How to spice up a campus tour

Chris Slattery

Do you remember high school? It was that four years of your life when social status mattered, when principals were more concerned with governing than teaching, when the really weird chick turns out to be a major hottie …

Maybe I’m thinking of The Breakfast Club instead …

For some of us, all high school claimed to do was “prepare us for college,” which culminated into numerous campus tours.

Now is the prime time for young’uns to visit their prospective schools in search of that right “vibe,” before winter rears its ugly head (because we all know that winter is a total butterface).

And I mean no disrespect to any of the tour guides, who are merely doing their jobs in an effective and informative manner, but I would like to point out a couple of things that I would do differently in hopes of increasing enrollment in our great school:

  • Show the tour the pit in front of Kirkhof and explain that all incoming freshmen will be living in underground facilities from now on. Honestly, we’ve run out of space on campus, and the only logical progression is to build downward. This housing doesn’t have much in terms of a view, but the neighbors (earthworms, specifically the ones named Jim) are really fun to party with. Also, these underground bunkers will put a lot of Cold War-era parents at ease.
  • Tell them about the hunchback that rings the bells every hour on the hour (like clockwork) whenever Julianne Vanden Wyngaard isn’t around. I would then explain that he is extremely antisocial but that the cute girl in the back of the tour could possibly get through to him. I would then get her number in case “Quasimodo wants to talk to you.”
  • Make the tour like a music tour. Sure, hearing all of the historical facts about a university is fun, but I would make it a campus-wide extravaganza. The plan is to deck each person out with their own instrument (parents will get wind chimes and cowbells and such) and have a crowd of students at every location to cheer as the tour arrives and ask for autographs. Tell me you wouldn’t go to a school that does that. Tell me.
  • Tell them each of the Lake buildings’ drinking fountain water comes from the Great Lake that it is named after. That is why the water in Lake Michigan Hall tastes the freshest — it doesn’t have to go through hundreds of miles of pipeline to get here. Then quickly change the subject if anyone asks where the water from AuSable comes from.
  • Inform the students that they must read every issue of the Grand Valley Lanthorn, because at the end of every week, there will be a quiz on the content. Especially pay attention to the Opinion and Editorial section.

This may sound mean to some people because these kids don’t know any better. They’re busy worrying about their upcoming ACTs and SATs and MDOTs. But they need to know what sets Grand Valley State University apart from any of the other schools they visit. The answer is simple: We have a hunchback.

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