Courtesy of Hillsdale College

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.”