By Jessica Doran
Adding to the energy of spring term is the excited anxiety that accompanies the onset of welcoming a new class to Union. If there is anyone who feels this excitement the most, it is Union’s Gatekeepers.
Although tours go on throughout the year, the season picks up once students have been accepted and begin to make their visits back to campus.
We all remember that feeling we had when we first toured Union, and although each person may have decided at a different point that Union was the right school for them, there is no denying that the tour process is very important. It is critical for students to get a feel for the entire Union college experience in only a short tour time.
There are key themes that the Gatekeepers try to keep in mind when giving tours in order to give students a better understanding of the interdisciplinary attitudes that Union employs.
Union offers a personal and challenging academic experience because of its liberal arts education and its easy access to professors and faculty members, in addition to the alternative Minerva experience, which gives Union students much greater options for involvement on campus than many other small colleges of its caliber.
The Minerva system is truly unique, and the Gatekeepers do not ignore this when addressing prospective students. Although Greek life may be appealing to one person, another may enjoy involvement in the Minerva system more.
The Gatekeepers stress involvement in all areas of Union campus life. This emphasis on involvement is continued throughout the tour experience. The Gatekeepers stress the opportunities offered to all students to create their own educational experience at Union.
Gatekeepers often emphasize that Union is one of the only schools that allows every student to complete a thesis project if they want to. Steinmetz Day and abroad options are also discussed. Tour guides also note the opportunities for summer research and the easy access to off-campus and on-campus internships and jobs.
In addition to making sure they see all of the new, technologically advanced, state-of-the-art buildings and equipment that Union has recently invested in, the Gatekeepers work to expose the prospective students to a typical day at Union by guiding them through at least two freshmen residence halls, the gym, Reamer Campus Center, and other places that would be frequented in an average day at Union.
Gatekeeper Chris Sullivan ‘13 said, “We try to show them more of the actual life at Union. If they were accepted into the school or are thinking about coming here, they know about the academics. But they don’t know about where they’ll be living, eating, sleeping and spending the next four years of their life. We try to shed light on this.”
The key to being a good Gatekeeper lies in the passion for walking around this campus, day after day, in order to show these students exactly why they would fit in at Union and why they should come here.
Even though all students would like to try to show people how great and appealing our school is, the Gatekeepers at Union are the link to achieving this.
Shari Kram ‘13 said, “We truthfully love our school and we genuinely want these students to come here, so we hope that everything we do is a positive encouragement to these incoming Freshman.”
The only thing that the Gatekeepers can do is hope it doesn’t rain.