September 2, 2003

Freshman move in kicks off new year

Eric Rangus

Saturday, Aug. 23—the day Emory became one giant unloading zone. Again. Each year on the weekend before the fall semester begins, Emory’s new freshman class (this year numbering some 1,270 strong) arrives on campus. It’s a parade of anxious parents, even more anxious students, and little brothers and sisters along for the ride, carrying boxes from cars to residence halls one after the other. It’s a rite of passage—the first of many in a student’s college career.

By midday, mountains of empty boxes destined for Emory Recycles had appeared outside each residence hall. Inside, freshmen underwent the ritual of meeting roommates, finding out how to get to the bathroom and learning exactly where to get food.

A majority of the Class of 2007 (55 percent) is female. Two-thirds is white; 18.5 percent identify as Asian Ameri-can, 8 percent African Ameri-can, 3.5 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent are international.

In all, there are 49 international students representing 22 countries. Nearly 40 percent of those (19) are from the Republic of Korea. Five apiece are from India and China, two are Canadian, and one student each hails from 18 other countries spread out over five continents (every continent, in fact, is represented in the Class of 2007—except Antarctica).

Domestically, the Class of 2007 hails from 46 states, and 16 percent of the student body is from Georgia (overall, 38 percent of the class is from the Southeast), and their average, unweighted GPA is 3.75.

Once their boxes are unpacked, or at least unloaded, one of the first things students take care of is the hookup of their computers. As in previous years, ITD staff and residential computing coordinators (RCCs) have been on the spot and stationed in each residence hall to help out. Normally, the entire setup is completed in about 10 minutes per workstation. That wasn’t the case in 2003.

ITD personnel had their work cut out for them this year. Because of Emory’s recent battles with the Blaster worm and Sobig virus, up to an hour was needed in many cases to set up students’ computers. Unlike in the past, ITD took a proactive approach in dealing with worms and viruses, just as a precaution.

“People aren’t always diligent about passwords or antivirus scanning, and because of that, there can be some serious consequences,” said ITD’s Lee Clontz, who coordinated the division’s effort in Means and Trimble halls.

The Blaster worm, which affects Windows 2000 and XP operating systems, was a major annoyance. Many freshman computers were purchased in the last few months, before a patch was released to stop the worm.

So, on Saturday, it was common for freshman computers to be infected with the worm only minutes after plugging into Emory’s ethernet. ITD then would either have to drop in and zap the worm with a disk or guide the users on how to download a patch to eliminate Blaster.

But computer problems were one of few low points in what was a upbeat weekend all around. In the late afternoon on Saturday, while students gathered on McDonough Field to meet their orientation leaders, parents were treated to an address from now-President Jim Wagner in Glenn Auditorium.

“I share with them the feeling of being a freshman,” said Wagner, whose term as president begins today, Sept. 2. “And I share with you how it feels to deliver a daughter to college, which is what my wife and I did three days ago.” The reference was to Wagner’s eldest daughter, Kimberly, who recently began her junior year at Miami University (Ohio).

“I have a sense of how it feels to have that child shaped whole,” Wagner continued. “It’s not pleasant, but it is exciting. We want them to be transformed.”

Joining Wagner at the podium to deliver brief addresses were Senior Vice President and Dean for Campus Life John Ford and Emory College Dean Bobby Paul, who was making some of his first public comments since “acting” was removed from his title this summer.

“We already know your freshmen pretty well, though as yet only on paper,” Paul said. “We have chosen them well and now they—and you parents—have chosen us. We know we chose well in accepting them, and we want to assure you that you too have made an excellent choice.”

Orientation activities abounded. Freshman and their parents could tour the Schwartz or Math & Science centers take a historical walk around campus with University Secretary Gary Hauk, check out more than a half-dozen departmental information sessions, cheer on the Emory soccer teams against Berry College, or see comedian Gary Gulman at Glenn Auditorium.

Activities took place at all hours as well. The P.E. Center was open until 1 a.m. Sunday morning and Jewish Life at Emory sponsored an ice cream social in the Dobbs Center from 10 p.m.–midnight Sunday evening.