At Saturday’s Spring Insight open house, prospective freshmen were not pelted with water balloons; however, UCSB staff, faculty and students did hit them with information about the campus.
Close to 7,000 prospective students, with family members in tow, attended the event this year to familiarize themselves with the campus. Throughout the day, students and their families had the opportunity to attend campus and housing tours, presentations, informational fairs and five lectures.
“I like the atmosphere here at UCSB, you know it’s not [like] you live, say, wildly, I didn’t see anything wild,” Jennifer Hathcock, the mother of one prospective student from Los Angeles, said. “I think it’s a great opportunity here; we live in an inner city far away about two hours, but I can trust leaving my daughter here in a campus like UCSB.”
In addition to touring the campus, prospective freshmen also surveyed the residence halls, including privately owned Fontainebleu and Tropicana Gardens on El Colegio Road.
“Housing is a huge part of a student’s [experience] so freshmen especially want to see where they will spend a year of their life,” Pamela K. Cort, Housing & Residential Services assignment services manager, said.
The College of Letters and Science, College of Engineering, College of Creative Studies, the Financial Aid Office and the Educational Opportunity Program gave presentations about their respective opportunities and facilities.
“This open house has been entertaining, concise and precise,” said Tracy Green, a mother from Sacramento. “So far it’s been easier to see what this university has to offer my daughter. We went to see other campuses, but they’re not as happy or friendly. The students here are amazing; I have been able to approach several students to ask questions.”
Spring Insight also featured informational fairs related to academic information, student services and student organizations.
“There are hundreds of opportunities to shape the student body,” Katya Armistead, assistant director of admissions of the Visitor Center, said. “Here is an opportunity to get students to come here to let them know which [campus] to choose. We want to make sure they make a good informed decision; we are not trying to be better, we’re real.”
Finally, prospective students had the chance to attend five faculty lectures. Professor Roger Freedman of the Physics Dept. gave a lecture about cosmic expansion, dark energy and the final fate of the universe.
According to Armistead, Spring Insight used to be a smaller program, but has grown with UCSB’s popularity.
“The program, actually many years ago was a two- to three-week program [that was] held at the UCen, or at residential halls, or in formal lounges or in tents,” Armistead said.
Cort said preparation for Spring Insight takes several months of work and a budget of $25,000 dollars.
“There is a year round committee, starting in October, really starting now,” said Andrea L. Helfer, Admissions Counselor and Special Events Coordinator. “We try to focus ahead of time; there are about 15 people who do all the planning, delegating, making brochures.”
Armistead said she felt this year’s Spring Insight successfully showcased UCSB.
“That’s our reputation,” said Armistead. “Visitors at the end of the day always comment on how friendly this campus is.”