When I was a freshman, my parents and I loaded up our minivan with all my belongings, almost forgetting to leave room for me in the car. I sat, squished between a body pillow and a bin full of my many shoes, for the two-hour drive to campus.

Driving up to Haake Hall, I remember seeing the long line of other cars ahead of us and the mass of freshman already standing next to their large piles of boxes and bags outside of the hall.


Student pushing cart

Janae Mann ’20


Within seconds of coming to a stop, a volunteer in a bright traffic vest walked up to my dad’s window and welcomed us to Winona State, giving us the rundown on the day. Minutes later, our car was unpacked, and a group of friendly volunteers were carrying my things up to the second floor. I don’t think I personally carried more than two loads up to my new room.

My parents left that day impressed by the help and organization of Welcome Crew, saying it was their best experience moving a child into their residence hall. As the fifth child to go off to college, that’s saying a lot!

Move-in Day is only possible because of the students, faculty, and staff who volunteer to serve on Welcome Crew each year.


Welcome crew volunteers waving

Emily Becker ’21


Why does our WSU community volunteer for Welcome Crew?

I asked a few students why they chose to be a Welcome Crew volunteer and if they would recommend that other students volunteer as well.

“I volunteered because it was a way I knew how to welcome the students to campus and try to make home feel comfortable.”

– Emily Buss ‘22

“I really appreciated the help when I was a freshman and I wanted to give a little of that appreciation back to now incoming freshman.”

– Thomas Carlson ‘21

“I wanted to make the pretty major transition not so major and have everyone start to feel like they’re home. This is just one small thing you can do to give back! And who knows, you might get some friends out of it!”

– Mykayla Wollin ‘21

“Besides giving your time and physical strength, this serves as an opportunity to build relationships not only with new students but also strengthen current friendships with returning students. You never know the people you may meet, the similarities you’ll share, or the stories you’ll share for years to come from this experience.”

– Broc Tolifson ‘19


Welcome crew volunteer pointing at tshirt

Janae Mann ’20


How can YOU get involved?

All WSU students have the opportunity to volunteer for Welcome Crew!

As a volunteer you can help direct traffic, unload vehicles, carry belongings to student’s rooms, make posters, or even help students get checked in to their new residence hall.


Student pushing cart

Janae Mann ’20


How to sign up 

If you are a student who is returning to live in the residence halls for another year, you can sign up for Welcome Crew while you complete your housing application.

For other students, you can sign up anytime on Housing and Residence Life’s website.

It’s a great opportunity to connect with new students, build relationships with other student volunteers, as well as meet faculty and staff that you might not have crossed paths with yet.

Consider signing up for Welcome Crew as a volunteer and encourage your friends and peers to do so as well!