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Student hosts show prospects campus life

Tricia De Groot | Monday, March 1, 2004

The freshmen who hosted prospective members of the Class of 2008 last week wanted their guests to feel like just the opposite. Instead of merely taking the prospects on campus tours and to informational meetings – activities that any visitor could attend – the hosts did their best to expose the new students to campus life from the inside out.These host students, selected by the Notre Dame Admissions Department because they expressed an interest in entertaining prospective students at the activities night in September or because they responded to an e-mail requesting host students, said they introduced their prospects to the Notre Dame experience by taking them to classes, showing them their favorite places on campus, bringing them to the opposite sex’s dorms and taking them to special events such as Bengal Bouts and interhall hockey games.Freshman Joe O’Brien said that his own campus visit as a prospect last year encouraged him to pass along the tradition. “I was one of the people who was hosted last year, and I thought it was a good experience,” he said. O’Brien added that showing his visitor Notre Dame’s unique residence hall atmosphere was a first priority. “I wanted [the prospective student] to know about the dorm communities and the sense of pride that we have for ourselves. I really emphasized the fact that here we accept everyone and that despite the lack of frats and everything that it’s all still fun and exciting,” said O’Brien.Becky Scholl-Maguire, another freshman host, said that the family aspect of Notre Dame was most important to share. “I tried to convey the sense of family and tradition and explain how everyone has so much pride in Notre Dame and is happy that they are here,” she said. “I tried to provide a good experience for her because my visit to Notre Dame was when I fell in love with the school.”Freshman Kathleen O’Brien agreed with Scholl-Maguire that meeting current Notre Dame students made her prospect feel more welcome. “I think it’s really important for her to get to know the type of people that go here because that is what made the difference for me,” Kathleen O’Brien said. “I also wanted her to know what separates Notre Dame from other schools, [such as] the family atmosphere and tradition.”Tommy Clarkson said that a dose of student life was equally – if not more – important than experiencing the University’s academic setting. “I wanted to make sure that he saw there was life outside of classes and that he got to get an inside look at what the students do during their days,” Clarkson said.He added that he had received positive feedback from his visitor. “I thought it was a pretty good experience he got to see a lot of what the day to day life of a student is,” he said. “[The prospect] asked questions and seemed genuinely interested.” These freshmen will continue to host students until the Class of 2008 makes their final decisions.