The Indiana University Police Department assisted students moving into dorms on Tuesday and Wednesday, helping with everything from traffic to emotional parents.
This year was the first time that Residential Programs and Services and IUPD had students from odd and even floors move in on separate days. The two groups collaborated on a new policy for incoming students called Unload and Go, meaning families had 15 minutes to unload their cars before being asked by Resident Assistants to move to other parking.
Making sure that people get moved in quickly while also not rushing parents can be difficult, but IUPD handled the task well, said Marcy Polk, a parent from Bremen, Indiana moving her daughter into McNutt Quad.
“I thought their instructions were very organized, thorough and concise,” Polk said. “I’ve been crying on and off for a month now and I don’t feel stressed. That is very important."
Officers who had been training all summer for the students’ arrival patrolled campus. They wanted to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for parents.
“Traffic is huge on campus right now but there is a lot of emotion as well,” IUPD Capt. Craig Munroe said. “As soon as students leave we are preparing for them to come back.”
Around 55 IUPD officers were present for move-in, with members of the Ellettsville Police Department also patrolling. Nine officers were sent out on bicycles so they could be more flexible.
“It helps us out when moving from dorm to dorm,” officer Derek Line said. “It makes us available for calls and we can get there quicker than someone on foot.”
The bicycles were also intended to help the police officers connect to students rather than intimidating them, officer Nick Schmitt said. New students are not used to being on campus and seeing uniformed policemen, and it can create disconnect, Schmitt said.
“It’s a big step for them, and so seeing a police officer ride up on a bike is cool because it takes away that barrier,” Schmitt said.
RPS and IUPD were also able to implement their Unload and Go policy effectively, with barely any calls going through the radio, said officer Randy Frye.
“This is definitely the best day I’ve seen in quite a while,” Frye said.
In addition to preparing for move-in day, IUPD officers also had tips for students living in the dorm, many involving how to handle social pressures to consume drugs and alcohol.
“Nothing good comes from binge drinking,” Munroe said. "If you don’t get arrested or hurt, you will probably end up getting sick."
Officers also said that students should make sure valuables such as bikes, electronics and bags are not left unattended when in public.
Of the many crimes IUPD handles during the beginning of the year, bike theft is one of the most common. Officer Munroe advised students to buy secure bike locks and never leave their doors open when they leave the room.
“Some value leaving personal property alone while others do not,” Munroe said.