Friday, April 19, 2013

The only passport you need: prospective students get a taste of the Lute life over event-filled weekend

By Valery Jorgensen, News Writer

Prospective students arrived on campus last Friday for a busy Passport Weekend.
   
Passport Weekend is an overnight event that brings high school students to campus and gives them a glimpse of what life at Pacific Lutheran University is like.
   
“If they’ve already chosen PLU or are still deciding, we want them to have a fun experience and find their home here, just like all other Lutes,” sophomore Amanda Brasgalla, Red Carpet Club host, said. The Red Carpet Club gives prospective students tours, answers questions and works to make PLU a welcoming environment.
   
Brasgalla said Passport Weekend is an important event because it can sway a high school senior’s decision-making on where to attend college. “Some students are still figuring out where they’re going in the fall, and a fun weekend at PLU makes them realize that here is where they’re supposed to be,” Brasgalla said.
   
Students arrived at campus last Friday evening. On campus for 24 hours, their time was planned out with various activities. From meals to assemblies to activities, free time was limited.
   
Along with events and activities for prospective students, PLU implemented some rules as well.
   
The welcome meeting and an email sent to the hosts  stated hosts were not allowed to take prospective students off campus and had to be back in their rooms by 11:30 p.m., sophomore Kjersten Braaten, a prospective student host, said.
   
From 8-11:30 p.m., hosts had a range of event choices to take their prospective student to. PLU a cappella groups PLUtonic and HERmonic performed for the possible future Lutes.
   
“They rocked the house,” Braaten said.
   
Following the concert, a scavenger hunt began around the PLU campus. Red Carpet Club employees helped create a list of different items to find and take pictures of around campus.        
   
Sophomore Tiana Wamba, a Red Carpet Club host, said “this event allowed students to explore campus in a fun and competitive way.” Wamba finished third with her prospective students in the competition.
   
The Clay Crows also performed that night for future students, providing some humor to end the evening.        
"Clay Crows shows the diversity of activities students can be involved in outside of academics, and it was fun to take my prospective students to the show,” Braaten said.
   
After a fun filled evening, Brasgalla and her prospective students “did the wonderful, fattening experience of sharing Old Main Market ice cream while talking.”
   
On Saturday, hosts took their students to breakfast and then dropped them off at Olson Auditorium for another day filled with activities.
   
Saturday included more academic-based events, such as exploring students’ possible interests in academic track meetings, luncheons with faculty, alumni and students, the involvement fair, financial planning and campus tours.
   
The prospective students could also turn in housing and tuition forms to save their spot as a Lute.