Yesterday throngs of eager high school students found themselves without a place to sit during a visit day, trotting meekly behind their ambassadors with Hillsdale folders and plates of food.
We’ve all wandered in circles in the lunchroom, sipping from a cup of water, scanning tables furtively for an empty seat. On Mondays, it’s hard enough to find somewhere to sit down at lunchtime, let alone find a spot next to one’s friends. And on visit days? Good luck with that.
But student ambassadors shouldn’t be the ones wandering through the cafeteria with prospective students in tow. We don’t need to make prospective students feel any more awkward and nervous than they already are — if Hillsdale College wants to put its best foot forward to impress these potential students, then the admissions office should start reserving a few seats or tables on visit days.
Sure, the lunchroom can get pretty crowded on Mondays and there isn’t a lot of room to spare. Sure, the admissions office might irritate some students by putting up those bright yellow “Reserved” signs on a few square or round tables. But it shouldn’t be too much to ask students to give up a few seats for prospectives.
If a student ambassador takes the time to reserve just one small square table, she will make the lunch experience so much more relaxed for her prospective students, because they will have a guaranteed place to sit down. Don’t we want to give those brilliant but terrified high schoolers a favorable impression of our school? We want them to love Hillsdale as much as we do, so let’s make sure they feel welcome.
We can start by telling the admissions office, “Hey, feel free to reserve a couple seats or tables for prospectives. We know the lunch scene can be crazy.”