Aug. 17, 2017
VCU opens 2017-18 academic year
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Virginia Commonwealth University will welcome freshmen this week when the class of 2021 moves into the university’s on-campus residence halls, launching the annual Welcome Week schedule of activities that marks the opening of the academic year. For the first time, freshmen students who live on campus will not be able to bring cars, which is expected to reduce pressure on street parking in surrounding neighborhoods and encourage use of public transportation.
VCU freshmen will move into their residence halls from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Reuban Rodriguez, Ed.D., associate vice provost and dean of student affairs and John Venuti, police chief, will be available for media interviews about move-in day, the opening of the academic year and university safety from 10 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Saturday in front of Brandt Hall, at the corner of Laurel and Franklin streets.
VCU will enroll an estimated 31,000 students this fall. The freshman class is expected to comprise approximately 4,200 students, of which about 33 percent are first-generation college students.
About 90 percent of VCU’s freshman class is from Virginia, including more than 1,600 students from Northern Virginia and 900 from the Richmond metro area.
Minority students represent 53 percent of the freshman class.
VCU will also enroll about 1,900 transfer students, including 1,750 students from the Virginia Community College System.
Traffic congestion is expected in the areas near VCU’s student residence halls Friday evening and Saturday and there will be very limited street parking available.
In order to ensure safety and order as students move into residence halls, the following streets will have travel restrictions or will be closed:
- Franklin Street: The street will be closed to through traffic between Harrison and Belvidere streets; traffic arriving for move-in will be reduced to one travel lane between Harrison and Belvidere streets.
- Grace Street: Travel lanes will remain open, however, drivers may experience some congestion between Ryland and Belvidere streets.
- Cary Street: Travel lanes will remain open, but drivers may experience some congestion between Cherry and Jefferson streets.
- Marshall Street: Travel lanes will remain open, but drivers may experience some congestion between Bowe and Hancock streets.
- Laurel Street: The street will be closed between West Grace and West Cathedral streets. Parishioners of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will be allowed to park in designated spots on Cathedral Street and in the West Main Street Parking Deck. Drivers may experience some congestion between Cathedral and Cary streets.
- Pine Street: The street continues to be closed between West Cary and West Main streets for construction through 2018.
Traffic restrictions and closures will be in effect on Saturday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. VCU Police will handle traffic control as students move in. In addition, Laurel Street will be closed between Franklin and Grace streets on Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
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