One of my favorite parts about being an Admissions Ambassador at St. Lawrence is going on tour and sharing my SLU experience with prospective students and their families. I would like to share with you a few of my favorite things that happen on tour at St. Lawrence. If you haven’t visited campus, come see for yourself these unique parts of St. Lawrence that I love!
Top 10 Tour Spots
10. Unexpected squirrel experiences. Squirrels are everywhere on campus. They jump out of garbage cans and sprint around corners. I like to call them the signature animal of St. Lawrence. The squirrel is even depicted in one of the stained glass windows in Gunnison Memorial Chapel. How many squirrels can you spot on your tour?
9. It’s my birthday multiple times a year. One of the inside jokes between the Admissions Ambassadors is to yell out "Happy Birthday!" to a tour guide during a tour in the Student Center. This proclamation then creates a ripple effect to other people in the building to sequentially yell out "Happy Birthday!" as well. This creates a rather uncomfortable but humorous experience for the prospective student and his or her family. Since my birthday is one of my favorite holidays, I personally love the experience of gaining more than one birthday in a year.
8. Seeing friends at the Munro Climbing Wall. One of the last stops on tour is Newell Field House, our athletic facility built in 2001. I love showing off the Climbing Wall since it’s free and a great way to get a dynamic workout experience. The Outing Program hosts many events here and teach students how to climb and belay. When I’m on tour, I love stopping by and saying hi to friends that are hanging 30 feet in the air. Don’t forget to look up!
7. When Shin is working at the Grab and Go. The Grab and Go is our newest eatery on campus and is located in Johnson Hall of Science. My favorite sandwich offered is the turkey cheddar sandwich with cranberry mayo on a cranberry roll. It’s delicious. You have to try it. In addition to the amazing food options, I love the service. Shin is my favorite Grab and Go worker. She works nearly every day, always serves with a big smile and even remembers my order. If you’re going on tour between 11a.m. - 2 p.m., make sure to say hi and send a wave her way!
6. Running into President Fox at Dana. For many colleges, the president is never seen or heard of. This is NOT the case with St. Lawrence. In fact, President Fox is all over campus. He offers open office hours similar to the professors and encourages students to come introduce themselves, chat about life and discuss anything happening on campus that he should address. In addition, President Fox loves to eat at the dining hall. Since my first year at SLU, I have seen him a number of times eating lunch with students at the all-you-can-eat buffet style dining hall, Dana. If you’re on tour and see him, please don’t be shy; wave and smile. He loves talking to people and would love talking to you. Note: the picture I included of the man longboarding - that’s President Fox!
5. Noticing professors at the Fitness Center. During the last four years here, one of the most unexpected experiences I have had is being at the gym running on a treadmill, and seeing my professor running next to me. Some people think it’s odd, but I love seeing my professors at the gym. It reminds me that the St. Lawrence community is health-conscious and stays active. It also shows there isn’t a great barrier between students and faculty. Instead, it’s quite the opposite. Most professors even give out their home phone numbers!
4. Walking by the Quad when Frisbee is in session. When I studied abroad in Australia during the fall of my junior year, I learned how to play Ultimate Frisbee. When I came back to campus, it was easy to find the Ruckus Bus (our Frisbee team) because they practice on the Quad just about every day in the afternoon - and they welcome all levels of experience. One of my favorite things is when they yell out to people advertising the club and invite everyone to come join. My advice to new students: go to the Quad and play Frisbee at least once-you’ll probably be hooked!
3. Weddings in the Chapel. Although this occurrence doesn’t happen often during the school year, Gunnison Memorial Chapel hosts St. Lawrence couples' weddings almost every Saturday in the summer. Gunnison is one of my favorite buildings on campus; I love how the stained glass windows represent each liberal arts component and can teach people about St. Lawrence as they walk through on tour. A fun fact about St. Lawrence weddings is that it’s rumored that about 50% of the students at St. Lawrence will marry another Laurentian. For those on tour, look around at the students because who knows, they may be your future husband, wife or partner.
2. Touring through a dance class rehearsal. Even though not everyone is interested in dance, I highly encourage everyone to attend the Dance Showcase every semester. The dances are abstract and use props I never thought could be used in dance. I was once on tour and walked through one of the Modern Dance rehearsals. The dancers were in the hall and instead of the typical leotard, there were five dancers atop stilts - yes, stilts. There were five people towering over my tour around 10 feet in the air. I can honestly say, St. Lawrence is the only place I have seen people dancing on stilts. Maybe, if you’re lucky on tour, you’ll also walk through and get a sneak peak at this semester’s dance performance. (Note: the people in the blue unitards, they’re part of a dance showcase this semester.)
1. Spotting dogs on campus. Lastly, my favorite aspect of campus is that professors and community members walk their dogs throughout campus. As an avid dog lover, I drop everything else and get completely distracted when I see a dog on campus. It’s not even a rare occasion; I just love to pet dogs and get my puppy love in since I miss my own dog, Shelby. So, I sincerely apologize to anyone that is on tour with me in advance if we are walking on campus and see a dog, most likely the following will happen: I will stop mid-sentence, point out the dog and I will most likely detour to the dog. I’m sorry, dogs are one of my priorities and I’m not afraid to show it. And yes, if you have a dog and are bringing it to campus, please bring it with you. You will be my favorite tour family ever!
I hope you enjoyed learning about my top ten tour spots. Remember to keep them in mind when you’re visiting campus! Looking back, I can’t believe that I toured St. Lawrence give years ago! Nevertheless, I will always remember my tours of St. Lawrence (there were three or four) as well as the tours I have given. Hopefully, you’ll have the same positive, life-changing experience of touring SLU and becoming a Laurentian for Life. Now, how many of these tour spots did you see?