With COVID-19, admitted students are finding new ways to visit Butler. Collegian file photo.
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Receiving an acceptance letter to a college is rewarding, but visiting the school — and being able to envision yourself there — is even more exciting. Butler’s Office of Admissions has worked to mitigate COVID-19 restrictions and bring admitted students the Butler experience by offering a variety of virtual and in-person opportunities.
In-person tours are still available, although the daily capacity has been reduced to around 50 students per day and admitted students cannot go inside buildings or residence halls. Chris Potts, the associate director of admissions, said that even with the pandemic, the number of admitted students who want to see campus is still the same as any other year.
One admitted student experience, True Blue, has been transformed to a virtual event. Typically, admitted students have had the chance to stay with a current student for the day and experience Butler classes and tour campus. Since admitted students cannot sit in on classes, Potts said student tour guides took the initiative to give virtual tours around campus. Limited to 15 students per tour, student guides drive on a golf cart and use their phone to show students around campus. The tour guides are allowed to go into various buildings on campus, so this is a more interactive way for admitted students to see specific buildings and ask questions.
“For True Blue, we’ve tried to make it as engaging as possible and that’s why it’s student driven,” Potts said. “We feel like it has to be genuine and authentic and not feel staged.”
For those who live farther away and cannot come to campus in person, Butler has been hosting Butler Bound virtual events for each college. Each event ranges from an hour to 90 minutes and consists of students, faculty and other staff members. Potts said he believes this new way of giving tours is still a great way for prospective students to get a feel for life at Butler.
“I think most families we have found are very gracious in all this and they’ve been understanding and are appreciative that we’re doing what we can to showcase campus,” Potts said.
Butler’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has also been hosting Butler Bound Virtual Events. Jay Howard, the dean of LAS, said the events have focused on highlighting experiential learning, study abroad opportunities and research with faculty members. The event also included two panels, one which had student speakers and the second which discussed postgraduate life.
Howard said students who are interested in learning more about LAS can reach out to their admissions counselor and ask to speak with professors within their intended majors.
Zoe Eichorn, a first-year philosophy and psychology double major, spoke at one virtual event about her experience in her FYS class, highlighting the community aspect of the course and how it helped her transition to college-level work. Eichorn said she thought the event was helpful for current students to share their experience with potential bulldogs.
“They didn’t have to have cameras on, they didn’t have to speak and they could just show up,” Eichorn said. “I thought it was a really good way to get information and it was nice to have some students speak on their experiences.”
Butler’s College of Communication has also implemented Butler Bound Virtual Events to share more about their nine majors and eight minors. Brooke Barnett, the dean of CCOM, said these events have happened multiple times a week. She said faculty speak more about the college and share a powerpoint highlighting a broad overview of the four years, internships and peer mentors.
The event also includes pre-recorded videos by CCOM students who give a tour of the Fairbanks building and talk more about why they enjoy their major, classes they have liked and their internship experiences. Alumni also spoke in a video describing how their background at Butler prepared them for the real world.
If students wish for a more in depth look into the College of Communication, they can reach out and meet one-on-one with faculty in their specific major and tour the Fairbanks Center with Scott Bridge, internship director and journalism professor.
Barnett said that even with the adjusted tours and events, she has been pleased with how everyone can still showcase all that Butler has to offer.
“This is such a team effort across the college,” Barnett said. “It’s really really remarkable and I love that when we’ve asked students to create videos or to do tours or to write postcards, they all are really excited to talk about the wonderful experience they had in the college.”