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First-week problems pose little trouble

The first week of classes at USF isn’t always easy. In addition to an obvious parking dilemma, students encountered problems finding classrooms and met with lines at various campus locations.

“I just experienced a very long line in the bookstore,” senior Chris Bearson said Monday morning. “But other than that, things went pretty good.”

He estimated there were at least 60 students in line to purchase books when he went to the bookstore.

“It’s nothing new,” he said. “Same thing every semester. Parking problems, bookstore, long lines.”

Ender Tahsin, a new exchange student from England, said he found USF’s organization system strange compared to English systems.

The exchange student orientation was held on Friday, but Tahsin was unable to attend because his flight out of Europe arrived late in the day.

“I got here late on Friday obviously because I was flying in. Everything was closed. I still haven’t got my student I.D. I didn’t know what lessons or where to go on Sunday. I had to get a map and just do it all myself,” he said.

In England, he said, new students move in a week before classes begin so they can become familiar with the school and its surroundings.

“I think it’s difficult for people who are new,” he said. “The campus is massive. There’s so many buildings, so many people. I mean, luckily, everyone’s really helpful, so you just need to ask.”

Faculty members in information tents around campus helped students locate their classes, passed out information and answered questions.

“We’ve had a steady stream of people asking questions of one sort or another,” said Nora Penia, program coordinator for the Advocacy Program at USF, who was assisting students in the tent in front of the sociology building.

She said the majority of questions dealt with students finding their way around campus and where to go to get student identification cards and parking permits.

Laura Rusnak assisted students in the same tent as Penia.

“There’s some issues with scheduling that we can’t really control,” she said. “You know, somebody who mentions that they’re new and they can’t find anything. But pretty much it’s just a building and we can help them find that.”

She said students were impressed with the information available at the tent and appreciated the cold water they could drink while walking around campus in the heat.

Overall, most students’ problems were minor and easily solved.

Junior Ismael Celestin was unable to print his class schedule when the OASIS Web server went down on Monday morning. So, he improvised.

“I couldn’t find my first class because I couldn’t print out my schedule,” he said. “I just went to Cooper (Hall) and knocked on classroom doors until I found my class.