The new normal of admissions events on the Hill

Admissions team rides in style with the Green Terror (Image courtesy of Andrew Witten).

Throughout the month of April, McDaniel Admissions, along with the help of staff and students, hosted admitted students for an informational and interactive on-campus experience.

These “On your own two feet” events got potential students on campus and presented them with opportunities to interact with students, staff, and even alumna who came back to campus to share stories about their time on the Hill.

Though admissions has been able to continue giving guided tours for individual students and their families throughout the past two semesters in accordance with COVID-19 safety protocols, this event was many admitted students’ first time on campus. 

This event is much different from admissions events in years past, where there were thousands of people on campus. Now, there are only 100-200 total visitors per event. This comes from a guideline that allows only one guest to be present with the admitted student for the visit.

There were two sessions for each event, in the morning and afternoon, with roughly 25-50 students per session. These students joined small groups that were led by either an alum of the college, a Student Alumni Council volunteer, or one of the many Student Ambassadors who have been patiently waiting for the return of more students to campus.

Staff from admissions and others representing departments and services on campus interacted with admitted students to share why they love the campus and answer any questions.

Students were greeted by many faces familiar to students on campus, like Jose Moreno from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Michael Robbins from Residence Life, and McDaniel students representing different areas of campus life like the Environmental Studies Department.

Representatives at these seven or so stops across campus talked about pillars of campus life like classes at McDaniel, the importance of our culture (a moment at the McTeer Zepp Plaza), our connection to the community down by the arch, and, our soon to return gamedays on the Hill.

Beyond acquainting students with stories of campus life, admissions introduced visitors to other beloved novelties like cookies from Jeannie Bird Baking Company and provided pom-poms for attendance at football games in the fall.

This was all put together under the leadership of McDaniel’s Admissions Visit Leader, Abbi Hayden ’20, who has been taking the lead on bringing tours to McDaniel’s campus as well as these now approved admitted student day events, as well as by admissions staff.

This event to me helped bring back that feeling of somewhat normalcy again as we were able to see these still masked but happy faces who may end up joining us in this upcoming 2021-2022 school year.

This past year has been challenging, but in the long run these types of events along with the events that our Office of Student Engagement have been hosting for students seem to provide that extra motivation to want to be involved in the safest way possible, while having a good time with our family on the Hill. Though the pandemic is still going to be around, and we do not have an exact answer of what a few months down the road may look like, this event to me was the start of what to expect from our upcoming school year.