Insects buzzed and box wheels rumbled as students and volunteers rolled belongings into residence halls Monday morning.

The air in the quad of a  collection of dorms known as “The Valley” on WKU’s campus was alive with anxious excitement and the chatter of families as freshman entered their homes away from home for the first time.

Monday marked the start of WKU’s M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan, a weeklong program for new undergraduate students meant to help acclimate them to life on WKU’s campus. Hundreds of students moved into their residence halls with the help of volunteers and family.

Community groups like Living Hope Baptist Church sent volunteers such as Trevor Wheeker, Alex Locke and Hope Leeper to lend a hand with the move in process.

“We know move-in can be stressful,” Wheeker, a WKU student and volunteer from Living Hope Baptist Church said, “So anything we can do to help and take some of the stress off of people, we’re going to try and do our best.”

Locke, an electrical engineering major and sophomore at WKU, helped alongside Wheeker and Leeper at McCormack Hall, moving new students.

For Locke, the hardest part of the day had been getting the rolling boxes to the rooms, as they were weighed down with heavy items.

“The best part is seeing everybody being thankful,” Locke said.

For Leeper, a WKU sophomore who studies nursing, the best part of volunteering was talking with parents.

“Some of them are excited and you can tell some of them are nervous,” Leeper said. “So just being there helps.”

Down the hill, freshman special education major Erin Davis walked with her parents after a busy morning of moving in and getting situated.

To Davis, the best part of the day was meeting her roommate, while the worst was deciding how to set up her room and going through the day knowing she’d be leaving her family soon.

“I’m just excited to meet new people and learn new things,” Davis said.

News reporter Abbigail Nutter can be reached at 270-745-6011 and abbigail.nutter168@topper.wku.edu.Follow her on Twitter at @abbeynutter