Arrival Survival: DelVal welcomes parents and students

Aug 27, 2010

By Annmarie Ely

Thursday, Aug. 26 was new student move in day at Delaware Valley College, or as it is better known, “Arrival Survival.”

Faculty, staff and students of the college made the transition a little easier for the newcomers by helping them unpack.

Dr. Mena Birett, associate dean of Student Affairs, helped coordinate the event.

“Arrival Survival gives new students and their parents a feeling of comfort and connectivity to the college,” she said.

The event started at about 8:30 am with a checked in at the student center, where information tables were set up.

By 9 a.m. a steady stream of students and parents were moving into the dorms.


Volunteers wearing gray Arrival Survival T-shirts with cartoon characters crammed into a car on the back were spread out around campus to help unpack cars.

A mom from New York who was moving her son into Ulman like the T-shirts so much she snapped some photos of Arrival Survival crew members unloading her car.

Ken Lee, a professor in the Information Technology Department, was a member of the welcome crew.

“It’s fun to help them,” said Lee, who likes participating because it gives him a chance to meet the new students.

Lee made frequent trips between parents’ cars that were packed full of shoes, clothing, electronics and snacks using a small hand truck to bring crates of water bottles, duffle bags and plastic containers into Ulman.

Lee was not the only friendly face on campus. Approximately 100 volunteers registered to participate in Arrival Survival this year.

Orientation leaders and RAs were among the large group that came out to help.

“We need to show the students how much we appreciate them and value their decision to come here,” said Bob Yapsuga, vice president in charge of enrollment. “Arrival Survival is just a small way to show that.”

Denise Schoenewald, an employee in the Accounts Payable department, has participated in the event for the last four or five years. She was there to offer a big smile and friendly conversation to nervous students.

Schoenewald likes welcoming the new students and thinks the day is important.

“It definitely leaves a good first impression with parents and students,” she said. “ I like to meet the new students and calm some fears.”

RAs wearing blue T-shirts were ready to pick up where the Arrival Survival members left off. They walked around the dorms welcoming the new students.

“I decided to be an RA to help freshmen adjust to being away from home,” said Amira Moore, a junior.

Moore was impressed by Arrival Survival as a freshman. “I remember I put my stuff on the ground and they were already going inside with it,” said Moore, who was thankful for the help.

Another RA, Carly Bombolevicz, a senior, was happy to be a part of the event this year.

“Arrival Survival shows a sense of community,” said Bombolevicz. “Since we are such a small school we are able to portray that really well.”

Bombolevicz and Moore said that the freshmen are typically nervous and have a lot of questions. According to Moore and Bombolevicz, the number one issue is figuring out how to arrange the room.

After the move in, President Joseph S. Brosnan hosted a parent’s reception on the lawn outside the president’s house. Tables with flowers and information about DelVal were set up and refreshments were provided.


Dr. Brosnan opened his welcome by announcing that DelVal had been named as a top school by both the Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

DelVal also made the “Great Schools, Great Prices” list put out by U.S. News & World Report, he said.

The Princeton Review ranking was based on feedback from current students who were impressed by the quality of the faculty and the personal attention they received.

“I hope you got to experience that hospitality and personal attention today,” said Dr. Brosnan.