University prepares for President’s Day

By Hannah Benson and By Hannah Benson

Perspective students and their families will flood the campus Monday, Feb. 16 for the annual Presidents’ Day visit put on by the Office of Admissions.

Presidents’ Day has become a day for the University to welcome upwards of 1,200 perspective students and their families.

Cecilia Castellano, Director of admissions, said Presidents’ Day is like a “campus open house.”

Primarily high school seniors participate in a day filled with sitting in on classes, taking residence hall and campus tours and watching presentations about the University.

The presentation topics range from next steps to finances to picking a major, Castellano said.

Drew Small, student tour coordinator, said his focus on Presidents’ Day is sending out tours, making sure the tour guide to guest ratio is small and handling the behind the scenes work.

He said that tour guides show dedication on Presidents’ Day because they still have classes to attend, but they also help guide guests and answer their questions throughout the day.

Castellano said students are wonderful with how friendly and warm they are to visitors.

“Our students are so welcoming,” Castellano said. “It’s hard to articulate in marketing materials, but when people get here, they can feel it.”

She said she has been asked if the students have been trained to be friendly and she said she replied by saying, “this is the fabric of BGSU; people

genuinely care.”

While the Office of Admissions and the Office of Residence Life put in a lot of work for the day, Castellano also said about 70-100 people from the community volunteer.

The Presidents’ Day visit began in the mid 1990’s when Castellano was the assistant director

of admissions.

She said they wanted to engage high school students because they knew they had the day off, while the University still

had classes.

Small said the question he gets asked most by high school students is “what is different about college than high school?”

He said he thinks the biggest difference is in the academics and sitting in on classes is a way to see that first hand.

“It’s a great experience for the perspective students to see a typical day at BGSU,” he said. “They can take in the tour and the atmosphere and immerse themselves in a typical

college day.

Lisa Zollars, coordinator for marketing, communications, recruitment and promotions for the Office of Residence Life, said the Office of Residence life participates in the day in three ways: residence hall tours, presentations and an expanded display area in the ballroom.

The display area consists of five to ten residence life staff and on-site housing sign up, Zollars said.

A presentation on what to expect living on campus will be given at 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., in the student union multipurpose room.

Perspective students and guests can receive residence hall tours of all the halls they are eligible to live in as first year students.

During these tours, Zollars said the guests will be able to see actual lived-in rooms rather than staged or empty rooms, which current students have volunteered to show.

“They are overwhelmingly popular,” Zollars said. “Students are really excited to see the hall set up with the students actually living in the room, so they can visualize what it will be like to be there themselves.”

Zollars said the office of residence life starts planning for Presidents’ Day two months in advance.

She said they want to create a fun and supportive environment for students and parents.

“We try to present our office in a way that says we are here to support the students in their personal endeavors and academics,” Zollars said. “We also really want parents to understand that we are here as a partner with them, so if there are any questions or challenges with your student, we are here to work

with you.”

She also said she wants students to see the residence halls as exciting.

“So often living on campus is seen as a requirement, but we try to emphasize being alive in the dorms versus calling them dorms,” Zollars said. “We don’t call them dorms because I think that has a bit of a connotation that it’s a sleepy place and our residence halls are full of life and activity and we want to make sure students and parents see that when they are visiting with us.”