Furman Admissions Resumes Tours, But Loses Ambassadors
Admissions plans on resuming in-person tours, many Ambassadors do not plan on giving any.
In a Sept. 25 email, Furman University Admissions announced their intention to resume campus tours for prospective students and their families.
Admissions Ambassadors President, senior Madison Hurst, was disappointed that students were not consulted. “We didn’t decide,” she said, clarifying that no students or ambassadors were asked for their input. Hurst initially learned about Admissions’ intentions on Sept. 9, before second and third years returned to campus. She recalled thinking that Admissions presented the situation as “something already decided” and not up for debate. Though she tried to speak up and voice her concerns, Hurst felt that her discussion with Admissions was more of a formality rather than a genuine consideration for how prospective students taking in-person tours might impact campus health.
If Furman moves forward with the new policy, touring students will not have access to certain areas of campus and the tours will be entirely outdoors on trolleys. Prospective students and their two guests cannot enter any academic buildings or residence halls. Despite the precautionary measures, Hurst noted that Admissions already has a program on the app Guidebook, which allows prospective students to tour campus from their car. This could serve as an alternative to ambassador-led tours as it allows prospective students and their families to see the campus without directly interacting with, and “possibly exposing students to COVID,” according to Hurst.
According to Abby Magoola, who is a member of Mosaic, a student organization that assists in the recruitment of multicultural prospective students and is also affected by these policies, the health of the students and faculty should be our top priority. Magoola worries that Admissions prioritizes financial stability over health. She is also concerned about Furman not requiring the touring students to get tested beforehand.
Senior Austin Green, who is also in Admissions Ambassadors and Mosaic, added, “We are supposed to be committed to protecting our Furman family.” He suggested that bringing people from all over the nation risks endangering the health of the student body.
The first line of the Paladin Promise states, “the University will take precautions to reduce the risks of COVID-19 on campus.” In response, Hurst said, “I don’t think that this plan follows through with this assertion." She believes that there are other ways Admissions can show students Furman is without putting the community at risk.
The Paladin reached out to the Admissions Office and Administration multiple times over the past few days, but all parties have declined to comment beyond saying that “no decision has been made, and the idea is still under discussion.”
In sum, it seems clear that while Admissions plans on resuming in-person tours, many ambassadors do not plan on giving any.