Students move into dorms with less bulk at Cal U.

August 22, 2014
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
ROTC representatives Joshua Wolfe, left, and Sgt. Jesse Maund distribute cold water Friday during move-in day at California University of Pennsylvania. Order a Print
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
California University of Pennsylvania sophomore Olivia George of Washington is helped to her dorm room on move-in day Friday by Alpha Phi Omega members Angel Reid, left, and Jade Freeman. Order a Print

CALIFORNIA – California University of Pennsylvania students moved into their dorms Friday in droves and with less bulk at a time when digital devices are shrinking in size.

Social medial websites such as Pinterest and BuzzFeed also “have done a lot to inform new students about what to bring,” said Angel Reid, a member of Alpha Phi Omega at Cal U. who volunteered to assist students on move-in day.

“They definitely seem to be bringing less stuff,” said Reid’s sorority sister, Jade Freeman.

Five years ago, students arrived at Cal U. loaded down with belongings, with some of them needing a few pickup trucks to haul their supplies and clothing onto campus.

In past years, students lugged with them large desktop computers and speaker systems, things that have been replaced by much smaller digital tablets and smartphones, said Cal U. spokeswoman Christine Kindl.

Kindl said students are still “loaded down” and carrying such things as “a large stuffed dog from a boyfriend, anything that reminds them of home.”

“Look over there, there’s a big box of shoes,” Kindle said, pointing to a large clear plastic bin stuffed with footwear.

Sophomore transfer student Olivia George of Washington carried in one arm a small flatscreen television, a device that would have been much larger and heavier a decade ago.

And just about every student arrived on campus with at least one case of bottled water.

“Some people have three cases of water with them,” volunteer Carissa Hollows said.

Kindl said she has no explanation for why students feel the need to bring water to a campus with public water that “is perfectly fine to drink.”

“If you look around, every student is walking with a bottle of water in their hand,” she said.

The university does have Pinterest boards advising new students about what to bring to campus and what to leave at home.

Waterbeds and pets other than tropical fish in tanks holding 10 gallons of water or less are among the items that don’t belong in a Cal U. dorm, the website indicates.

Backpacks, mini refrigerators, headphones and alarm clocks are among student belongings that are welcome on campus.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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