Student Recruitment Coordinators create memorable experiences for prospective students on Reilly Spring Visit
Renee Pierson | Monday, February 24, 2020
Prospective Notre Dame students traveled from far and wide to visit campus this weekend for the Reilly Spring Visit Program. A select group of students were given the opportunity to explore various aspects of campus life free of charge in an immersion program, and current students played a significant role in the planning of the weekend’s events.
Junior Noble Patidar and sophomore Meenu Selvan were two of the Student Recruitment Coordinators that helped organize the event this year.
“The Reilly Spring Visit is a program run by Notre Dame undergraduate admissions that brings high school seniors of low socioeconomic status and minority backgrounds to campus. These are exceptional kids,” Patidar said. “These are my favorite weekends of the year.”
Selvan said the weekend exists to allow prospective students to fully experience Notre Dame.
“Our job [as Student Recruitment Coordinators] is to create programs or events to entertain the prospective students and show them what it’s actually like to be involved in this campus,” Selvan said. “We show them the resources, the opportunities and the spaces where they can do what they love to do.”
Sophomore Yanik Ariste was a student host, and she emphasized the importance of the weekend to the students invited for the program.
“It’s a paid opportunity so students that may not be able to visit otherwise from far places or low-income students can come and explore campus and see what Notre Dame is all about.”
Many of the current students involved in Reilly attended the visit themselves and spoke to the positive impact it had on them ultimately choosing Notre Dame.
“[The Reilly Spring Visit] was one of the main reasons I decided to come to the school,” Selvan said.
Patidar echoed Selvan, and said he would not have chosen the University without the program.
“I came here for the [Reilly] program and it wasn’t even the events specifically, it was the people,” Patidar said. “It was the atmosphere, it was seeing this place in person that brought me here.”
The events that the Student Recruitment Coordinators planned were aimed at bringing the students closer to one another, giving them the chance to get to know their potential future classmates.
The four-day visit commenced with campus tours and a welcome dinner on Thursday, followed by a breakfast and presentations by various colleges on Friday.
The itinerary on Friday also included a student panel featuring representatives from different student organizations.
“Hopefully the student panel will be able to answer questions that they have honestly without the admissions counselors in the room,” Selvan said. “This is their one-on-one time with us.”
In addition to the academic and extracurricular aspects of college life, the students were also immersed in the social scene on campus through the hosting system and social activities.
“I know the Reilly staff made sure they met a lot of people over the weekend by having different student groups for different activities,” Ariste said in an email. “It worked! Within a couple of hours of being here, the Reilly students were already getting close, making breakfast plans and more.”
On Saturday, one of the closing activities was a talent show where the prospective students had the opportunity to perform, which is a long-standing tradition.
“This year they’re going to get the band, Africana dance and Humor Artists to perform to kickstart the event. That will hopefully motivate some of the students to go up there,” Selvan said.
In addition to these fun events, spiritual experiences are also incorporated to emphasize Notre Dame’s religious identity.
“I’ve always been a spiritual person, so when I came here during Reilly I went to mass in Morrissey and it was the best experience of my life. I didn’t realize how invested students were in mass,” Selvan said.
To conclude the visit, the coordinators and the prospective students all visit the Grotto together and each of the coordinators tells a candid story about why this place is special to them.
The Reilly Spring Visit holds a special place in the hearts of the Student Recruitment Coordinators, and this passion manifested itself throughout the weekend, Patidar said.
“These kids only have three days here,” Patidar said. “The way you get them to ask the most delicate questions is developing that trust as quickly as possible. When they start asking those questions, you get the best results in that they see Notre Dame the way we do.”