How to survive campus during tour season

It’s that time of year again: spring. With this season comes warmer weather, the return of the birds, laying on the quad, and unfortunately, tours. Every spring at Roger Williams leads to the arrival of hundreds of high school tour groups. Every day it seems like more and more packs of prospective students and their parents venture to campus. Tour guides recite fun facts about the school and perfect the art of walking backwards to an eager audience of parents and half-interested students. Today, I just wanted to share some advice regarding these on campus visitors.

Here are some helpful tips on how to survive when campus is swarmed by Accepted Student’s Days, opens houses, or regular tour groups.

1.     Avoid crowded campus areas

When the tours eventually come, they always flock to the major campus areas. Avoid Upper Commons, the library, GHH, and the Rec Center. These areas always pull in the most people who want to see the highlights of campus. Trying to make it through these areas will become nearly impossible, especially during Accepted Students Day. Good luck doing homework in GHH when the cupcake reception is going on. Peace and quiet in the library is a thing of the past during an open house. If you really need to get some work done, it’s better to shelter inside your dorm.

2.     Close your doors

One of the most requested stops of these tour groups is the on-campus living. In order to show these eager parents where their children might be living, these groups simply walk right into res halls. You never know when someone on your floor or in your building was crazy enough to volunteer their dorm room for a tour group. Worst off, they might not tell you and your neighbors about volunteering. Nothing is worse than a group of strangers peeking into your dorm room and seeing the leftover remnants of the Friday night before. No one wants strangers snooping around through your stuff when they assume your room is their stop, so when these groups come through, lock the door.

3.     Try the food

It’s no secret that Roger Williams has good food by college standards. Hell, it’s one of our most advertised features. During every open house or Accepted Student’s Day, the admission officers talk about how incredible the food is. Now don’t get me wrong, our food is good. I’ve been to plenty of other college dining halls and they just don’t measure up. Our food is especially great during days when we have a lot of visitors. Every student knows that the kitchens on campus always seem to up their game just a bit to impress potential new students. It’s not uncommon for Upper to serve great sandwiches, entrees like steak or fish with a side of the good fries, and great desserts. I know I said to avoid high traffic areas on tour days, but the trip to Commons might just be worth the crowds. 

With these helpful tips, you just might be able to survive the onslaught of prospective students. These groups will inconvenience nearly all of us, but hopefully these tips will make life a little more bearable. One final tip I will leave you with: be polite and respectful. These visitors may seem like strange intruders right now, but they can eventually be classmates, friends, teammates, or roommates. It’s natural to want nothing to do with them, but many of them will join this community in the fall. So, if someone seems lost, point them in the right direction and give them the right impression of campus.