University of Minnesota
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U of M President Eric Kaler and wife, Karen Kaler, to greet first-year students as they move-in this evening

August 27, 2012

Media note: Media wanting to do interviews or shoot video or photos inside the residence halls must ask for a student escort and must remain with the student escort while in the residence hall.

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and his wife, Karen Kaler, will be greeting first-year students who are moving into the U of M SuperBlock residence halls from 6 to 8 p.m. today, Monday Aug. 27. The SuperBlock includes Centennial Hall, Frontier Hall, Pioneer Hall and Territorial Hall, and is located at 701 Fulton St. S.E., Minneapolis.

Thousands of first-year students and their parents will be moving their belongings into university residence halls and apartments between Aug. 27 and Aug. 29. A record number of University of Minnesota freshmen will live on campus this year. Of the estimated 5,500 new freshmen, about 4,783, or about 87 percent of first-year students, have chosen to live on campus.

"We're very excited that more and more first-year students are choosing to live on campus,” said Laurie McLaughlin, director of Housing and Residential Life. “Our residential environments provide students with many unique opportunities to integrate their classroom and out-of-classroom experiences in a supportive living-learning community."

Students can benefit from educational, cultural, recreational and social programs in residential communities, she said.

In the last decade, the number of first-year students choosing on-campus housing has increased by nine percent. McLaughlin attributes the trend to the wealth of opportunities offered to students who live in university housing.

“On-campus residence halls today are more than just a place to eat and sleep,” McLaughlin said. “Living on campus gives students opportunities to meet people, become involved in campus life and experience a sense of community on campus. Students who live in university housing feel a strong connection to the broader university community.”

On-campus living also has academic benefits. Research shows that living in university housing can positively influence student retention, graduation rates, academic performance and level of involvement in campus activities, McLaughlin said.

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