The music is blaring, the cheering is loud, the costumes are wacky, and the good-byes are faster than some parents would like.
It’s move-in time at Emerson, where incoming first-year students are whisked away by upperclass students in butterfly wings, oversized bow ties, rabbit ears, rainbow suspenders, and banana costumes—all while blasting Katy Perry and Britney Spears from stereo speakers.
“I love the energy,” said Carolyn Corbett of Billerica, Massachusetts, who dropped off her daughter, Maureen Corbett ’17, at the Paramount Center residence hall on August 26. “I’m so excited for her.”
Corbett was one of more than 850 incoming freshmen serenaded by shouting students—“Yay, Maureen! We’re so excited you’re here!”—who placed all of her personal belongings into a cart that was quickly wheeled up to her new residence hall.
The over-the-top move-in tradition is meant to be fun, welcoming, and to display Emerson’s vibrant community.
But it also serves a practical purpose—getting parents to move their cars off busy downtown Boston streets in less than 10 minutes.
“They made it so easy,” said Jillian Kleiner of Los Angeles, who was greeted by Emerson President Lee Pelton as she dropped off her daughter, Zoe D’Avanzo ’17, outside Piano Row on Boylston Street.
“It’s so organized. I didn’t expect such a nice experience,” Kleiner said. “It’s very welcoming.”
Pelton stopped by all the residence halls on Monday, giving high-fives, speaking to students and parents, and even helping unload luggage.
The parents of Andrew Allen ’17, of Woburn, Massachusetts, also praised the College’s organization. Allen plans to major in Film Production and is excited about studying in the center of Boston’s Theatre District.
“I’m looking forward to making new friends, and to study film and maybe learn about radio,” Allen said. “I couldn’t think of any other college I wanted to apply to.”
There are numerous events for parents and new students throughout the week, including a stand-up comedy show on August 26. Move-in continues through Tuesday, August 27, and an orientation for parents also takes place that day. Pelton plans to meet with students at the Cutler Majestic Theatre on Wednesday, August 28, at 9:45 am.