The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Prospective students flock to ND

Meg Handelman | Monday, March 25, 2013

Campus was buzzing this past weekend with a new type of excitement: prospective students.

Spring Visitation weekend, an annual event held for minority students, drew hundreds of potential future undergraduates to campus for a weekend of exposure to life at Notre Dame.

“The weekend is filled with activities, meeting alumni, current students, going to see club shows, sports games, trying the food, etc.,” freshman Jasmine Moxley said. “When you leave, you’re exhausted, but still wishing the trip was longer. And, you are convinced that you want to come join the Notre Dame family.”

Moxley, who attended Spring Visitation last year, said she wanted to reciprocate and volunteered to host a prospective student. She said the four-day, three-night stay convinced her to attend Notre Dame.

“I think Notre Dame is doing a fantastic job right now welcoming prospective students,” she said. “When I was a prospective student, the minute I stepped on campus I felt welcomes and really comfortable here and the events during the weekend just enhanced those feelings.”

Moxley said her prospective student shared the same feelings.

Junior Briana Cortez also chose to host a prospective student after having a positive experience attending Spring Visitation as a high school senior.

“Before I came on Spring Visitation weekend, I was not considering Notre Dame as an option,” Cortez said. “After I visited the campus and saw how beautiful it was, how great the people were and the opportunities I could have I realized this was the place for me. I hosted a student because I wanted to show my prospective student how great the campus was like my host showed me.”

Moxley said prospective students are eager to get a feel for everything from the academic life and opportunities to the social scene and dining hall food.

“The coordinators make sure to expose the prospective students to the best things Notre Dame has to offer academically, socially, physically and spiritually,” she said.

Moxley said prospective students also worried about the ratio of minority students at the University and how that would affect them if they go here. The trip successfully demonstrates how those in that category can excel on this campus, she said.

In the end, the potential students are most interested in learning about what their lives would be like if they chose to attend Notre Dame, Cortez said.

“There were so many things that they wanted to know, from serious things like how the classes were to silly things like how cute the boys are,” she said. “But I think what they asked about the most was what life is like here at Notre Dame and how it is unique from other campuses.”

Cortez said Spring Visitation serves prospective students by letting current students help show them practically everything they need to know in order to make an informed decision about attending Notre Dame.

“I feel like it is the students that know the school better than anyone, therefore they can give their firsthand accounts of what they think of Notre Dame,” she said. “Whether they choose Notre Dame or not, they made a fully educated decision with all the cards in their hands.”

Cortez said the University plans the Spring Visitation weekends when there are fun events on campus so that students are exposed to the best sides of Notre Dame.

“They bring prospective students during great weekends where a lot of cool student activities are happening,” she said. “If only they could bring the students when it was a little warmer, I’m sure a lot more people from California and other warmer states would come.”

By covering all costs of the trip, Moxley said Notre Dame optimizes the chances of attracting high school students to attend Spring Visitation to experience the wealth of opportunities Notre Dame can offer them.

“Notre Dame pays for the plane ride here if you are traveling from far away, they provide a card to swipe into the dining hall and they provide bus transportation to any events held off campus,” she said. “You don’t have to pay for a thing while you’re visiting, which is really nice and definitely makes the trip more enjoyable.”