The campus flooded with at least 700 freshmen moving into Osprey Fountains this summer, as opposed to the 500 students who checked in last summer.
Incoming freshmen are now required to stay on-campus, but students can put in an appeal to live off-campus if they have financial issues or are over the age of 21, said Dei Allard, interim director of residence life.
Allard said freshmen won’t be able to stay in the fountains for the fall, but the university has made accommodations to prepare for the freshmen coming in. Last fall 1225 freshmen checked in, this year there will be 1800 residents in the freshmen dorms, which include the Cove, the Crossings, the Hall and the Landing.
The university has altered the courtyard in Osprey Landing to have a paved area and more greenery, updated lounges, and improved the wireless Internet in lounges. The Wellness Fitness Center is expected to open August 17 and the dining campus hall is expected to open August 22.
Freshmen who lived on campus during the summer sessions took advantage of the activities and events offered through Osprey Productions and Housing.
Hanna Kirkwood, freshman nursing major, said she found it easy to live on campus and the dorms were much better than she expected. Kirkwood said there were enough activities on campus and she enjoyed using the aquatic center to train for intramurals.
At the beginning of Summer B, Almost 300 students came to a pool party put on by Osprey Productions and Housing at the Fountains.
Wesley Harris, a senior accounting major and resident assistant, said Housing tries to offer a variety of activities, though they don’t want to overload the students and take away from studying. All through Summer B there were movie nights every two weeks, fitness sessions and volleyball tournaments. Personal Academic Tutoring in Housing (PATH) took place at the Fountains Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings to provide any additional help to students.
Along with programs through Osprey Productions and Residence Life, the resident assistants have game nights, ice cream socials and health and safety sessions.
Harris uses his three years of experience as a resident assistant (RA) to make the freshmen feel at home and as comfortable as possible. Harris said he tries to be friendly to students to avoid being seen as a disciplinary figure, in order to avoid hindering growth and progress.
Bonnie Kohner, freshman, said she absolutely loves her RA and has made friends easily even without being very outgoing. Kohner has attended activities in the Fountains that included cotton candy and snow cones, and is a big fan of the lazy river.
Freshmen are required to have a meal plan, and without cars, some freshmen have to depend mainly on the meals that campus provides.
Kohner uses her mean plan, though she said she wished that it had healthier choices. Andres Salcedo, a freshman originally from Ecuador, said he is not used to having lack of flavor in his food.
Salcedo was raised in South Florida and came to UNF without knowing anyone on campus. Although he hasn’t had trouble meeting people, he said hasn’t met anyone he could call a real friend. But with even more freshmen moving onto campus in a few weeks, maybe Salcedo will find some friends he can connect with.