Students to host campus visitors

Story by Katie Thurbon

Baker University will host prospective students for the 2011 school year during BU Weekend Friday and Saturday.

For the past several years, this event, formerly known as BU Preview, has taken place on a Saturday and Sunday.

This year,however, Mark Bandre, vice president for enrollment management and student development, decided to change the days.

“We wanted the high school students to be able to be around campus during classes,” Bandre said. “We were also trying to be sensitive of people missing church Sunday morning.”

Current Baker students, as well as greek chapters, sign up to host high school students overnight and show them around campus.

Activities will start Friday after dinner and continue through the home football game Saturday against Evangel University.

Bandre said no official activities were planned until Friday evening so students would not have to miss school Friday if they did not want to.

However, the days aren’t the only part of BU Weekend that are changing this year.

In the past, students have had schedules to follow and events to attend throughout the day. This year, the host and student can script the agenda.

“Evaluations in the past say the best part of the weekend is time spent with the host,” Admission Events Coordinator Linda Gastelum said.

Bandre said the hosts will attempt to give the prospective students a real look at what Baker students do.

Bandre hopes allowing the students to plan out the weekend would give the high school students a more authentic feel for Baker life.

Freshman Brian Lamoreux attended one of the BU Preview events last year and said it was a good way to get to know the campus.

Friday, students will have a chance to attend classes, talk with professors and learn about financing their college career.

Lamoreux said he toured the campus, attended different lectures, learned about clubs and activities and stayed overnight at the Zeta Chi fraternity house during his weekend visit to Baker.

“If I hadn’t already been decided on Baker when I came, the weekend definitely would have swayed me,” Lamoreux said.

On Saturday morning there will be an academic and activities fair in Collins Center.

Gastelum said the last activity of the weekend will be the football game. A tailgate outside Liston Stadium will take place before the game for the students, their parents and the host.

Bandre is hoping the whole campus will be involved in the weekend in order to give all the students a good look at what Baker really contains.