The doors of Vari Hall had barely closed on a snowy March Gala when the decision was made to forge ahead with a followup event. Even though more than 1,000 high school students and their parents turned up for the March 8 open house, it was clear that many chose to stay home because of inclement weather. (See the March 14 issue of YFile for the full story.)
Right: Tobi Strohan, director, recruitment & marketing, Glendon (seated), answers questions from students interested in York University during the information fair held in the Vari Hall rotunda
Less than a month later, approximately 3,000 more visitors turned out on a sunny, spring Saturday for a supplementary open house on April 5. Despite impending exams, 100 student volunteers helped out. “It really is a testament to York’s spirit and dedication when you consider how quickly this event came together,” said Shelby Verboven, manager, on-campus recruitment and special events. “Representatives from the Faculties and student service areas, support from facilities and parking, our current students and staff – everyone was so supportive in making the April Gala a reality.”
The bus tours were packed. Student walking tours went non-stop. Calumet, Stong and Vanier residences all opened their doors to let in droves of inquisitive students and their parents.
“I love giving tours around the York campus, and the April Gala especially gave me the opportunity to show prospective students and their families all the things York has to offer up close and in person,” said Teagan Gacuk, student ambassador and graduating anthropology student. “It’s such a fun and interactive way to share my knowledge of York with students who are about to start their own university experience.”
Left: Visitors line up for the ever-popular campus bus tours
Vari Hall was once again the hub of activity. Newcomers to York were greeted by representatives from Student Financial Services, Housing, Parking, Student Community & Leadership Development, Security and Sport York as well as York’s transit partners.
Representatives from the different Faculties answered questions, gave lab and studio tours, and held chat sessions, panel discussions and program information sessions. For the first time, prospective students could complete student financial profiles and book enrolment appointments.
Among those taking advantage of services was a group of 42 international students from Columbia International College in Hamilton who were bused in by their school for the event. A mini-admissions office was created in a Vari Hall classroom and 12 students were admitted on the spot.
Right: Mascots with volunteers Yulia Korolitsky (left), Morgane Audoin (seated) and Avinaash Munohur help boost spirit at gala
For entertainment, the Electronic Music Society @ York spun tunes and kept the beat alive as the York Fencing Club displayed their duelling techniques and the York Lions mascots prowled the event for photo opportunities.
To continue to engage these prospective students, York has organized an E-Party, an online event featuring chats, YUBlog, the Experience York video series of guided tours and e-lectures, a photogallery and online games/downloadables such as York trivia and screensavers.