The high school student arrives, and his mother parks the car. He timidly steps outside of the car and onto the pavement. As he proceeds toward the campus, he walks past the large stone letters and is greeted by college students in purple and white polos.
Search CRU, an organization started in 2007 by the admissions and recruiting office. It was designed for for the purpose of welcoming prospective students to campus.
Admissions counselor Elizabeth Webb is one of the advisers for the foundation. She was involved with the planning process before the organization was created and thinks it has been an advantage for all parties participating.
“We started it as a way to get current students involved with meeting prospective students,” she said. “We have a lot of current students who love UMHB and wanted to show and talk with students and tell them why. So it seemed like a good fit to get them more involved with the prospects and a benefit for both of them.”
Some of the prospective students complete evaluations, and the recruiting office has received positive remarks about their experiences.
“We had students say ‘I enjoyed meeting current students. I really enjoyed hanging out with them.’ That seems good because they do enjoy having that interaction,” Webb said.
Currently, 30 members serve the campus in Search Cru, but it’s not too late for others to join.
Junior marketing major and the organization’s president Jennifer Walker said, “We have interviews every semester. You only have to be committed for a semester, or you can stay committed to Search CRU ‘till you graduate. It is up to you.”
Walker wanted to join because of her passion for the university, and she hopes more people will jump aboard.
“I joined Search CRU because I love UMHB, and I always try to get other students to come here. I love to tell them everything that UMHB has to offer. If you are like this and love to tell people about UMHB, then you should try out for this group.”
Several events are planned through the admissions and recruiting office and put on by Search CRU.
One is Preview Weekend, a time when prospective students spend two days at UMHB. They are also partnered with current students, allowing them to gain the full picture of what is offered by the university.
Walker said Preview Weekend took a whole semester to organize.
“Actually it gets planned all year long for the recruiters. Preview is the recruiter’s main recruiting event, so there is a lot going on.”
On Nov. 21 and 22 about 300 prospective students arrived to get a small taste of the Crusader way.
Junior Christian studies major Geoff Payne is a member of Search CRU and hosted a few students.
“We had over 50 students fill out applications, and another 27 sign up for housing all in one weekend,” he said. “It’s a good, ‘shot-gun blast’ experience for them to get hit with a lot of UMHB life and tradition: staying in dorms, eating in Hardy, sitting in on classes, even the added playoff game on Saturday.”
Luke Donahue, a senior from Lago Vista High School, attended Preview Weekend and said the information he gained was useful.
“Being around the students made it more life-like,” Donahue said. “It’s beneficial in the sense that potential students get a taste of what they’re going to get when they get there. The experience helps conquer the fear factor of a new setting.”