Will and I took 15 10th and 11th graders upstate this past weekend to visit colleges. Overall it went quite smoothly! We started at Morrisville State College on Saturday morning. They were having an Open House, so we were greeted by a costumed mascot, a table full of baked goods and hot beverages, and a mini department/activities fair with plenty of swag giveaways. We took a tour (mercifully mostly indoors since it was quite cold out and starting to snow) and learned a lot about the school – our tour guide was from Brooklyn so was able to talk about her adjustment going from big city to rural school. Many students felt the campus was homey and offered a lot of great services (like free tutoring in any department!).
After that, we headed to Syracuse University. The campus was getting ready for a football game, so we passed a bunch of tailgates while we searched for parking. There were a LOT of people visiting Syracuse that day, so we were glad to be in a 20-person tour group instead of the 60-person one. Here, our tour guide seemed to not feel the cold, wind, and sleet, and spent most of our tour outdoors (probably affecting students’ impression of the school…). Some StreetSquashers really enjoyed Syracuse – it’s obviously an impressive place, with many celebrity alumni, lots of school spirit around their athletics, and really nice facilities. Our tour guide was stumped by some of our questions, commenting that he’d “never gotten that one before” (ie “what obstacles have you faced here so far?”). We ate lunch in the Student Center after our tour and warmed up.
We drove through Cazenovia College on our way to Cortland (our alums at Caz unfortunately weren’t available to show us around so we just took a mini driving tour). After checking in at our hotel we took a (freezing) scavenger hunt tour of SUNY Cortland. It wasn’t great timing, however – the annual “Cortica” game had just ended (Cortland-Ithaca rivalry), and students seemed to be holed away at post-game parties so the campus was quite quiet.
Our day ended with some heated bowling games (staff sadly did not triumph…Nasir bowled more points than Will or me), dinner, and some down time at the hotel.
Sunday morning we drove to Ithaca College to meet alum Javaughn (StreetSquash ’15, Ithaca ’19). Students were immediately interested in Ithaca because of how pretty the campus is (it probably helped that the sun was shining). We saw the gym, an academic building (including the computer science lounge), Javaughn’s dorm and the campus center. The students asked lots of questions about how to get in to Ithaca, how he chose the school, and what he likes about it. We heard about some of the issues around race that the college is dealing with – apparently the president is facing a potential vote of no confidence from the students and faculty – but Javaughn didn’t seem to be personally affected.
That just about wrapped up our trip – we drove back to the city with not much traffic and got back around 5pm. Students had a great time!
-Cici, Senior Director of College Access and Success