Montana State University

studentlivin'@msu: As finals week ends, students pack up

May 6, 2005 -- by the MSU News Service

Sherri Gruber (left) of Lewistown, Mont., helps roommate Jessica Riley of Homer, Alaska, move her belongings out of their room in the North Hedges Residence Hall at MSU. Both students are returning to MSU in the fall. (MSU photo by Erin Raley.)   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
It's 9 a.m. on the penultimate day of spring semester, and Morgan Stephens hoists lumber to the curb in front of the North Hedges Residence Hall at Montana State University.

She's dismantled her loft bed and is waiting to load the pieces into the back of her mother's white Ford 4x4 for the trip home to Corvallis, Mont.

She still has a TV, a microwave and "millions of clothes" in the fourth-floor room that has been her home since last August.

"It was pretty good," she said of her freshman year in college as an elementary education major. "But I'm a home person."

In the fall she's enrolling at the University of Montana-Western in Dillon to be closer to her family.

Saturday's nearly 2,400 graduation candidates may hog the attention this week, but nearly as many students are unceremoniously lugging their belongings out of MSU's nine residence halls for the trip back home or to a summer residence.

Students were stuffing pillows, guitars, plastic storage bins, boxes, bicycles, kayaks, skateboards, television sets, stereos, computers, refrigerators and clothes into parents' cars, friends' cars and their own cars.

"It's crammed," said Jacob Sharbono, of Laurel, Mont., pointing to his Nissan truck from his window on the top floor of Langford Hall. "I'm going to have stuff sitting in my lap when I go home."

Life in Langford was fine this year, but Sharbono, who plans to take fall semester off, would have liked a sink in his room like some of the women had. He and a friend discovered the luxury while on a scavenger hunt.

What students couldn't stuff into vehicles or store was deposited behind the buildings. Consider this partial inventory of residence hall Dumpsters:

Two couches, neither worth resuscitating;
Posters of Jimmy Hendrix, Sesame Street characters, wild horses;
An electric teapot;
A wooden art or architecture project (someone's bad grade?);
A half-gallon of warm, unopened low-acid orange juice;
50 feet of computer cord, bundled with a twist tie;
A box of plastic coat hangers (probably 50 hangers);
Two desk fans, one in pieces;
A shattered glass 10-gallon aquarium.

Historically, tropical fish seem to fare poorly at move-out time. This sign was hanging in Hannon Hall:

Attention: Unwanted Fish? Or ones you cannot take with you? We have a few good homes...Leave fish in the SW Lounge with feeding instructions...and they
will be given to new college homes or retirement centers.

Sitting on the floor of her super-single room on the top floor of Roskie Hall, Mindy Pomeroy, 20, of Williston, N.D., said she's seen lots of clothes in the trash. But she's a pack rat and isn't leaving anything behind. The piles of clothes encircling her were all going to a Bozeman apartment that Pomeroy is sharing with two other women. The microbiology major has a job at Spectators Bar and Grill for the summer. She'll return to MSU this fall.

Pomeroy officially checked out of Roskie at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, 24 hours after her last final exam, by turning in her key, providing a forwarding address for her mail and completing an exit survey. She also went through an RCC, or room condition card, with her resident advisor to show that her room was in the same shape as when she moved in last August.

All residents must clear their rooms by noon on Saturday, May 7, said Residence Life director Tom Stump, except for those spending the summer in suites in the Johnstone Center.

And then, for about a week, it's quiet. The big screen TVs are switched off. The lobby pianos sit silent. The game rooms stay dark. Everything gets cleaned.

Then participants in summer conferences start showing up. Resident directors undergo training. Resident advisors move back sometime afterwards. And on August 24, MSU's official Move-In Day, back come all the loft beds, bicycles, computers, skateboards, refrigerators, tropical fish and all the rest.

Contact: Tom Stump, MSU Residence Life, (406) 994-2661