Potential freshmen to stay night at campus

The University will be hosting high school seniors this weekend for a multicultural overnight visit.

In addition to staying in a residence hall Friday night, the students will see presentations from various offices and organizations, meet current staff, faculty and students, and participate in an icebreaker and a bowling trip, said Cecilia Castellano, interim director of admissions.

Castellano said the overnight visit isn’t necessarily better than a traditional tour or other visit, but it is a different opportunity.

“The Office of Admissions and [the University] like to provide a variety of opportunities,” Castellano said.

Since 2010, two or three multicultural overnight visits have been hosted each spring, Castellano said. Fifty minority students who will be incoming freshman are invited to each visit.

“They see that … they’re not going to be alone,” said Ray Plaza, associate director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Students will learn that they have allies committed to their academic and personal success, Plaza said.

“We’re highlighting the services that we as an office provide,” Plaza said.

Plaza also said the office will be able to interact with students one on one during a luncheon.

In addition to the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the high school students will hear from the SMART Program, the TRIO Programs, Student Financial Aid and Student Support Services, Castellano said.

They will also hear from the Black Student Union and the historically black fraternities and sororities.

Ana Brown, coordinator for diversity and retention initiatives, said the students will learn what the SMART Program is and why they might want to get involved. SMART stands for Students of Color Mentoring, Aiding, Retaining, and Teaching and is a mentoring program where upperclass students mentor freshmen.

Any student can be in the program, but it is geared toward underrepresented students because of the unique challenges they can face, Brown said.

In addition to offices and organizations, students will get information on academics. They will learn faculty expectations and what is expected of them as students, Castellano.

“[The visit is] an opportunity to experience campus life,” Castellano said.