We all know that Fairfield is in the midst of a transition period from a regional to a nationally-recognized university. We see it in Dolan and Egan’s yearly rankings, and our being here as students is also proof of that.
Most notably, we all have seen the big tour groups on campus. Whether you are going to the library early in the weekend mornings, trying to make the Dunkin or Tully line or just walking through the Quad, you definitely have seen the larger group sizes. Let me rephrase myself: tours are everywhere, and they are bigger!
I have heard people saying tours look bigger this semester compared to other years, and even Fizz users have noticed this. Some of my friends have said they feel as if Fairfield is a zoo and they are animals being looked at when they see multiple tours at the Tully (which sounds hilarious).
As a tour ambassador, I can say that my weekend tour groups definitely feel larger than those of last year. The past couple of weeks, I have had tours of 10 to 12 families on Saturdays or Sundays, while on Fridays, my groups usually have five families on average.
With the fall tour season over, I want to answer the question that most families ask me while giving tours: Why are you a tour ambassador?
To be honest, I didn’t have a clear reason for joining the group of ambassadors; giving tours was something I did back in high school, and I was looking forward to doing that in college, too. I can say for sure that it’s been one of the best experiences so far for me at Fairfield.
We are the most influential people for families for the one hour they are on campus. We can make or break their perceptions of Fairfield, and indirectly, their future is on us. While the counselors and the brochures give the facts of Fairfield, tour ambassadors put a face to the whole Stag experience.
No brochure or section on our website talks about riding the Stag. I do, and ironically, the Stag is my second favorite stop behind Leo D. Mahoney Arena.
I am a tour ambassador because I want people to see the Fairfield I have experienced. For me, Fairfield is about community, faculty support and the commitment to our future.
I also do tours because I want Fairfield to be more diverse. Nothing brings me more joy and excitement than to hear that someone from Puerto Rico is visiting us. Last spring, I casually got two Puerto Rican families in my tour for Fairfield in Focus, and that was the first time I did a tour in “Spanglish” and the highlight of my spring semester as a tour ambassador.
Spring tours are my preferred because we are both showing the school to juniors and trying to convince admitted seniors to come to Fairfield. It makes every tour feel different.
So, while it’s more challenging to do larger tour groups, and I do agree that sometimes there are groups all over campus – like during orientation day – I’m excited to see our school growing. We should all be excited and waiting for Dr. Nemec to announce the biggest applicant pool and the most academically and diverse class in the university’s history–again.