Admissions Ambassadors show students what the VCU community has to offer

Visiting a college and trying to decide if it is right for you can seem like a tricky process, especially if it’s an urban campus with a diverse student population. That’s when VCU’s 35 Admissions Ambassadors enter the scene.

“One of our main goals is to be very representative of VCU’s population,” Adam Stout, the ambassadors president, said, explaining that the ambassadors conduct campus tours for prospective students and their families as well as oversee block parties.

“One reason why I decided to attend VCU is because of a tour guide I had named Mark,” Stout said. “He made me feel very welcomed.”

Stout, a psychology major, joined the ambassadors more than two years ago.

“The members conduct tours during three open houses each year,” he said. “We also conduct two monthly tours. Starting the end of the spring semester and early next fall we are going to start branching out more not just for prospective students but for current students.”

Planned events for late spring and early fall include ice cream socials and possibly student dinners to foster school spirit.

“The students who conduct the tours are so friendly and represent VCU from a student’s prospective,” said Melanie Seigenbutz, a sophomore who decided to attend VCU after attending an ambassador tour. “The tour leaders knew a lot about the history of VCU and also showed prospective students places on campus where current students hang out.”

Lindsey Bryant, the lone transfer student in the ambassadors club, transferred from Hollins University in Roanoke.

“There are so many benefits of being involved in the ambassadors club,” she said. “I meet so many new people when I conduct tours.

“During an open house I mentioned that I was majoring in criminal justice and thinking of going into the FBI, and this man I was giving the tour to was from the FBI. I meet people from all aspects of life.”

Members recently attended a regional ambassadors conference at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, which Bryant found educational and fun.

“The conference was so much fun because I got to meet other ambassadors from many different schools along the East Coast,” she said. “At the conference ambassadors from different schools learn better ways to conduct campus tours from each other and ways to improve the ambassadors program at their schools.”

Thirteen members including the group’s executive board attend the conference each year.

“We have fund-raisers in order to attend the conference for free,” Bryant said. “Last semester we sold magazine subscriptions, and later this semester we are going to have a raffle, but we haven’t decided what the raffle is for.”

The Student Government Association also provides funds for the ambassadors’ trip.

“The (ambassadors) executive board is always looking for students who are spirited about VCU and likes to help others,” Stout said, adding that he wants everyone to know the club needs more members.

Bryant, who went through the application process last semester, describes the application process as easy.

“Then there are a short series of interviews,” she said. “The interviews were in front of the executive board and were basically like a series of job interviews. The process was simple and I have really learned a lot about VCU.”

The ambassadors meet at VCU’s Welcome Center on West Broad Street.

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