For students beginning college for the fall, the first lesson for their new experience will be safety.
Thursday, 4,700 students were in the process of moving into FGCU dorms for fall semester and will continue to do the same through Friday.
“Finally getting all my stuff in the dorm,” FGCU freshman Krista McNeill said.
Krista, who is originally from Nebraska, wasted no time settling into her new home.
“There’s a lot of things to do here,” Krista said. “I can go to the pool whenever.”
The new Eagle is ready to leave the nest. But with the start of college, there are those who know this moment is bittersweet.
“I haven’t started to cry yet,” said Mike McNeill, Krista’s dad. “But other than that, we’ll be OK.”
“A combo of nerves and excitement,” said Kathy McNeill, Krista’s mom.
Safety is one thing the McNeills are not too worried about at the university.
“The campus feels safe,” Mike said. “It’s nice. It’s new. It’s clean.”
And there are several safety features on campus, including key card access to dorm buildings, blue lights and the university’s guardian app, which Kathy has already downloaded.
“I can feel safe when I’m in Nebraska and she’s in Florida knowing someone is watching out for her,” Kathy said.
The app is free to use and equipped with a button to call police and a safety timer popular for students walking at night.
“If it expires, alarms are sent to our dispatchers,” said Steven Moore, FGCU chief of police. “It shows us their profile and where they are at, so we can respond and make sure they are okay.”
Moore works hard to ensure safety on campus at FGCU, so students like Krista can focus on their education.
“I’m excited to just finally start studying for what I want my job to be,” Krista said.