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BGSU introduces self-guided tours

Prospective students and their families will soon have a new way to tour campus.

Approximately 30 Antenna hand-held audio devices will be made available to prospective students who visit the campus on days when tours aren’t being held, as well as those who would rather check out the campus on their own.

“The tours are self guided, so the tour could be 10 minutes or an hour and 10 minutes,” said Adrea Spoon, admissions counselor. “It provides an accommodating feel because it still allows them to get more information, even when a tour isn’t scheduled.”

It also makes it easier for those who would prefer to look at the campus without a large tour group, according to Linda Dobb, executive vice president of the University.

“If there isn’t a tour scheduled, or they come and they’re the only one here for a tour, they can still hear something about campus,” said Dobb.

The devices will be available in the Union and possibly at the visitor’s center. All that will be required to check them out is a driver’s license.

Getting started on an audio tour is as simple as pulling out a plastic tab, or pin, and inserting headphones into the device.

“You pull out the pin and then press the numbers that correspond to the location on campus you want to hear about,” said Mary Alice Newman, student services counselor.

The devices are similar in size to a Walkman, and have an LCD screen, as well as a number pad for inputting the numbers of the buildings.

The audio devices were tested on a group of guidance counselors a few weeks ago, according to Spoon.

Those participating in an audio tour, like the guidance counselors, would also be given a map of the campus, with the numbers for corresponding buildings marked.

The audio clips, which are available in both English and Spanish, can be listened to in any order and from any location. Those using the devices do not have to be at a certain building to hear the information about that building.

However, not every building on campus is discussed in the tour, Newman noted.

“It has history, sound effects and students speaking,” said Dobb. “The only drawback is that there isn’t someone there to answer questions.”

The audio devices aren’t meant to be a replacement for the current tour guides.

“Student tour guides are still needed,” Dobb said. “People like hearing from students.”

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