Jessica Rudi, Joshua Bowden, Mabelle Yousif, and Maral HaireekProspective students Jessica Rudi, Joshua Bowden, Mabelle Yousif, and Maral Haireek, seniors at St. Joseph’s high school, take a break from open house activities after lunch in the student centre.

Open house shows human side of post-secondary experience

The prospect of starting university is exciting, and high schoolers got a taste of that excitement at open house on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Maral Haireek, a Grade 12 student at St. Joseph's Catholic High School in east Windsor, plans to study mechanical engineering. She attended Saturday with a group of friends, and said she was glad she did.

“I just wanted to see some of the lecture halls, and see what the environment is like,” she said as she took a quick break for lunch. “I was really impressed by the engineering facilities.”

Her classmate Mabelle Yousif is hoping to study neuroscience, and said the open house helped to reassure her that the University of Windsor will be a good fit.

“I got to talk to the dean of science,” she said, adding that she may not have enjoyed the opportunity at a larger school. “I really got the sense that he cares.”

That is the entire premise of the day’s activities, said Beth Natale, director of student recruitment.

“It gives us a chance to show the human side of the campus community,” she said. “It’s all about helping students picture themselves here.”

The event was structured a little differently, with check-in and an information fair located in the Centre for Engineering Innovation, academic program presentations across campus, and lunch in the student centre.

“We wanted to stretch the footprint a little bit,” Natale said. “Recruitment is a team sport, and this is a campus-wide project.”

Liaison officer Crystal Bryan accompanied prospective students and their families on one of three buses shuttling visitors from the Toronto area, which she calls home. She said the trip gave her a chance to reassure them that Windsor is not too far.

“I’m still close enough that I can visit my parents,” she said. “It’s close enough that they can visit me — but they have to call first!”

Organizers were finalizing a count as DailyNews was published, but noted a record-setting 4,400 visitors had pre-registered for Saturday’s open house.