Thousands of UTSA students settle into dorm rooms

Move-in day has students putting down roots for new semester

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - It's not exactly home, but for at least the next half year, thousands of students at the University of Texas at San Antonio campus will be calling their dorm rooms home.

About 1,100 students descended Friday on the Northwest Side campus for move-in day and  began getting used to their new surroundings.

For Taylor Moncivais, it was not just a new environment but a whole new experience.

The first-generation college freshman from Austin arrived on campus with her family and several cartloads of necessary items.

"We tried not to pack too much, but I think we, kind of, did," she said, chuckling.

While carts helped to ease the load, Moncivais had a lot weighing on her mind.

Going to college is a new experience for her entire family, including her parents.

Moncivais is the first family member to attend college.

"I'm thinking that they're probably really proud of me and that I'm excited just to start college and meet new people," she said.  

Her father, Marshal Moncivais, said the family's support goes beyond helping Taylor move in. He said they'll support her no matter which road she takes.

"UTSA was her first choice and for her to get in, it was really exciting for us," he said. "Her doing good and graduating, that's going to be our reward."

The university is taking extra steps this year to make sure students like Moncivais, who have no family history of attending college, achieve their goals.

A special wing has been established inside Alvarez Hall to house those who may need extra help.

Dan Gockley, director of Housing and Residence Life, said the first-generation students can face some unfamiliar challenges.

"This transition in attending college is very difficult -- for all students," Gockley said. "For a first-generation student, there are so many unknowns. Families don't have any experience or history to help guide (them)."

About 40 students will take part in the program.

"Hopefully being here will help me find out who I am and what I want to do," Moncivais said.

Right now, her focus is on figuring out where in her dorm room to put all the possessions that she brought from home. 

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