The University of Kansas Office of Event Management and Protocol authorized KU Student Admissions to conduct in-person student prospective tours, after being remotely online since March.
Student Admissions was advised to adhere to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines as they conduct student tours, which started Sept. 17. This includes limiting the size of visitors, practicing social distancing and wearing masks throughout campus visits.
Campus visits are currently being held in the bottom level of the KU Student Union, with four sessions every day. These sessions include an admissions presentation and a walking tour of the campus, said Lisa Pinamonti Kress, director of Student Admissions.
“We used to have our campus visits [at] the KU Visitor’s Center and then we would bus visitors to their tour,” Kress said. “Now, we decided to host them in the Student Union to practice social distancing.”
Student Admissions is currently limited to 45 people per session and visiting students are only allowed to have one guest. Before the pandemic, the average tour size ranged from one to six visiting students per group and included each student’s family members.
“We have been super creative in switching our recruitment efforts, but if people aren’t comfortable coming in person, there's a variety of visit options,” Kress said. “We have weekly virtual visit options and specialized programs, all with selected dates.”
Kress said student tours will occur until Dec. 18, and she hopes to resume on Feb. 1 in the spring semester.
Cory Do-Tran, a Student Admissions ambassador, is excited to start student tours and meet new faces again.
“It took almost a month and a half to get things going,” Do-Tran said. “It was amazing that we had so many people willing to come visit [KU].”
Amelia Richardson, a Student Admissions ambassador, was nervous to give tours at first due to COVID-19, but she said visitors and families have been following health guidelines, which helped her feel safer.
“It is essential for students to tour the [college campus] that they are planning to attend, but many colleges aren’t open for tours right now,” Richardson said. “KU and our ambassador program understand the importance of students visiting here and have been doing a great job at making sure the tours are safe.”