Students arrive ‘en masse’

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Lines of freshmen students wrapped around the Firestone Fieldhouse building at Pepperdine University two weeks ago as they waited to register for their new school, and, to some, move into their new home.

About 685 freshmen registered for school Aug. 23.

Nervous, but proud, parents accompanied the new students, as they stood in line to get passes to drive to the dorm areas.

“Most freshmen live on campus,” said Chanille Dunn, a student orientation counselor who was there to help students find their way around and to feel at ease.

Student counselors, easily identifiable in orange T-shirts, also help with luggage, moving the new students into dorms and “keep them quite busy,” said Dunn.

Freshman Raui Mehta was waiting in line with both parents and his sister, who is a freshman in high school.

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and new friends,” said Mehta.

Mehta, who is from the Bay Area, chose Pepperdine because he wants to be in Southern California. USC and UCLA were his other choices for colleges. His major is in political science, and he plans to go to law school after he graduates from Pepperdine.

His mother, Nisha, said she was “excited” about her son’s new life at school.

Zanet Giggles-Kelly, from Bellflower, sat with her mother, flipping through booklets of information as they decided what their next step was going to be in getting her settled in.

“It’s overwhelming,” said Giggles-Kelly. “I’m a little nervous.”

Although nervous, Giggles-Kelly said she is excited as well.

“It’s something new, but it makes it more fun in college,” she said, “because I’m around people more like me.”

Giggles-Kelly is majoring in theater arts and history. She said her desire is to be an actress, but knows she can’t rely on it as a career, so she said she probably will teach.

Her mother, Shirley Giggles, said of her daughter, “I’m very proud of her. She’s my baby.”

To keep freshmen busy, a blue booklet containing a student schedule is handed out, with some activities mandatory, such as certain placement exams, and others provided just for fun.

Nocturnal Madness, a swing dance event, took place Aug. 23 in the Fieldhouse, and the next day had new students throwing away their inhibitions with a Karaoke night.

Giggles-Kelly said she loves to sing and dance, but she wasn’t quite sure if she wants to let everyone see her talents just yet. She gave a quiet “maybe” when asked if she would be attending those events.

Meanwhile, she plans to head back to Bellflower to get the rest of her “stuff.”

“I miss my radio,” she said.