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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ask Bobby #12
September 25, 2023

Over 1,800 To Turn Up at Open House

With more than 1,800 prospective students and their families scheduled to attend Open House this coming Saturday, admissions and enrollment officials hope that the backdrop of the Campus Center crawling with university administrators, faculty, and students will entice potential students to pursue their degrees at UMass Boston.

“We want to distinguish ourselves so that people remember UMass Boston,” says Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Lisa Johnson. The events, taking place from 8:30 a.m. until noon, will act as an extension of the Campus Center’s aim of community building, according to Johnson.

In the past, Open Houses have been spread throughout campus, in McCormack Hall, Wheatley Hall’s Snowden Auditorium, and the Science Center. “It was a tight squeeze with those buildings,” says Michael Todorsky, Enrollment Management official, adding that the Campus Center now provides an environment more conducive to these types of events and will be utilized as such whenever space is available.

This year, student organizations interested in attending Open House have more than doubled. More than thirty student groups are scheduled to participate, compared to just 10 or 12 last year.

“Students are the most valuable voice that anybody can have as far as the UMass Boston experience,” says Associate Vice Chancellor Johnson. “Prospective students and their families trust them, believe them, and also I think they show the excitement for this place that is hard to describe. You can see it when you meet our students.”

Coinciding with this renewed student presence is a $100 incentive offered from the budgets of Admissions and Enrollment Management to student organizations who register to attend and staff their table for the entirety of the three and a half hour event.

Johnson sees this money as a donation to student organizations. “We understand how much work our student organizations put forth to try to raise funds for their groups,” she says. “I think we’d still get quite a number of groups here even if we weren’t giving them anything.”

Many clubs are eager to use the event for promotion and recruitment. The monetary award for participation is also an impetus for student organizations with limited budgets. “You get a hundred dollars if you do it,” says Classics Club member and Chemistry major Catharine Sauer, who hopes her club will use the extra money toward their annual production of an ancient Greek or Roman play. “That’s kind of the incentive.”

The Undergraduate Student Senate is also slated to be among those attending Open House. Senator Eliza Wilson hopes the Senate’s table will spread awareness and instill in possible future UMB students, “what it means to be a leader at UMass Boston and how leaders conduct themselves on campus.”

Wilson sees the student organization payoff as a demonstration of administration value for student engagement and an extension of Chancellor Motley’s emphasis on community building that he stressed at convocation.

“It’s the administration putting their money where their mouth is,” says Senator Thiago Leonor.

The Tae Kwon Do club has requested time for a demonstration. Queer Student Union will be promoting AIDS and HIV awareness, and Casa Latina will be offering transportation to incoming students for their upcoming multi-cultural festival.

As attendees arrive, Interim Chancellor Keith Motley and his assorted vice chancellors will greet them over continental breakfast. The university jazz band will provide entertainment inside the building, and JAM’N 94.5 and KISS 108 will split the day giving away prizes and concert tickets outside the Campus Center. Throughout the day, academic colleges and departments, student services, and student clubs and organizations will also be on hand.

According to Director of Undergraduate Admissions Liliana Mickle, all academic departments will be represented and the Higher Education Information Center will be available to help with financial aid and application questions.

Workshops will be spread out and repeated throughout the day so that recruits are able to attend all offered events. Tours of Harbor Point will be offered in addition to campus tours every half hour from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Mickle says that these tours, administered by volunteers, will not be the traditional campus tour. She explains their design is “looking at buildings not to take people floor to floor, but to highlight treasures in each building…for a nicer feel.”

Students, faculty, and staff are eligible to volunteer. UMB denim shirts and a luncheon will be provided for volunteers at the end of the Open House events.

“We have designed this open house so you can come, get all your questions answered, stay as long as you like or as short a time as you like,” says Johnson. “Hopefully, we will all have smiles on our faces and feel like…we all made a difference in terms of trying to bring in the next class of students that will join this community.”