Destination Puget Sound welcomes admitted students to campus

Photo courtesy of the University of Puget Sound

#pugetsoundbound season is officially upon us. Beginning March 30 and occurring each subsequent weekend in April, the university admissions department is hosting Destination Puget Sound (DPS) days welcoming admitted students and their families to campus.

“The events are designed to connect admitted students and their families to our community and answer their final questions before making decisions about their enrollment plans for next year,” Mike Rottersman, the associate director of admission, said. “Our hope is to confirm for them that Puget Sound is their college of choice.”

Some DPS days offer an overnight option, where the student can spend the night in a dorm on campus. Both students who work for the Campus Visit Program (CVP) and students who volunteer host prospective students.

Students who choose to participate in the overnight option receive a catered dinner in Upper Marshall and various evening activities depending on the weekend.

One popular evening activity has been Opp After Dark, an event featuring a hot cocoa bar and Rice Krispie treats in Oppenheimer Café. A recent Opp After Dark combined forces with an Open Mic Night put on by ASUPS Programmer and Puget Sound senior Anand Landon.

Main DPS activities occur the following day, beginning with a catered breakfast for students and their families and an opening keynote address from President Crawford.

The rest of the day includes a campus tour for students and families, the opportunity for the student to sit in on a class with current students, student panels, a campus resource fair and an open house hosted by the Social Justice Center.

Puget Sound sophomore Anna MacLeod gave insight into her involvement with DPS days as a Student Engagement Coordinator in admissions: “I pair prospective students with current students for overnights and then make sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of what they can and cannot do. I love the fact that we do a lot of events for the prospective students to go to and enjoy their time, allowing parents to enjoy their night as well knowing their student is safe.”

With all that goes into preparing for and putting on these events, is it really worth it? Turns out, yes.

“Last year, we saw about 50 percent of all students attending a Destination Puget Sound event enroll at Puget Sound. That was up from about 45 percent in previous years,” Rottersman explained.

The famous Logger hospitality is what solidifies many prospective students’ decisions to attend Puget Sound.

“I consistently hear from campus visitors and current students that what ‘sold’ them on Puget Sound was the people. A friendly smile and ‘hello’ in the course of your normal day can go a long way in helping these guests feel welcomed and wanted while on our campus. It’s something that our community does so naturally, and it’s amazing how far a simple gesture can go in helping these prospective students feel like this place is home,” Rottersman said.

MacLeod expanded on this idea and discussed what makes Puget Sound stand out among other universities: “I think that we do a really good job of giving people insight into what students do outside of the classroom and how we use the resources around us to make college the most enjoyable experience possible.”

With more DPS days to come, there are still ways for current students to get involved, such as volunteering with the Campus Visit Program to serve as an overnight host or even just by lending your help to visitors who look lost.