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Guide to the Campus Tour - Carleton College

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Mitchell Campbell

on 18 September 2015

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Transcript of Guide to the Campus Tour - Carleton College

Guide to the
Campus Tour

Greet people and introduce yourself by name, graduation year, hometown, major, activities on campus.
Have prospective students introduce themselves by name, hometown, and academic or extracurricular interest. Ask parents to share their names too (it makes them feel more welcome).
Start walking and share a couple of "disclaimers" about the tour ("Let me know if I need to speak up or slow down," "Feel free to ask questions any time," "Let me know if I'm going to trip over something," etc)
Wrap up disclaimers from in front of Johnson

Give some general info about Carleton (founded in 1866, about 2000 all-undergraduate students, etc)

It's architecturally weird that the Chapel faces town instead of the Bald Spot. It's built that way because the wife of the man the Chapel was named after (Skinner) insisted it face town as a symbol for Carleton's involvement with the Northfield community. You can use this to talk about service learning (classes, comps, off-campus) if you'd like, but people like the story either way.
Center for campus religious and spiritual life
Founded originally with Congregational Church, but had no official affiliation within a year of founding (much before Chapel was built).
Campus religious life is interfaith and opt-in; you can find the groups and resources if you're looking for them, but they're in no way in your face. Many religious traditions represented here.
Chaplain's Associates responsible for planning not only for their faith tradition, but others as well.
Weekly Sunday Chapel service changes faith tradition every week (other groups meet during the week)
Largest indoor meeting space on campus
NSW, Golden Schillers, Halloween Concert, etc.
Convocation! Special schedule. Give examples of convos you've attended. Open to public. Free lunch and opportunity to talk in a smaller group with the speaker after the talk.
Bald Spot! Social hub on campus (slacklining, Frisbee, Kubb). Ice rinks in the winter (ice skating, broomball, warming hut, lights).

Music and Theater (you can use Concert Hall/Arena Theater as a segue if you want, but there's a good chance the buildings will be gone by the time they're here)
Way more opportunities available than students majoring.
Great opportunity for students who want to continue in college, but most all aren't planning to continue professionally.
6-7 shows a term, but there are few theater majors
Most shows are student-managed, some also student-written
Sketch- and improv-comedy groups
The 50-person Orchestra has a small handful of music majors, but the highest concentration of music majors in an ensemble.
Also choir, chamber choir, concert band, jazz band, smaller ensembles, student bands, instrument lessons in every instrument imaginable and then some, etc.
6 a cappella groups on campus
Academics! Start by explaining the science complex of Olin, Mudd, Hulings

If 101, 102, or 103 are open, go into one of them to talk about class size. Average class size at Carleton is 18, but almost 2/3 of classes have fewer than 18 people. Talk about how even large departments have small classes (bio seminars are 10-15).

Carleton professors are here to teach undergrads, and they're really good at it. Even in those bigger classes, they'll get to know you. Share personal stories about your relationship with profs!

As you walk down the hallway past the psych comps, talk about Carleton's emphasis on quantitative reasoning and science. All professors are required to do research and many of them hire research assistants. Students are active in designing the lab and are often published along with their professors in journals.
Biggest Majors on campus ('14 and '15):
Biology (135)
Computer Science (91)
Poli Sci/IR (88)
Economics (79)
TIE: Psychology and Mathematics (66)
Chemistry (65)
Continue on academics. Share a couple of your favorite things about being a student here, and if you have good stories about the casual relationship with profs and the noncompetitive academic atmosphere, share them! Those 2 things (plus the quantitative reasoning focus) give people a good idea of the academic "flavor" here.

Goodsell- one of the oldest buildings, but actually the second observatory (had to be built because the telescope we ordered for the old observatory couldn't fit inside the building, so Goodsell was built around it). The larger telescope was the 12th largest in the world when built, and both telescopes work and are used (open houses first Friday every month). Was also the home for Central Time for more than 45 years in MN and surrounding area (as far as Chicago). Home of Linguistics, American Studies, Environmental Studies, our cactus collection, and our meteorite collection (which was used in lieu of tuition).
Boliou- home of art and art history (focus: metal smithing, pottery, ceramics, wood working). Drawing studios in Weitz, but most of studio still here. Built into the hill with spectacular views of lakes and Arb.
More buildings!
CMC- Built in the mid-90s to look like a computer (people get a kick out of that). Not just a haven for Math/CS majors, though Math and CS are two of Carleton's biggest majors (mention Math Skills Center and Russ). Also a 24/7 building. Oregon Trail made by Carl CS majors.
Laird- Home for English and a good amount of the administration. You'll have time to talk about Stevie P later, so focus on the relation- ship between the student body and the administration (taking our opinions seriously, open office hours, first-name basis, etc). If you have one, give an example of a project where the administration has actively worked with students (like getting gender neutral bathrooms in academic buildings).
Resources and Computing
more than 1 million books, gov docs, periodicals, etc
Bridge system with St Olaf (within a day) and inter-library loan with more than 75,000 other libraries (within a few days)
Reference librarians and ITS help at the Research/IT desk.
All Macs, but dual-booting
More than 95% of students have a comp, but 3:1 student:comp ratio.
Wifi everywhere, every program/application you could ever want.
Circulation system: no computer more than 3 years old.
Second biggest building on campus (built into the hill)
Explain the quietness-by-floor system. Share your favorite floor to study on.
Talk about the diversity of study spaces (group tables, study rooms, comfy couches...)
Mention that prefects and writing tutors often "camp out" in the Libe.
Explain Toff the cat and/or Oscar the penguin (more info in your booklet)
Focus on the Libe as a study space, not just the place people go to get books. It's one of the main social hubs on campus.
Wrap up the Libe. This is a good place to talk about Silent Dance Party, if you want to!
Leighton- Home to Philosophy, Sociology & Anthropology, History, Religion, and Women's and Gender Studies (though "Leighton Hall of Chemistry" is engraved on the building)
70% of students will study abroad, and about half of those students will study abroad again.
About 60% of students go on Carleton programs, but trimester also allows for semester programs in the fall.
Work really well with financial aid, registrar, and program to make going abroad as easy as possible (pretty much all the sweat on your back is filling out the app)
Great Space
All the perks of a student center: comfy couches, 24-hour lab, study tables, big-screen TV, pool, foosball
Café- open all day and into the night; dining dollars to spend there as part of our meal plan; barista, taco bar, salad bar, and grill
Bookstore- General reading, Carleton swag, snacks, personal items, and all textbooks (with pretty good prices). Mention students' willingness to lend textbooks to other Carls for free. Also tell them that prospies get a discount!
Post Office
Every student on campus has a mailbox (with some being used by offices or not at all). Gives people a good idea of the scale of the school.
Point out the lists and mention that mailboxes don't lock. Convenient for giving notes, getting assignments back from profs, etc. Example of community trust.
Talk about Friday Flowers!
*Blue arrows are for handicapped route
Carleton is the first college in the world to have a campus wind turbine (2004). We sell the power, but it provides the equivalent of about 25% of our electicity.
Our second win turbine (2011), visible from this spot, is larger than the first and provides almost of 30% of the school's energy. So most of our energy is coming directly or indirectly from wind. Often this turbine alone will power all of campus.
Solar- Cassat/Memo have solar panels on the roof that power much of the two buildings.
Dining- Say you'll talk more about it later, but local/organic is a big emphasis. Feel free to mention Farm House and Eat the Lawn.
Green building- Cassat/Memo and Weitz are LEED Gold, and future construction is expected to maintain at least this standard.
CAP- Carleton is part of a commitment with a number of other schools to be carbon neutral by 2050, and we're well on our way. The steam plant makes it easier, as most all of campus is on its own power grid.
Explain this acronym ("trip-c e")
Community service hub. More than a third of students every year.
Long-term projects- tutoring, Empty Bowls, kids for conservation, etc.
One-time projects- trees on Arbor Day, Blood Drive, etc.
Career Center
Not someplace you go for the first time as a senior. Many people go as freshmen. Help with résumé building, finding internships, interview prep, etc.
Talk about externships, short and often live-in internships over winter break (usually with alumni).
Mention that many Carls go to grad school within a few years, but Career Center still GREAT at finding jobs.
Funds over 60 internships every summer.
Supports orgs- Academic Teams, CSA, Cave, KRLX, SUMO, etc.
Events on campus- Spring Concert, New Student Week, Halloween Concert, Midwinter Ball, etc. Share your favorite!
Metro Access Fund- trips to the Twin Cities funded by SAO. Some staples (MOA, Twins games, Valleyfair), but a lot of student-requested trips (Renaissance Festival, plays at the Guthrie, etc). Usually free, max $10 cost.
Campus radio station. If you take the "X" to be Roman Numeral 10, it sort of sounds out "Carleton."
Consistently top-ranked among college radio stations. Impressive for a small school with NO adult staff.
Someone on the booth 24/7. Talk about the crazy times you/your friends have had.
Sevy- Talk about the Great Hall, a relic from when each dorm had a dining hall. Now is multi-use. Featured in Mighty Ducks 3 for the food fight scene.
Burton- Home of one of the two dining halls on campus (the other one being on East Side).
Davis- Home of the SHAC (Student Health and Counseling). Clinic on campus, and totally confidential. Employs 7 counselors and counselors-in-training (an impressive number). GREAT resource, and all these services are free to students.
Oldest building on campus, in National Registery of Historic Places.
Make a joke about the fact that it's facing backwards if you'd like.
Home of ECON and POSC/IR, two of our biggest departments. A lot of places just put their administration in the oldest building.
Once the library. When they moved to the Libe, they formed a line of students and faculty to pass the books, emptying Scoville and filling the Libe.
Main home of ASC (Academic Support Center). Talk about how the collaborative environment on campus makes it SUPER easy to seek support, formal or not. Writing Center, Prefect Program, etc.
OIIL and GSC. Both have strong presences on campus. Great resources for students who identify as international/intercultural and/or LGBTQA, and have lots of great events that are widely attended. Mention we're ranked as one of the LGBT-friendliest colleges (few schools have a GSC).
Transition into ResLife, and ask for questions. Joke about how they're seeing the least popular dorm on campus if you'd like.
ResLife at Carleton
Carleton housing is co-ed by ROOM with the exception of 4th Nourse (affectionately the "Nunnery"). No male has requested an all-male floor in more than 20 years.
Mixed class year. Musser has one of the highest proportions of freshmen with just over half (about 55%). Introduces you to people who "know the ropes" right away and can give you good class/activity recommendations.
ResLife is very "choose your own adventure"- Talk about types of "regular" rooms (1-6 people), suites, and mention houses
In terms of dorm space, most of our dorms are on the East Side quad (make sure that they understand we do not see an ENTIRE half of campus)
Talk about ResLife's community/familial focus- lounges/kitchens, RAs, programs, etc.
96% of students live in college housing. That number will be 100% within 10ish years.
We're SUPER good at roommate matching. Only a couple pairs every year don't work, and ResLife is great about working with those students. They pool you first for living habits (night owl, really neat, etc), and then choose someone with very different experiences. Talk about your roommate. Nearly everyone has at least a good experience, and many people live with their freshman year roommate the rest of their time at Carleton.
Explain the whiteboard walls. Talk about how the showroom is the smallest double in any Carleton dorm. Point out the townhouses from the window if you'd like.
Talk more about houses
Big part of ResLife (a few hundred people). Houses, NOT dorms, will bring us to 100% residency.
Draw houses are the majority, drawn like a regular room
Cultural houses are around to stay, like Casa del Sol, Q&A, Page House East (Jewish), etc
Interest houses must reapply every year, like WA, WHOA, Culinary, Fitness, CANOE, etc
Talk about Dacie Moses House! Librarian for more than 40 years, always unlocked, cookie ingredients, brunch on Sundays
Point out St Olaf, mention BRIEFLY that it's really nice to have another college in town. Mention meal equivalency, etc.
Point out Nutting House (the White House of Carleton) and talk about Stevie P! He's personable, knows a lot of students, and is a good symbol of how we interact with the administration. If you don't have any personal anecdotes, talk about his broomball playing, great Halloween costumes, and tea during NSW.
Indicate the church across from the Weitz. It's the church that founded Carleton! Still have a good relationship though the affiliation is LONG gone.
Give some background info on the Weitz- from the high school to the middle school to Carleton. The building has 4 date stones. Walk in door next to cinema.
Talk about the architecture, smashing up old and new and reusing a lot of material. The light fixtures by the cinema are desk chairs from the school, the old bleachers encase the elevators, and many of the doors and blackboards are original. Building is LEED Gold Certified
Go into the cinema- closest thing to a movie theater in Northfield, SUMO showings, seats 250
Stop in the larger dance studio, but DON'T bring them in past the entrance. No street shoes!
Go into the theater. Most professional-quality productions happen here, SUPER versatile space (one of the largest black box theaters in the country)
Talk about the Weitz's relationship with town, versatility, technology, liberal arts embodiment, and general awesomeness
Tell them about languages at Carleton
10 full-time languages housed under one roof on East side in LDC, but many classes here
language requirement
Int'l satellite TV, video checkout, language computer labs
4 terms for most languages, 5 for Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. Mention that this is VERY fast paced, just about a year and a half compared to 2-3 years for many semester schools. Speed comes from full-immersion, 5 day-a-week structure.
1/5 Carleton students Major in or receive a Certificate in Advanced Study in a language
Many students studying abroad for language, not academic interest
Language tables at the LDC
Rosetta Stone for free if you want to take a language the school doesn't offer.
Varsity- Compete in the MIAC a Division III conference in the NCAA
About 25% of student body plays varsity sports, and "STUDENT athlete" is important to our understanding of athletics.
Club sports do not compete within the MIAC- Competitive edge of varsity sports, but more approachable. Often more than half of a club team is newbies, as far up as CUT and Syzygy, our DI Frisbee teams. Talk more about Frisbee if you'd like. Women's rugby won nationals in 2012, and ZERO people on that team played before they came to Carleton.
Intramural sports- campus-specific, team with your floor, office, or whatever. 80% of students will have participated by graduation- less of a commitment. Really popular ones include broomball, Frisbee, dodgeball, sand volleyball, etc
West/Stadium- swim & dive, basketball, volleyball. Largest football stadium in MIAC + indoor sprint track and weight room.
Cowling/Bell- indoor tennis courts, pool, basketball court, dance studio. Fields have soccer and outdoor tennis courts.
Rec- rock climbing wall, weight room, indoor 6 lane track, racquetball and squash courts, bouldering cave, basketball/volleyball/tennis courts, an indoor putting green, cardiovascular facilities, and an aerobics/dance/martial arts studio in addition to coaches' offices and classroom space. Baseball and softball diamonds behind the Rec.
ARB- 880-acre wilderness area connected directly to campus. Comprises more than 14 miles of trails and ranked as best place to run in MN and top 10 in the country according to Runners' Magazine. Groomed for cross-country skiing in the winter and also a great place to snowshoe, do a biology lab, chat with a friend, or just get lost.
Cover topics you couldn't fit in the tour earlier because of questions/time
Other topics you can cover if you'd like: The Cave, transportation, life in Northfield, why you chose to come to Carleton, favorite tradition, etc.
Take ALL the questions! (or as many as time allows)
Hand them all your card and tell them to feel free to email you if they have any more questions or want to connect with anyone on campus (majors in certain depts, profs, coaches, captains, etc)
Ask them to fill out a tour guide evaluation (by the admissions front desk)
Carleton food is really good! It might not be 5-star dining every night, but as far as college food goes, we're doing really well
Local and organic emphasis. More than 70% of food is organic, and all beef, dairy, and turkey originate from within 10 miles of the school. All-organic and student-operated Carleton Farm sells produce to dining halls.
Great about dietary preference/needs, with great vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free options
Well-placed around campus (2 dining halls, 2 cafés)
Specific meal plans usually aren't important, but mention we have dining dollars for the café as part of the meal plan.
Incorporate student preferences too
Mention a few of your favorite things at the dining hall, and

talk about which dining hall you think is better if you want to!
FAQs (and how to deal with them)

It’s best to think about how you might answer some of these frequently encountered questions before your first tour. Be honest but positive in your answer, and feel free to point out that you can only speak from your own perspective and experience, which might be different than that of other students. Remember you can always pass certain questions along to people working in Admissions. Keep the intent of the question in mind: when someone asks why you chose to come to Carleton, what they’re asking is really more like, “Why would someone want to go to Carleton?”
What do you like the most about the school? What do you dislike most about it?
Is there a problem with sexual harassment/crime on campus?
Are there a lot of alcohol/drugs on campus?
How many people drop out/transfer?
Why did you choose to come to Carleton?
Do people study all the time? Do you have time for a social life?
What’s the winter like?
How does the co-ed bathroom thing work?
Do people usually graduate in 4 years?
How many people have cars?
What’s the relationship with the profs/administrators?
What’s the learning atmosphere like?
How many profs live in Northfield?
What kind of students thrive at Carleton? What’s the student body like?
What’s living in Northfield like?
Is this a very diverse campus?
Is there Greek life on campus?

Be early for your tour (usually 10 minutes early is good). If you’re not going to be able to make it, make sure to notify your slot leader well in advance. Make sure you bring your OneCard with you. When you get to admissions, grab your name tag, some email cards, and the room key (and some umbrellas if it’s raining). During the tour, try to be attentive to time and pacing; glance at the clock while you’re in buildings to get an idea of where you should be when to get people back on time. Be sure to keep asking them if they have questions. Some groups will be more shy than others and hesitate to interrupt you. When you get back to admissions, return the room key and hang around for a couple minutes to see if people have personal questions before continuing on with your day.
DOs and DON'Ts

Share personal anecdotes! That’s what people will remember and enjoy most.
Allow and encourage people to ask questions.
Be honest.
Be positive. After are, you are promoting the school.
Be aware of how things come across to prospective students. If you say “The food is okay,” that might sound like “The food is awful,” when you might have really meant “The food is pretty good.”
Use Carleton slang (Arb, Libe, CMC, CAMS, etc), but always translate Carleton Speak into standard English.
Use email to follow up with prospective students (they get the cards for a reason).
Split the group if there are more than 12 people.
Just recite facts. Try to focus on information people couldn’t find online somewhere.
Wear clothes with the name or logo of other schools.
Wear flip-flops. They’re not conducive to backwards walking.
Speak badly of or compare other schools to Carleton. We hope they’ll return the favor.
Share personal information like GPA or SATs. Focus on what people are really asking: What is Carleton looking for? If you’re comfortable sharing your personal experience with financial aid, feel free to do so.
Speculate on statistics or facts you don’t know. Refer people to Admissions and try to learn the answer yourself for next time.
Accept Facebook friend requests or other social media connections from tourees.
Get lost in trivia and lose sight of the big picture. Saying something like “Freshmen live all over campus” is better than “Freshmen live pretty much everywhere except Sevy because it has suites and no floor life and seniors usually draw it right away…”
In the Weitz
Full transcript