When you reflect on your own senior year of high school, you may recall autumn nights working tirelessly on your laptop, with the Common Application logo stamped into your mind. High school seniors are making one of the most important decisions of their young lives, and all college students know the weight of their choice. The spring, while perhaps even more stressful, may have been filled with missing school on Fridays, driving and flying to visit your potential new homes. These stresses and worries soon melt into relief once the big decision is made. From a college student’s perspective, we see behind-the-scenes Admissions work of the decision process. Beginning on Saturday, February 19th, and concluding on Sunday, February 27th, Siena students, specifically Admissions student workers, watched and participated in the massive force that was Saints Week.
The pandemic greatly impacted the classic Accepted Students Days that Admissions used to put on for the targeted population of high school seniors. Having no more overnight visits, coffee chats and other traditional events has changed the way that accepted and prospective students and their families get to see Siena’s campus, as well as the way that student workers do their job. Saints Week took the pandemic challenges and put a new, creative, and engaging spin on the traditional college campus visit with golf cart tours. Throughout the week that was winter break for New York State schools, 45 golf carts whipped around campus, livening up the typically dark winter weekends; some light snow even helped to blanket campus and add some brightness to our community!
The Ambassadors, which are Siena’s tour guides, worked relentlessly to be on call for the next family and were extremely accommodating when things changed at the last second. The beauty of golf cart tours is that families were able to see more of Siena’s campus. Families were able to visit two showrooms in Snyder Hall, visit a townhouse, and see Massry Dining Hall along with all of the typical tour spots and attractions. The golf cart tours also allowed the Ambassadors to customize their tours a bit; if a student wanted to see the classrooms in Rosetti Hall and a dorm room in Ryan Hall to make their final decision, they were able to take families to both buildings in an efficient manner.
After each tour, the Ambassadors sent follow-up emails to the students whom they were tour guides for and ensured that they had a point of contact for future questions. Students rave about the communication that Siena offered them during their college decision-making process as one of the things that drew them most closely to attending Siena College, so the Ambassadors always take the extra step to make prospective and accepted students feel as welcome as they did. While the Ambassadors took the lead with the tours, the other student outlets within Admissions worked just as hard behind the scenes. The Admissions Interns chatted with families, offered them hot chocolate and connected them with their assigned tour guide. Once the tours concluded, the Interns gave the students their goodie bags. Saints Week would not have been possible without the interpersonal skills, charisma, and knowledge of the Interns.
Last but certainly not least, the Pathfinders, which is a freshman-only group that capitalizes upon the freshman perspective, helped to guide families to the correct location for their tours. The Pathfinders also chatted with families at various points throughout the week, especially after tours if the families had pertinent questions that they were able to answer. While reflecting on the week, Pathfinder Sela Scarangella stated, “I think the best way to get a feel for a college campus is by engaging with the students. I’m glad I was able to chat with families about why we all love Siena!” Overall, Saints Week was a successful way to engage prospective students, accepted students, and families with our campus and feel the strong chords of the Siena community.