As new and returning students make their way into Virginia Tech’s residence halls this month, Hokie Helpers will be at their sides to make move-in day a little easier.

The helpers will wear their traditional blue T-shirts in order to stand out among the sea of maroon and orange-clad Hokie families and will be assisting students moving their belongings into their rooms. Others will be tasked with distributing water and providing information to students and families.

This year’s Hokie Helpers will have a bit more work to do, as the class of first-year students is the biggest in the university’s history.

Jean Smoot, project manager for Hokie Helpers, is enlisting the help of as many Hokie Helpers as possible.

“The welcoming nature of Hokie Helpers becomes even more important as more students move in to on-campus residence halls. We always want to do everything we can to make each student’s arrival on campus as successful and pleasant as possible,” said Smoot. “Having additional students on campus will mean more students to serve, so we just ask for patience, a can-do attitude, and for them to share a smile and the spirit of the Hokie Nation.”

Smoot said volunteers are needed to empty vehicles and move items into residence halls. Luckily, more and more Hokie Helpers volunteer every year. “A growing number of faculty and staff come year after year to assist in the tents,” Smoot said. “This is a great opportunity to work with others in their office group or with cross-campus colleagues in a different venue. Students involved with living-learning communities are often scheduled to arrive early to the residence halls and use this as an opportunity in the spirit of community service.”         

“We still need Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff, and community members to volunteer,” said Smoot. “With more volunteers, the work is lighter for everyone.”

Last year, 1,641 students and 76 groups registered for Hokie Helpers, filling 1,916 shifts.

Move-in week starts on Wednesday, Aug. 19 and ends Saturday, Aug. 22. There will be three Hokie Helpers shifts available Wednesday through Friday and a single shift on Saturday. To volunteer or find additional information, go to visit the Hokie Helpers registration page.

Written by Gus Wagner of Stafford, Virginia, a senior majoring in public relations in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.