April 9, 2004

Give prospies a chance

While we have yet to see many rain showers on campus, we have seen many other things that April brings, most visibly, bands of admitted prospective students. If you have yet to see these wandering groups on campus, its time to start attending your spring quarter classes, because campus is full of them. For the next month, the quads will be teeming with high school overachievers who feel like they are making the biggest decision of their lives—where to attend college.

For many of these high-schoolers, the few hours they spend on the U of C campus will be their only and lasting impression of the University. And while the goal is not to have every admitted student ultimately attend—only the ones that are the right fit from the perspectives of both University and incoming-student—we want to project an image of the University that is welcoming and fun, in addition to showing off the well known academics.

Organized events from the admissions office play an important role in the process, but the most important impact comes from us, the students. Interactions with prospies may not mean much to a hurried fourth-year on the way to turn in a B.A. paper, but to a prospective student, these casual interactions are what they may remember most. As students and ambassadors for the University, we should do our best to actively engage prospies, giving them a sense of what the U of C is really like. There is only so much glossy pamphlets and scripted tours can show. Prospective students need to know what it's really like at the U of C, and we, the students, are the ones to tell them.