WildCATurday event canceled due to winter weather

Recent winter weather impacting areas across the United States has caused the cancelation of numerous events. The Baker University admissions office has experienced this firsthand with the cancelation of the WildCATurday event this past Saturday, Feb. 20.

According to a New York Times article, “roughly 150 million Americans were under some form of winter storm warning” last week. Residents caught in the winter storm were urged by officials to stay home to avoid dangerous driving conditions and record-setting low temperatures.

The National Weather Service in Kansas City announced that the frigid temperatures on Monday, Feb. 15 set the record low since 1989 with a wind chill of -32° F. KWCH of Wichita, KS reported on the State of Disaster Emergency issued by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly as a response to these dangerously cold conditions. With these temperatures to start out the week, many were fearful of these conditions lingering as the weekend approached.

Registration started to drop leading up to the event and Director of Admissions Sydney Nowak contributes this to the dangerous weather conditions.

“We don’t ever want to cancel an event; however, it is most important that each prospective student who visits campus has an exceptional experience,” Nowak said. “We started off with a strong list of registrations, but as the weather progressed cancellations started coming throughout the week.”

The first WildCATurday event back in August proved to be a success with spots filling up amid the restrictions in place for COVID-19. The admissions office has done a wonderful job in assuring the safety of Baker University visitors and current students.

Nowak stated that, “we continue to assess and evaluate the success of each WildCATurday event as it happens since these are new events this year. We have made a lot of changes and improvements just since the first event.”

In light of the pandemic, the admissions office has had to get creative with executing campus visits both in person and virtually. They implemented WildCATurdays in the fall as a new way to bring potential students to see Baker University.

“Hosting one large visit event with 60 students and their families is not an option this year, so WildCATurdays offer a series of Saturday dates for students to visit in smaller groups,” Nowak said. “With limits on group gathering sizes and daily visitors coming through our office, we are doing everything we can to ensure every student who wants to visit Baker has that opportunity.”

The admissions office plays a critical role in the enrollment of students at Baker University. New creative events designed to give prospective students a look into Baker University amidst the current restrictions allow for these students to get the most out of their experience.

In order to assure the maximum attendance of 10 students with one guest each at the remainder of WildCATurday events this semester, Nowak said the admissions office will be sending out “a series of emails to students and parents, and admissions counselors will do personal reach out via text and phone call.”

Potential future Wildcats can be seen on campus on March 27 and April 17 in hopes the weather will be fully accommodating to these events.