A buzz is in the air in Carbondale, as freshman at Southern Illinois University begin their college careers. Since Southern Illinois University Chancellor Rita Cheng took office once of her focuses has been to increase enrollment.
Cheng says so far, it appears the freshman class is up by nearly 140 students. She says that's an increase the university has not seen in some time. It's a boost not only to the campus but the entire region.
SIU Freshman Nickirah Willis-Lee is from Chicago and getting ready to move into her new home for the school year. "I am very excited to meet new people," Willis Lee said.
Before Willis-Lee meets those new friends, her first college task is to get all her things into her dorm room. Willis-Lee has her mom Carol Lee along to help.
"It's exciting," Lee said. "That's my baby, my last."