Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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move-in volunteers

Spring Move In
At this time, volunteers are not available to assist students moving in for the spring semester.

Fall Move In
Move-in is a fun event that brings faculty, staff, registered student organizations and the community together. We depend on the hard work and commitment of volunteers during move-in. Each year, students and their families rave about our fantastic volunteers and the welcoming atmosphere of SIU. We look forward to a great beginning for our newest Salukis and hope you will join us during the move-in experience.

Volunteer opportunities are available during all three days of move-in. New students move in on Thursday and Friday and returning student move in on Saturday. The number of students moving in is spread pretty evenly across the three move-in days.

Direct volunteer questions to Lori Johnson at 618/453.6731 or

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I volunteer?
To volunteer, click on the appropriate form on the left of this page. Individual volunteers will complete the Individual Volunteer Form, which will automatically be submitted upon completion. Organizations or groups should complete and email the Group Volunteer Form to Lori Johnson at Volunteers may sign up for specific days, hours and locations if desired. You are welcome to sign up for as many or as few shifts as you like. Just remember, the more people, the smoother the process for everyone.

When is move-in?
University Housing move-in begins on Thursday, August 18 for NEW students who are part of a Living Learning Community. All other NEW students move in on Friday, August 19. RETURNING students move in on Saturday, August 20.

Click here to view the detailed move-in schedule.

When am I needed?
We need volunteers between 7am and 5pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Daily shifts are: 7-9am, 9-11am, 11am-1pm, 1-3pm, and 3-5pm, but volunteers are welcome to sign up for more than one shift and for multiple days. We typically experience volunteer shortages during lunch time and at the end of the day, so volunteers are encouraged to take their lunch later in the day and stick around if available.

Also, please allow 15-20 minutes prior to your shift to park and get from your vehicle to the Volunteer Check-In tents.

What do I wear?
Volunteer shirts are provided so volunteers can be easily recognized by students and families. Volunteers who register by July 31, 2016 will be guaranteed a volunteer t-shirt. A limited number of shirts is available on a first-come, first-served basis for volunteers who sign up after this date. The t-shirt design is the same as used in previous years, so volunteers may wear their volunteer shirt from previous years if they have one.

FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, YOU MAY NOT WEAR OTHER SHIRTS WHILE VOLUNTEERING. While we understand why groups prefer to wear their own t-shirts, please understand that this is not an option if you wish to volunteer. Also, groups may not personalize the official volunteer t-shirts. Groups may wear hats or buttons (that the groups provide themselves) identifying their group affiliation.

In addition to the volunteer t-shirt, we recommend volunteers wear pants/skirts/shorts, comfortable shoes, sunblock, a hat and sunglasses.

We welcome on-the-spot volunteers but cannot guarantee volunteer t-shirts. We hand out remaining shirts on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where do I park for my shift?
The Department of Public Safety directs parking during move-in. You'll be directed to drive along specified routes to get to your designated areas. Expect to park some distance from your volunteer location. West Campus volunteers usually are instructed to park in the lot next to the Communications Building or past Greek Row. East Campus volunteers usually are instructed to park in the large lot along Wall Street (between University Hall and Mae Smith). A campus map is available here.

What do I do with personal belongings during my shift?
PLEASE lock personal valuables in your trunk or leave them at home (i.e. purse, wallet, tablet, etc.) before coming to the volunteer check-in tent. We cannot provide a secure location to store volunteer belongings and are not responsible for theft or lost items.

Where do I check-in and out?
West Campus volunteers should check in at the volunteer tent in front of Baldwin on West Campus. All other volunteers (those who selected East Campus as a preference and those with no preference) should check in at the volunteer tent located outside Grinnell on East Campus.

Volunteer tents are open from 7am until 5pm on all three days. A campus map is available here.


What about lunch and water?
Volunteers are invited to join our students and families for a complimentary meal on the days they are volunteering. Complimentary meal tickets are provided when volunteers check in on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Meal tickets are handed out at the check-in tents. Dining hall hours are listed below but are subject to change.

  • Thursday: 10:30am – 3:30pm
  • Friday: 10:30am – 5:00pm
  • Saturday: 11am - 7pm

We typically experience volunteer shortages during lunch so we ask our volunteers to consider taking lunch later in the day or before or after their shift, when possible.

Water stations are located throughout the areas.

What do volunteers do?
The majority of our volunteers help students move their belongings into their rooms. Move-in volunteers also greet students and families, help unload vehicles, answer questions and provide support as needed. If you'd like to help but can't carry items, let us know at the check-in tents. Volunteers should only carry what they can personally handle comfortably. Remember - many hands make light work! We also have hand carts and rolling box carts available on site to help with fridges or large boxes. Volunteers can check out a cart with a photo ID.

What should volunteers know?
Volunteers need to be familiar with resources available to them. We will be asked a wide variety of questions. The volunteer tents and staff in the buildings are good resources if you are unsure of an answer. You'll also receive a "Frequently Asked Questions" handout when you check in that provides answers.

How does the move-in process work?
Click here to view the move-in process. Additional move-in information is available by clicking here.

How should volunteers handle issues during move-in?
We want to provide the best experience possible for our guests while ensuring a smooth move-in process. While we all try our best, issues usually arise. Common issues include broken items, guests not feeling well, guests with a customer service issue, etc. Our staff are ready to assist as needed. Most issues can be resolved by our building staff or at the volunteer tents. If an issue arises during your shift, please see a University Housing staff member or go to the volunteer tent for assistance.

How do you share feedback?
Move-in is a huge event - we work on the details each year to try to make it as smooth a process as possible. If you have suggestions for next year, please let us know by filling out our Feedback Form.