Be a tour guide… and a badass!

Claire Kaplan ’09 is planning to start a student-run tour group:

I’m interested in starting a student-run alternative to the University tours for the adventurous prefrosh. Tour guides would be unaffiliated with the University and, as such, wouldn’t have to worry about what they say, wouldn’t have to provide statistics to students, and could even deviate from the classic tour format (e.g. replacing the last part of the tour with a session hanging out on Foss Hill blowing bubbles) assuming they do so in a lawful and tasteful manner. Basically, tours would be an explicitly subjective but hopefully interesting look at the University beyond the traditional tour. The upside here is you get to do whatever you want with your prefrosh ducklings; the obvious downside is, you won’t get paid. I mean, I’m certainly not going to pay you.

Interested in being part a part of this operation, tentatively called “Wesleyan All Over You”? Email the illustrious Ms. Kaplan at clkaplan@wes.

32 thoughts on “Be a tour guide… and a badass!

  1. Lauren

    To Claire and others:I think you’re concern is important but it has already been adressed by the tour guide program.An alternate tour guide program is necessary. Under the current tour format, the tour guide walks within the group and the majority of the tour is spent in casual conversation with the people on the tour. Important information about programs and opportunities are given at the talking points. At these talking points, the tour guide is encouraged to talk about their personal experiences with varied aspects of the school alongside crucial information any potential student should know. People come to a campus because they want to learn what the school has to offer, so it is vital that a tour provide certain information. Throughout the tour, prospective students and parents are encouraged to speak up and ask questions about their personal interests. I think that anyone who is interested in an ‘alternative program’ need not look farther than the admissions program. The tour is mainly the job of the tour guide to make interesting, so Claire or anyone else who is interesting in showing the university should become part of the program and get paid for their time. And to the point of playing on the hill, the current tour ends coming down Foss Hill. When i have high schoolers, I often encourage them to roll down. Many jubilantly do.If you would like to speak to me about tours, contact me at lbgoldman@wesleyan.edu.

  2. Lauren

    To Claire and others:
    I think you’re concern is important but it has already been adressed by the tour guide program.
    An alternate tour guide program is necessary. Under the current tour format, the tour guide walks within the group and the majority of the tour is spent in casual conversation with the people on the tour. Important information about programs and opportunities are given at the talking points. At these talking points, the tour guide is encouraged to talk about their personal experiences with varied aspects of the school alongside crucial information any potential student should know. People come to a campus because they want to learn what the school has to offer, so it is vital that a tour provide certain information. Throughout the tour, prospective students and parents are encouraged to speak up and ask questions about their personal interests. I think that anyone who is interested in an ‘alternative program’ need not look farther than the admissions program. The tour is mainly the job of the tour guide to make interesting, so Claire or anyone else who is interesting in showing the university should become part of the program and get paid for their time. And to the point of playing on the hill, the current tour ends coming down Foss Hill. When i have high schoolers, I often encourage them to roll down. Many jubilantly do.
    If you would like to speak to me about tours, contact me at lbgoldman@wesleyan.edu.

  3. noa

    very cooli like stressing the “interesting subjective view,” and not pretending that one of these tours would be any more “accurate” or “true” than any tour.I think it would be wonderful to expose prefrosh to something other than the happy-go-lucky admissions brochure aesthetic. Because then we’ll have more applicants and admitted students who aren’t about that. And who won’t feel ripped off and frustrated when they see that Wesleyan is not a glossy brochure – they might already have an appreciation for unfinishedness.again, great idea.As far as losing pre-frosh in a competitive market by being honest, I’m not concerned. I didn’t come here because I thought Wesleyan would be like its viewbook, but I know some people who did and they are disappointed. I want to attract students who come here not because they want to be in a perfect place where they won’t have to work, but because it’s the right imperfect place for them – a place they want to work in, get a lot out of and give something to as well.

  4. noa

    very cool

    i like stressing the “interesting subjective view,” and not pretending that one of these tours would be any more “accurate” or “true” than any tour.

    I think it would be wonderful to expose prefrosh to something other than the happy-go-lucky admissions brochure aesthetic. Because then we’ll have more applicants and admitted students who aren’t about that. And who won’t feel ripped off and frustrated when they see that Wesleyan is not a glossy brochure – they might already have an appreciation for unfinishedness.

    again, great idea.

    As far as losing pre-frosh in a competitive market by being honest, I’m not concerned. I didn’t come here because I thought Wesleyan would be like its viewbook, but I know some people who did and they are disappointed. I want to attract students who come here not because they want to be in a perfect place where they won’t have to work, but because it’s the right imperfect place for them – a place they want to work in, get a lot out of and give something to as well.

  5. Anonymous

    The idea you suggest is really good, but I feel that it will be less marketed, visible and available to visitors. I want to reiterate what’s already been said here: guides aren’t censored…at all. I think it would be great if you took a regular tour, noted flaws, and suggested to usways to improve. We’d definitely listen.If we’re leaving things out, it’s not intentional. And we do aim to provide as much “realness” as we can.Tours are at 9, 12 and 3 during the week.Barrybfinder@wes

  6. Anonymous

    The idea you suggest is really good, but I feel that it will be less marketed, visible and available to visitors. I want to reiterate what’s already been said here: guides aren’t censored…at all. I think it would be great if you took a regular tour, noted flaws, and suggested to usways to improve.
    We’d definitely listen.
    If we’re leaving things out, it’s not intentional. And we do aim to provide as much “realness” as we can.
    Tours are at 9, 12 and 3 during the week.

    Barry
    bfinder@wes

  7. Anonymous

    yeah, once again, sick idea, but it doesn’t sound like you know much about the Wes tours as they are now. If this is something you really want to pursue, I’d spend a lot more time talking with the admission office and current tour guides to find out what you could offer that they don’t already.

  8. Anonymous

    yeah, once again, sick idea, but it doesn’t sound like you know much about the Wes tours as they are now. If this is something you really want to pursue, I’d spend a lot more time talking with the admission office and current tour guides to find out what you could offer that they don’t already.

  9. Anonymous

    Claire, while I approve of your plan, you seem to be misinformed about how Wes’ tours are run by admissions. You make a lot of assumptions about Admissions tours that aren’t true (in your second paragraph at 11:21)When I was a tour guide (not Barry), I answered all questions asked of me, and said whatever I wanted about Wes. I was frank. I didn’t intentionally point out the “warts” for my tours, but if they were there I didn’t gloss over them. I covered what people were interested in, and I found out what they were interested in by asking them. And people had questions about all the things you pointed to as going unaddressed.Wes tour guides are never taught what not to say. There are statistics and some history that guides casually cover on tours, but overall the tour is not explicitly structured.Basically, if you haven’t been a tour guide, then you probably don’t know much about the tours Wesleyan offers, and you shouldn’t assume anything (sorry if that sounds harsh, I don’t intend it to be). But student-run tours sound awesome. Sick idea, I totally support you.

  10. Anonymous

    Claire, while I approve of your plan, you seem to be misinformed about how Wes’ tours are run by admissions. You make a lot of assumptions about Admissions tours that aren’t true (in your second paragraph at 11:21)

    When I was a tour guide (not Barry), I answered all questions asked of me, and said whatever I wanted about Wes. I was frank. I didn’t intentionally point out the “warts” for my tours, but if they were there I didn’t gloss over them. I covered what people were interested in, and I found out what they were interested in by asking them. And people had questions about all the things you pointed to as going unaddressed.

    Wes tour guides are never taught what not to say. There are statistics and some history that guides casually cover on tours, but overall the tour is not explicitly structured.

    Basically, if you haven’t been a tour guide, then you probably don’t know much about the tours Wesleyan offers, and you shouldn’t assume anything (sorry if that sounds harsh, I don’t intend it to be).

    But student-run tours sound awesome. Sick idea, I totally support you.

  11. Anonymous

    8:02:People with herpes wouldn’t be reading these comments. They’re busy kyaking/riding bikes/snuggling with loved ones. At least, that’s what valtrex commercials have taught me.

  12. Anonymous

    8:02:

    People with herpes wouldn’t be reading these comments. They’re busy kyaking/riding bikes/snuggling with loved ones. At least, that’s what valtrex commercials have taught me.

  13. Anonymous

    Wow it must feel awesome to read comments like that if you have HPV or herpes. Thank you so much for that unnecessary post-script

  14. Anonymous

    Wow it must feel awesome to read comments like that if you have HPV or herpes. Thank you so much for that unnecessary post-script

  15. Thom

    The biggest problem with a “Warts-and-all” view of Wes is that we are competing against lots of other schools that, while I’m 100% positive they have as many or more warts, do their damnedest to cover those warts up and show a pretty face. Prefrosh could end up getting a skewed picture of Wesleyan relative to other schools.P.S. I have it on good authority that Williams doesn’t have warts. Those are herpetic sores.

  16. Thom

    The biggest problem with a “Warts-and-all” view of Wes is that we are competing against lots of other schools that, while I’m 100% positive they have as many or more warts, do their damnedest to cover those warts up and show a pretty face. Prefrosh could end up getting a skewed picture of Wesleyan relative to other schools.

    P.S. I have it on good authority that Williams doesn’t have warts. Those are herpetic sores.

  17. Claire

    Hi there Izaak.I’m glad you brought that up, because I should’ve emphasized that this is not really meant to replace the university tour — students *do* actually want to know stuff like statistics and how nice the facilities are, etc. This is really intended as a supplement, something for students to do beyond the traditional tour; something for people who want an extra taste of what makes Wes unique, and particularly those who can’t do an overnight.I have no problem with the tours given by admissions, and I think they’re a valuable experience. I’m not saying that I take issue with something admissions does. However, I think a tour given by the university must by definition stress certain things, not mention certain things, etc. I don’t think lobbying the admissions office to give more of a warts-and-all view of Wesleyan would be very constructive, because simply for legal reasons a university-sponsored tour guide should probably not address topics like drug or alcohol use on campus. All the same, I think it’s something that students would like to know about. Hence, this solution — a student-run service that would discuss the positive *and* the negatives of this university and let prosective students make a more informed decision (hopefully to come here) as well as giving them tools to use or things to consider when looking at other colleges that they might not have thought of before. Example: When I was looking at colleges, I was really turned off by ancient crapy-looking dorms. Then I lived in Hewitt for 2 years and loved it. Another example would be, many highschool seniors don’t drink (it’s true!). Probably right now they’re asking “how much drinking goes on here at college X?” But what they should be asking is “how pressured are students to drink?”, “is there a large contingent or social scene that does not involve drinking?” and other less straightforward questions. I don’t know how much traditional tours deal with this, but probably not very much, and they certainly wouldn’t deal with more risque subjects like the self-medication for which Wesleyan is somewhat famous. Hence, this solution. If our physics facilities kind of suck, the student tour would tell you (unless they don’t know, which is pretty possible). They wouldn’t be obligated to mention only the positives. Additionally, if this gets big enough (sort of unlikely, at least at first) tour could be targeted to specific audiences, for example my experience here would be much more useful to science majors than history majors.Uh, wow… I hope that was an adequate response. Also that you didn’t stop reading this one paragraph in.

  18. Claire

    Hi there Izaak.

    I’m glad you brought that up, because I should’ve emphasized that this is not really meant to replace the university tour — students *do* actually want to know stuff like statistics and how nice the facilities are, etc. This is really intended as a supplement, something for students to do beyond the traditional tour; something for people who want an extra taste of what makes Wes unique, and particularly those who can’t do an overnight.

    I have no problem with the tours given by admissions, and I think they’re a valuable experience. I’m not saying that I take issue with something admissions does. However, I think a tour given by the university must by definition stress certain things, not mention certain things, etc. I don’t think lobbying the admissions office to give more of a warts-and-all view of Wesleyan would be very constructive, because simply for legal reasons a university-sponsored tour guide should probably not address topics like drug or alcohol use on campus. All the same, I think it’s something that students would like to know about. Hence, this solution — a student-run service that would discuss the positive *and* the negatives of this university and let prosective students make a more informed decision (hopefully to come here) as well as giving them tools to use or things to consider when looking at other colleges that they might not have thought of before. Example: When I was looking at colleges, I was really turned off by ancient crapy-looking dorms. Then I lived in Hewitt for 2 years and loved it. Another example would be, many highschool seniors don’t drink (it’s true!). Probably right now they’re asking “how much drinking goes on here at college X?” But what they should be asking is “how pressured are students to drink?”, “is there a large contingent or social scene that does not involve drinking?” and other less straightforward questions.

    I don’t know how much traditional tours deal with this, but probably not very much, and they certainly wouldn’t deal with more risque subjects like the self-medication for which Wesleyan is somewhat famous. Hence, this solution. If our physics facilities kind of suck, the student tour would tell you (unless they don’t know, which is pretty possible). They wouldn’t be obligated to mention only the positives. Additionally, if this gets big enough (sort of unlikely, at least at first) tour could be targeted to specific audiences, for example my experience here would be much more useful to science majors than history majors.

    Uh, wow… I hope that was an adequate response. Also that you didn’t stop reading this one paragraph in.

  19. Anonymous

    I think it’s not a great idea (this is not Barry). If you have a problem with the tour, just talk to the deans. I work in the admissions office and they are pretty open about changes.Also, think about what it would be like if you were a prospective student – which tour would you go on? and what would you think about wes? i think it might just turn people away, rather than appreciate the independence of an alt. tour.-Izaak (speaking for myself, not the admissions office)iorlansky@wesleyan.edu

  20. Anonymous

    I think it’s not a great idea (this is not Barry). If you have a problem with the tour, just talk to the deans. I work in the admissions office and they are pretty open about changes.

    Also, think about what it would be like if you were a prospective student – which tour would you go on? and what would you think about wes? i think it might just turn people away, rather than appreciate the independence of an alt. tour.

    -Izaak (speaking for myself, not the admissions office)
    iorlansky@wesleyan.edu

  21. moop

    this is badass. but the administration will quickly smush it with their iron fist. or at least poke/flick it around with an iron finger

  22. moop

    this is badass. but the administration will quickly smush it with their iron fist. or at least poke/flick it around with an iron finger

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