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Dear Bobcat parent and family members,

We can't wait to welcome students to campus next week! For some of you, your student is already on their way, or maybe they stayed in Bozeman for the summer to work, study, play or all the above. Many of you, first-year parents, may be helping pack the car or have already hit the road with your student. Whatever the situation, there's anticipation on all sides for Move-In Weekend at MSU.

The Fall 2021 Move-In Weekend is Saturday, Aug. 21, through Tuesday, Aug. 24. University Student Housing is looking forward to the fall semester with full occupancy in the residence halls. Steps have been taken to ensure students and families have enough time to move in easily, efficiently and safely. In addition to all housing staff, we have over 300 volunteers helping make sure the day runs smoothly and is a celebration of this milestone in your student's life -- and yours!

Your student was sent detailed instructions about when and where to show up. The University Student Housing Move-In Weekend webpage contains logistical details, including a traffic map and curbside unloading credential and temporary parking permit forms for your vehicle dashboard. The webpage also contains information about the check-in process, micro-fridge rental and what to bring.

A couple other things to bring along aren't listed on the website, namely your sense of humor and patience. Moving your student into their residence hall may be emotionally and physically taxing, but rest assured, MSU staff and volunteers will be there to support and assist you and your student the whole way. Watch this video with clips from the 2019 Move-In Day to get a sense of what to expect. BTW -- I'll be one of the volunteers Saturday morning. Look for me around South Hedges hall.

Once your student is settled into their residence hall room or off-campus housing space, MSU is offering a series of co-curricular events and activities during the first four weeks of the semester to engage students and showcase the best of our campus community. We call this collection of programs MSU Debut, and each event is designed to equip students for a successful transition to MSU, empower them to contribute to the Bobcat community, and foster inclusion, integrity and a sense of belonging.

Some of the MSU Debut marquee events planned for 2021 include Catapalooza, where 175 campus and community vendors fill the Malone Centennial Mall to welcome students to both the Montana State and Bozeman communities. Events also include the gathering of first-year students at Bobcat Stadium for the annual "M" photo, followed by a block party and a live concert by Jamestown Revival.

Finally, if you travel to Bozeman with your student, we hope that you will have a chance to enjoy all that the community has to offer. Bozeman has a wide variety of cafes, coffee shops and restaurants offering everything from bison burgers and pasta to tacos and sushi. Many of these dining establishments, along with outstanding shopping opportunities, are found in historic Downtown Bozeman. You can also explore the city's Main Street to the Mountains trail system or check out the Museum of the Rockies (also part of your university), featuring the world's largest collection of dinosaur fossils and research.

While you're exploring the MSU campus and the Bozeman community, please have your face mask or covering handy. According to the Gallatin City-County Health Department, there is currently high transmission of COVID-19 in the county. As a result, and in line with CDC guidance, the local health department and MSU are recommending that all individuals -- vaccinated or not -- wear face masks or coverings in indoor public spaces.

Businesses and organizations still have the authority and right to make decisions on requiring masks. Please be polite and obliging when visiting local businesses; if a business has posted signage requesting customers to wear a mask, then respect that.

Take care,

Matthew R. Caires
Dean of Students

P.S. Though students haven't arrived yet, our plans for Parent and Family Weekend are on track for Oct. 1-2, and the registration link is open now. We have a full itinerary of activities, including a special guest speaker, author Robert Putnam.

P.P.S. Please know that free COVID-19 vaccinations are available for students at our clinic near Bobcat Stadium. Learn more at montana.edu/covidvaccine.

Bobcat Parent and Family Program, Montana State University
174 Strand Union Building | P.O. Box 174220 | Bozeman, MT 59717
www.montana.edu/parents | [email protected] | 406-994-7359 
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