Tori Foster, Staff Writer
The University of Missouri–St. Louis has developed a new route for their campus tours. In previous years, they had a standard tour route of five stops that included the Millennium Student Center, a shuttle bus, South campus (Oak Hall and Honors College), the circle (North campus), the Thomas Jefferson Library and the quad area.
Even though the traditional way worked for years, the student tour guides craved for change. They suggested the tour routes be customized per group or student since there were more transfer students coming in than there were new prospective students.
As a result, the new Welcome Center route covers the main common areas: the Social Sciences Building, the T.J. Library and the Recreation and Wellness Center. After the stop at the library, students can get tours of buildings based on their specific interests before moving on to the last stop in the tour. For example, if a student had an interest in music the tour guide would show them UMSL’s Touhill Performing Arts Center.
Danilo Radenkovic, graduate, business administration MBA, stated the new tours are a “way to be more personal with students.”
The Welcome Center offers way more than tours. Currently, they help students prepare for their upcoming semester at the university by giving them contact information for the student’s major department.
The new University of Missouri System is now user-friendly for prospective students. It allows new students to sign up for tours based on times and availability shown in the system.
As a result, Lisa Baker, manager of Admissions for Campus Tours & Special Events Welcome Center, stated there was a 500-student increase in attendance and the number of students who apply to UMSL after the tour is “up by 10%.” The number of students taking a tour during the week has also increased. Baker explained they give tours to an average of 30 students a week versus 20 students a week last year. On some days the Welcome Center tour guides see 50 different students in one day.
Baker’s goal is to “make sure everybody that leave here with a positive feeling and a positive experience.” She wants the tours to reflect all the resources we have on campus for our students. Baker advises students on their first day to “take advantage of all the amazing things we have to offer on campus.” The Welcome Center is here to show them what it means to be a Triton.