Welcome fun and exciting for students. When students and their families feel confident moving in and navigating campus, they can create fond memories. Families can feel good about their student’s future at CU Boulder, and students can look forward to the start of the academic year. 

Guiding students through the process of getting settled in their residence halls, learning campus expectations, meeting new people and connecting with resources sets them up for success from the start. By creating an engaging process for students to become part of campus life, many departments across CU Boulder contribute to helping students become Buffs. 

Planning for move-in 

Planning for move-in begins early in the previous spring semester in a coordinated effort from departments across campus. University Housing processes residence hall applications, assigns roommates and living spaces and schedules move-in times. Housing Facility Services works hard throughout the summer to prepare the residence halls for new students. Along with University Housing, the teams manage maintenance issues, complete scheduled repairs, clean the facilities and ensure the residence halls are ready to welcome students. 

Residence Life plays a significant role in managing move-in with the help of hall directors and resident advisors (RAs) who help build community and manage the Residential Experience. New Student & Family Programs (NSFP) manages the Journey Leaders, coordinates the Fall Welcome programming schedule and ensures clear and consistent communication with students and their families. Parking and Transporation coordinates parking for move-in, including assigning parking passes for students and volunteers. CUPD manages traffic to maintain safety and order for move-in. 

Student Affairs Communications works closely with various departments, including NSFP, the Office of the Registrar, the Bursar’s Office, the Office of Financial Aid, Student Affairs departments, Health and Wellness Services, and all colleges, schools and programs to create and disseminate information to help students stay informed and prepare for their campus arrival. The team updates websites, creates graphics, writes articles, manages the CU Boulder Life app, posts to social media channels, adds events to campus calendars and sends a variety of emails to new students and families.  

Together, the Division of Student Affairs works hard to make our students feel welcome and cared for as they arrive on campus. 

Fall Welcome coordination 

Student belonging leads to better student outcomes, including better academic performance, mental health and graduation rates. Fall Welcome helps promote a sense of belonging from the start of the college experience. The events and programs help students build community and become engaged. 

Fall Welcome activities require effort across campus to plan and execute events of all sizes, from orientations for specific student groups to CU Kickoff at Folsom Field.  

  • Orientations: There are events for International, First-Generation, Transfer and Commuter students, where students can learn about the university’s policies and resources and connect with other students. 
  • Campus Neighborhood Block Parties: Hosted by the Center for Student Involvement, events were organized to help students in residential communities meet each other and have fun during move-in week.
  • Off-Campus Neighborhood Block Parties: Off-Campus Housing & Neighborhood Relations hosts this event to help connect students living off campus with their community and create goodwill in the neighborhoods. 
  • Welcome to Our Herd and College Day: College Day allows students to meet their academic advisors, deans and essential academic support staff. Students gain knowledge and resources about academic expectations and how to succeed in their areas of study. 
  • CU Kickoff: Students were encouraged to attend the CU Buffs women's volleyball match vs. UNLV to cheer on their fellow Buffs. 
  • Spirit Night: Students celebrate being a Buff while learning about Fraternity and Sorority Life. The event includes local vendors and food trucks. 
  • WelcomeFest: Program Council hosts a free concert for all CU Boulder students on Farrand Field. 
  • Be Involved Fair: This is a Fall Weclome tradition hosted by the Center for Student Involvement and the Vounteer Resource Center. Students can check out involvement opportunities from student organizations, departments and community groups at CU Boulder. 

Anyone on campus can create a Fall Welcome event to bring our students together, help them get excited to be a part of campus and promote resources at CU Boulder. If you have ideas for next year’s Fall Welcome, you can contact New Student & Family Programs

The impact of volunteers 

One of the great traditions for campus community members at CU Boulder is volunteering during Fall Welcome and move-in. Volunteers are a critical component of the success of move-in and Fall Welcome. The Volunteer Resource Center works with Residence Life to recruit and coordinate volunteers. 699 faculty, staff, students and community members volunteered this year, with 915 impacts and 1,884 volunteer hours.

Volunteers manage a range of roles, including greeting students and their families, distributing swag, operating elevators in the residence halls, driving golf cart shuttles, helping with traffic and parking, and assisting at signature events.  

When staff and faculty volunteer, it demonstrates a personal dedication to the university and our students. Fall Welcome is a time to make CU Boulder feel like home for students, allowing staff and faculty to work together to accomplish a goal.