Students crowd Coastal for semester's start

From the The Brunswick News

The lazy days of summer are over, and the College of Coastal Georgia campus was alive with activity Monday as students began fall semester.

Not only were students greeted by friends, classmates and staff, but new college president Greg Aloia had been on campus since sunrise, welcoming anyone he could find.

"My son was talking about how excited he was for football season to begin in just a few weeks, and I told him this is my football season," Aloia said, waving to students walking by.

About 3,100 students are enrolled for fall semester. The number will fluctuate the first few weeks as some students register late and others leave, but enrollment is on par with what it was the past academic year.

Aloia continued to meander through the throngs on campus, meeting students. He pointed out three welcome tents the college had set up. Each had greeters offering free water bottles, cookies and nutrition bars throughout the day.

Aloia and some staff members would be at the Student Center in the evening to answer students' questions. Even after that, he planned to keep visiting.

"I'm moving into the College Place Apartments for a couple nights, so I can see how it is for the students," he said of new student housing near Golden Isles Parkway and Interstate 95 that was formerly the Hawthorne Suites motel. "We're trying to make a statement that this is the college of choice."

During fall semester, the college will open more study facilities for students in campus buildings, including individual carrels and group study areas. Aloia says additions to the campus will keep coming as he listens to students' needs.

But he knows students are focusing on their first few days right now.

"I've told some students to take a deep breath, enjoy this. This is the first day. You're beginning something that will truly change the rest of your life," he said. "When you finish here, you'll be a whole new person."

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Release Date: 8/20/2013
Source: The Brunswick News

By SARAH LUNDGREN