UC Merced dorms filling up

MERCED — The snaking line of suitcases, boxes and plastic containers at the edge of Scholars Lane on Friday could mean only one thing: move-in day at UC Merced.

It was the 5-year-old campus's biggest move-in, and on-campus housing was sold out, spokeswoman Tonya Luiz said.

About 1,200 students will live in the 11 dorm buildings on the west side of campus this year.

Campus officials expect enrollment of 3,200 students, with 1,300 freshmen, transfer and graduate students. School starts Tuesday, and students were expected to continue moving in over the weekend.

The campus planned a number of events for students, including a run-walk to nearby Lake Yosemite today, followed by a picnic lunch on the lawn at student housing.

These are some of the University of California at Merced's newest residents:

• Kaitlyn Tramontana, 18, Sunnyvale

She spared nothing in her move: Seven family members in three vehicles helped the freshman move into her modest Mariposa Hall triple-residency room.

"For three women, no way," her grandfather Phil McKay said after taking a peek in her new digs. "Sons travel with a suitcase. Daughters travel with a full house."

Tramontana chose UC Merced after receiving a generous scholarship.

"I also like it because it is the newest UC, and I can be a part of the development," she said.

• Brian Hoang, 18, Huntington Beach

He arrived in Merced on Thursday night with one suitcase and five small paper boxes filled with belongings.

"We didn't splurge or anything" when shopping or packing, said sister Christina Hoang.

Hoang's mother, father and family dog also were on hand to help him move into his room in Tuolumne Hall.

"It feels good," Hoang said, placing boxes onto a handcart. "I feel independent."

Why did he choose UC Merced?

"It's far. I want to meet new people," he said.

• Lauren Dalupan, 18, Folsom

"I brought a lot," Dalupan said. "At least eight different bins or bags. I hope I'm not the only one that brought so much."

She arrived in Merced with her parents. She will be living in Tuolumne Hall with two roommates.

"It feels surreal. It hasn't quite hit me yet that I am a college student," Dalupan said.

• Nick Self, 18, Newport Beach

Self and his parents left Newport Beach early Friday to arrive on campus early for move-in.

"This is the first time he has ever lived somewhere other than the place he was brought home to from the hospital," said Self's father, Michael.

Self said he chose UC Merced for one reason: "Yosemite."

A chemical sciences major, he had visited the park a couple of times a year before enrolling here.

Now he will visit more often, he said, showing off a photo he shot recently at Tenaya Creek, which he will hang on a wall of his new room.