While students flocked to Isla Vista and Del Playa to enjoy the annual Deltopia festivities, a different kind of crowd and different kind of buzz were converging on campus. Saturday was the University of California, Santa Barbara’s annual Spring Insight, where the university’s organizations open their doors in an attempt to intrigue and retain prospective students.
Walking among the sea of blue and gold that lined the main campus bike path, high school seniors and their parents happily chattered about the beautiful campus and smorgasbord of reputable collegiate organizations and academic programs they could hope to enjoy should they choose to become Gauchos.
Spring Insight is “really good,” said incoming ecology and evolution major Marissa Deville. For students like her, Spring Insight provided more than she could look up online, such as a “nice personal view of everything, and the chance to talk to the professor,” all things she could not have done without Spring Insight. Ruth Sanchez, incoming pre-biology major, concurred saying that the event was “overall really informative. I got to learn so much about UCSB. And we had a nice tour guide.”
A more in-depth approach to UCSB’s day to day operations is not all that Spring Insight provides. The educative nature of Spring Insight goes beyond simple introductions to faculty; it also goes to promote knowledge of what students can accomplish at UCSB. Incoming Dance major Sidney Charles was excited about Spring Insight and came because “I wanted to learn more about my major and what I can double major in.”
In order to fulfill Spring Insight’s primary purpose of information expo, representatives from the various departments were also there, shepherding the prospective students to the next stage of their academic career. The departments stood alongside their extracurricular compatriots in order to “help students figure out what major they want to pursue,” explained the Chemistry and Biology Department’s undergraduate adviser, Molly Nugent. “We provide them with what they need to start with, and are here to help them make a decision. We’re advisers and want to give them information.”
Students weren’t the only ones giddy about the attention that Spring Insight provides. Many clubs and organizations also pointed to the benefits of having Spring Insight and the role it played in spreading their own message.
Imani Martin of UCSB’s Gospel Choir explained that, because the choir is actually a class and not a club, it is easy to miss in the mad scramble to find a class for the quarter. “Spring Insight definitely helps because it brings awareness,” she said, all the while attempting to cajole the passersby to indulge their love of singing.
Similarly, representatives of UCSB’s Health and Wellness found their spirits lifted. “It’s great seeing all the people and the excited new faces,” said Gabby Pavia, a third year French and global studies major. Equally great was the opportunity to “provide students with information on the resources we offer and give them an idea of what to expect,” continued Nikki Robledo, a third year communication major also working at the booth.
Other organizations saw fit to provide fun activities for interested students to engage in as a way of drawing their attention. Jordyn Napier, of UCSB’s Collaborate Labs, instructed potential students in making pin buttons, explaining that “it teaches the students new skills and is a metaphor for technology and how we interact with it. It’s nice and interactive.”