Most college students cringe at the thought of moving day and rightfully so. Moving can be an extreme hassle, especially at a large university like UT, but a new campus business aims to help solve that problem.
Campus Bellhops is a company that hires college students to be personal movers for students and their families who are relocating on or around campus.
The business was started by Knoxville native Cameron Doody when he realized what a huge market the collegiate moving scene could provide.
"My co-founder, Stephen Vlahos, and I were finishing our seventh favor in two weeks helping friends move right before our senior year when the idea began," said Doody, co-founder of Campus Bellhops. "We started at Auburn University in 2010."
The Chattanooga based company has since expanded to serve a total of 86 colleges and universities.
In 2012, Campus Bellhops experienced its first year of rapid expansion. The company grew to serve seven new college towns, promoting the brand on a larger scale and providing experience to perfect its services.
"After operations ended in 2012, we picked up attention with funding partners and venture capital and ultimately partnered with a venture incubator called Lamp Post Group in Chattanooga," Doody said. "With our funding partners' capital infusion, we've expanded to 52 college towns across the country this year," he said.
As part of the expansion, the Campus Bellhops installation at UT is now able to get its feet off the ground and begin building business in Knoxville.
Despite the several thousand students that will be moving on and around campus this summer and in the fall, Doody expects that his company will only be playing a small role at UT during this season of operation.
"If we can move two students out of every 100, we'll be happy," he said.
Campus Bellhops' mission is to take the hassle out of moving day, something many college students can only dream about.
"I might need a school bus to get all my stuff out of my room," Erin Russell, a freshman in nursing, said. "I'm dreading the process of it."
Although they don't drive school buses, Campus Bellhops do provide transportation for their customers' belongings.
"We provide move-ins, move-outs and across town moves requiring a moving truck," Doody said. "We'll book your truck, pick it up, drive and return it for you if you choose."
Students who have moved into or out of a campus dorm can attest to the stress of moving day. It's an all-day affair just to get everything from the ground floor to the room and vice versa. Russell would gladly allow the chore to be passed on to someone else.
"If they would do the work for me, then sure, I would hire someone," she said. "If I did it by myself it would take forever."
The bellhops that provide moving services are students of the university they serve. When the company arrived at UT, it brought part-time job opportunities with it.
"Our UT Campus Director has interviewed over 55 applicants and will begin the hiring process this week," Doody said. "She will continue to hire student bellhops throughout the summer and will have a full team of around 60-70 by the time August rolls around."
Potential employees must be involved students who are strong enough to lift 60 pounds and dedicated to performing their job well. Campus Bellhops holds a certain standard for its movers in order to fill its promise to customers of a hassle-free move.
"With us, you know exactly who you're going to get: clean-cut, well-educated, hardworking college students," said Doody. "Prior to the move, customers receive an introductory email that includes a picture of the student bellhops who will be completing their move, who they are, where they are from and what student organizations they are involved in."
Campus Bellhops brands itself as a unique solution to the anxiety of college moving days and works toward providing its customers with quality service they can count on.
"We're addressing a pretty apparent problem that every college student/parent has dealt with," Doody said. "We guarantee that we won't be one minute late or your move is free."
For more information, to reserve a Bellhop or to apply for a job, students can visit the Campus Bellhops' website at www.campusbellhops.com.