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Preview day provides inside look at campus life

By Jordan Wright
On March 4, 2012


The Mane Event Preview Day of the Spring 2012 semester occurred Saturday, March 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The day held several festivities as student volunteers, educational staff, and department representatives gathered to welcome the visiting prospective students from high schools and transferring from other colleges.

Visitors made their way to A&M-Commerce from all over the state to learn whether or not the university was well suited to their needs. Upon the initial arrival and registration, guests were greeted by student ambassadors and university staff at the Rayburn Student Center, around which, the event was centralized. After registering on the first floor, the guests were invited to a breakfast in the second floor conference rooms for a formal welcome on behalf of the staff, as well as an introduction to the day by President of the university Dr. Dan Jones, who expressed his gratitude to those willing to come out to spend the day with them.

"It's been great to give us an opportunity to show off our great university," Dr. Jones said.  "We know we're having a great day and we enjoy telling them all about our university."

The breakfast was followed by a series of general information sessions, covering topics such as residence living and learning, financial aid, and the functioning of different educational departments, which were held throughout the course of the day. The academic information sessions were held to inform prospects of the requirements and opportunities of different educational departments, as well as help them to decide from a list of possible majors. One prospect claims to have had very good first impression of the information session of the field that he is currently pursuing.

"It was a pretty helpful information session; I got all of my questions answered and got everything that I needed," Madisonville High School Junior Ethridge Brooks said. "I really like this campus. It's been pretty good."

In addition to the academic information sessions held between 10:00 – 11:40, the student ambassadors were also conducting tours of the campus.

As the morning drew to a close, the afternoon brought with it a free lunch under tents in the sunny weather just outside of the Rayburn Student Center. This lunch ran concurrently with the Information Fair held on the second floor of the Rayburn Student Center, which allowed numerous department representatives and extracurricular communities to showcase what their fields of study and activities can offer the visitors that may ultimately join the A&M-Commerce. Several organizations were on the floor, advertising to catch the attention of students, such as the Greek Life organizations, KETR, and ANGLS who all hope to reach out to the prospects with what they each had to offer.

"We want people to know that there is a safe place on campus for those of homosexual orientation," ANGLS representative Tori Zimring said. "If they're alone or even just questioning, there is a group for them."

Young Energetic Spirits claims to be amongst the successful organizations in attracting numbers and turnout.

"So far so good," Young Energetic Spirits representative Taylor Winters said. "We're still trying to get more people to come but we're hoping for the best."

With the end of the Information Fair, the event marked its conclusion with around 1:30 P.M. with raffles for scholarships and A&M-Commerce merchandise. As the visitors began to depart, event coordinator and Dean of Enrollment Management and Retention Stephanie Holley expressed her pleasure regarding the overall turnout and success of the events of the day.

"I was a little bit worried about the cold weather but close to about 900 people show up today," Holley said. "It's been a beautiful day overall and a fabulous turnout."

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