Covering Move-In: A Discussion

Move-in at Nazareth College

What’s the best approach to covering move-in?

It’s that time of the year again, when the sounds of rolling suitcases, idling car engines, greetings and goodbyes resonate across campus. That’s right, for many of us, it’s move-in time. In addition to returning students, we’ve got freshmen and transfer students arriving on campus, wide-eyed and wondering what the next few years will bring.

Move-in presents a rich opportunity to create powerful content. There are many stories to be told — about the students, their parents, the move-in process itself, any start-of-semester traditions we may have — and we can bring social media, photo and video, and text together in interesting ways to tell them. But how do we do it best?

On Aug. 24, 2012, we hosted a discussion via Google+ Hangout with Ithaca College’s Rob Engelsman, Multimedia Content Specialist, and Dave Cameron, Recruitment Marketing Web Content Producer, about their experiences covering move-in. Ma’ayan Plaut, social media coordinator at Oberlin College, also shared some of her experiences and insights. You can watch a recording here:

What stood out to me from our discussion was how much move-in presents an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships that may have been initially kindled via social media. By reinforcing that online experience with a reaffirming offline experience, we create a more powerful and meaningful relationship (both online and off) going forward. We’re real people who actually care, not just faceless social media account managers. And on what may be a scary or overwhelming day for many of those students, seeing a “familiar” face and and simply knowing someone cares can mean all the difference.

Check out the Storify of advice for the class of 2016 compiled by Ithaca College leading up to move-in, plus this recap of Oberlin’s coverage from 2011.

How do you cover move-in? Got some links of your own? Please add them in the comments!

Photo by nazareth_college / Flickr Creative Commons

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About Georgy Cohen

Georgy Cohen is associate creative director, content strategy, at OHO Interactive in Cambridge, Mass.. Prior to OHO, she worked with a range of higher ed institutions, including stints at Tufts University and Suffolk University and as an independent consultant, on content strategy and digital communication initiatives. Keep going »


  1. For those of us who wear too many hats to spend much time on the move-in beat, the good news is that our students are live-tweeting and providing quality content for us. Blogged about it at Thanks, as always, to Meet Content, for covering this topic and offering ideas.

  2. Great topic to cover and SO timely! Here’s a link to Elizabethtown (Pa.) College’s move-in day coverage on Storify: We began sharing pictures from a pre-orientation program called Momentum, which is for first-generation college students. Then, we added as the other groups came back to campus and finished this weekend, as Orientation came to close. We’re keeping that motion going, though, with an Instagram photo challenge called First 30… a new challenge each day for the first 30 of the semester. Here’s details about that: Happy new semester, everyone!

  3. At Vanderbilt, we storified tweets, FB posts and instagrams throughout the Move In Weekend:

    Prior to the weekend, we had encouraged students, faculty & staff to use the hashtag #vu2016 for anything they posted over that weekend that related to move in. This made finding the content even easier (we still did the general searches for Vandy, Vanderbilt, etc — but the majority of the content was actually from the hashtag). Storify makes something like this so easy to cover — it’s literally drag and drop! I love a tool that just WORKS (side note — I was actually out of town during Move In and was updating the storify throughout the day on my iPad using the storify app. Super simple – great app and easier than using the website for iPad users.)

    Our video team produced a recap of the weekend, including man-on-the-street interviews with students and parents:

    Thanks Meet Content for another timely topic for discussion :)

  4. I teased at the Friday evening activity during the discussion, which is now written up on the Oberlin webteam blog:

  5. We’ve made a video for move-in last year and this year. This year we focused on upperclassmen offering their advice to the incoming class-

    We also tweeted throughout the day live updates, and RT’d class of 2016 students all weekend long. As the original post mentioned, it’s a perfect opportunity to connect online interactions with offline ones. I love meeting the students we’ve been connecting with online and helping introduce them to our campus!

What do you think?