Point/Counterpoint: Tulsa Time is disorganized and frustrating to prospective students, discouraging them from attending TU at all.
Hordes of people swarmed TU campus for the Tulsa Time event on Monday, February 19. High school students, potential transfers and parents tramped around campus wearing badges and carrying maps with a confused look of wonder on their face. While I was dodging these newcomers, I remembered my own Tulsa Time experience.
The experience that almost made me not come to TU.
Before going to a Tulsa Time event, I had decided to come to TU. I had gone through the application process, gone on a campus tour and even had some friends on campus. I was ready to come to TU. I decided to go to Tulsa Time to get more of a feel for how my TU experience would go.
The purpose of Tulsa Time is to introduce prospective students to the TU campus, students and faculty in order to give them an immersive experience. The TU Tulsa Time webpage describes the experience prospective students can expect.
“Discover how our university can meet your individual interests and needs,” the site says, “As our guest, we promise a program that is enjoyable and informative! Sounds like fun, right?” Wrong.
The event officially started with some faculty introducing themselves, as a well as a message from President Clancy in the Reynolds center. On the stage in the Reynold’s center, they were surrounded by mostly empty seats. As a prospective student sitting in a huge, mostly empty auditorium, I did not make me feel particularly encouraged about the state of TU recruiting.
We were then shuffled out to the different colleges to find out more about the degrees they offered. I went to the College of Arts and Sciences and was pretty much bored to death. All they talked about was academics and how difficult the curriculum was and how difficult it was to get accepted into TU. I remember
feeling a distinct sense of hopelessness about my upcoming TU experience.
After the lecture about academics, there were some other events going on around campus. I went to find one, but with no helpful guides around and my terrible direction sense, I got lost. I couldn’t find anyone in a blue shirt to help me. I was hot, lost and frustrated, so I left. There was nobody to guide me around campus, help me find things or even to check on me.
After Tulsa Time, I turned down my acceptance letter and started looking at other schools. Maybe I judged TU too harshly after one event, but should one event discourage a prospective student from coming so much that they actually start to look at other colleges?
Eventually, I did decide to come to TU. I put the Tulsa Time experience out of my head and had practically forgotten about it until I saw prospective students wandering around like I had last year.
It is a good idea for TU to put on an event to draw prospective students. However, I think there should be measures put in place to ensure people are having an enjoyable time. There should be friendly TU guides assigned to small groups of people to take them around and help them feel connected to other prospective students. People shouldn’t be left to wander around by themselves. There should also be students posted in commonly passed locations on campus to guide people around campus to the different events and help directionally-challenged people like myself.
One of the biggest problem with Tulsa Time is the lack of structure. There are events on campus but not really a helpful way to get to them or even understand what you want to go to. There should be some way prospective students can customize their experience at Tulsa Time to best fit their needs, whether that is filling out a more comprehensive online questionnaire or having people at the registration table asking them about their interests on campus. Then a schedule fitting their needs should be individualized to them, and the guide assigned to them can help. This would provide a more individualized experience to each prospective student instead of having people wandering aimlessly around.
Last, I am still getting emails from TU recruiting, asking me to sign up for the Tulsa Time experience as a prospective student. This is ironic because I am currently a student. The idea of Tulsa Time is to target prospective students, not the ones who already attend TU.
In the February 26 issue of the Collegian we ran a commentary article titled “It’s Tulsa Time for Changes” that was intended to express the writers’ opinions about Tulsa Time. The author mistook Tulsa Time, which she had not attended, for Preview TU, which she had. The article should be understood as a criticism of Preview TU, not Tulsa Time.