The Office of Admissions at St. John’s is looking for resident students to host prospective high school students as part of its Overnight Visit Program.
Two e-mails were sent to the student body from the Office of Admissions asking for more students to volunteer, one on Feb. 27 and one on March 19. The most recent Overnight Visit was held last weekend, March 29 and 30. The next visit will take place April 26 to 27.
“Each year, prospective students from across the country are invited to participate in our Overnight Visit program,” both e-mails read. “This event gives these students the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at [a student’s] St. John’s experience.”
According to David Griffin, senior associate director of the Office of Admissions, the program allows prospective students to spend one night and two days at the University to get a flavor of campus life. He also said about 70 percent of the students who participate in the overnight visit program eventually enroll at St. John’s.
“It gives us an opportunity to showcase what we have to offer,” Griffin said. “Admitted students who participate in the program are able to make more out of their visit.”
During last weekend’s visit, roughly 200 high school students shadowed the campus, Griffin said. On Sunday, shadows and hosts attended the University baseball game against Georgetown at Citi Field, followed by various mandatory programs organized by the Office of Admissions.
The Office of Admissions has been offering students who volunteer $20 gift certificates to the University bookstore. Gabby McKenzie, a sophomore, said she decided to host a shadow last weekend after receiving the e-mail notifying her that she would be compensated.
“Textbooks are expensive,” she said. “The gift certificate definitely caught my eye and made me want to sign up.”
Initially, she said she was worried she would not be able to finish her assignments for Monday or mingle with her friends, and that volunteering would be “taxing and exhausting.” However, she found that her shadow also had homework to complete and they spent their Sunday evening studying biology and chemistry.
“She [the shadow] even asked me for help,” Mckenzie said. “I felt like I was hanging out with my regular group of friends.”
Clare Elmgren, a junior, said she enjoyed the hosting experience and wants to do it again.
“I love St. John’s,” she said, “Hosting is a way for me to show other people to feel the same way.”
McKenzie said she would also host a shadow again.
“The program was really fun and the other events I went to were great,” she said.