Each of the units has a central service building downstairs, with the mailboxes, some study space, etc. That is where everyone in the unit must be queued to pick up the keys to their room. Once you have the key, you then go off to queue for the elevators in your assigned building. The initial line is the monster one. It will stretch up out of the service building, up the stairs and snake around inside the open space between the buildliings of the unit, at least it does in the morning as they are just opening.
If you went to CalSO, you probably checked in down in the service building of one of the units.
@clear my mind: You will stand in line with everyone else in Unit 1 -- there's no separate check in. Keep in mind "Unit 1" is a complex of 6 buildings (or "halls") "built around a large courtyard and a central building that contains the unit office, mail services, and rooms for meetings, events, and parties, and the Academic Services Center". Two of the 6 buildings or halls are mini-suites -- they are the colorful mid-rise units that are the newest of the halls. One of the halls is known as "Slottman Hall" (named after Willliam B. Slottman) and the other is known as "Christian Hall" (named after educator Barbara Christian). To get your key and check in, you will need to go downstairs by the mail services room, as will all those residing in any of the 6 Unit 1 buildings. Down there, you may be able to check out a cart to assist you in bringing your belongings up to your room, if there are any available. You check out carts as you would a library book. Also look for the frat groups that will have carts and will assist you (if you need) is bringing up your belongings.
If this is at all confusing, I suggest you simply find your way to Unit 1, and look for the line, or ask -- everyone is very helpful!
I seem to recall that Foothill is all one line like the units. You check in at the hillside part -- there's a little auditorium to the right of the driveway that goes in a circle. You'll see the line form there.
No Little Cal Bear, no body standard at all -- just able to help. Obviously the fraternity guys that have broken arms or legs or are in a wheel chair may not be able-bodied and wouldn't be able to help. My response was perhaps not so well stated. I thought clear my mind felt the fraternities might have some ulterior motive in just wanting to lend a hand. I thought they might myself, but got none of that vibe.
Moving in can be completely overwhelming, from trying to figure out where you pick up your keys, to how to find your room and roommates, to where you can park a car to unload, to who stands watching your stuff while you wait in line to check in or wait to get a cart or the elevator, to how much stuff you brought and how to get it all up without totally freaking out. Plus, some people have absolutely no one to help them, and others have parents who may not be able to carry a full load. So a frosh can be an Atlas type, but may still need help moving in.