Walking Backward in Cardigans
Every Thursday morning from January through March, at the far-too-early-for-many-college-students hour of 7:00 a.m. (a two full hours before the earliest classes even start), a group of UR students can be seen streaming across campus from their various residence halls toward the Interfaith Chapel—where they then begin the long march down several flights of stairs to the River Level. About five minutes later, nearly everyone in the building can hear UR's alma mater (verses 1 and 3 only, of course), being sung by this large group of students. (Nothing wakes you up like a sing-a-long at 7:00 a.m.)
These dedicated, sometimes caffeinated, students are the members of a quite select group on campus: The Meridian Society. After going through a three-step application process, including interviews and a presentation, they are trained over this three-month period to give campus tours (while walking backward, naturally) to prospective students and their families, amongst other responsibilities. Each year, in advance of open-campus dates in April welcoming admitted students, the Meridians receive a distinctive article of clothing (one you can't even buy at the bookstore), which they are to wear on these open-campus dates so admitted students can easily spot them.
This year, two current Meridians took on the role of "recruitment and training leaders," assisting two admissions counselors (including yours truly) in the process of recruiting, selecting, and training the "Newbees." (Get it? Bees, like a Yellowjacket . . . like our mascot, Rocky!). These two outstanding students are Melissa Stern and Danielle Chiz, and not only did they lead several outstanding training sessions, they also helped with the design for this year's Meridian garb: a blue cardigan with a yellow R.
Here are Melissa and Danielle, modeling their cardigans in Admissions during our first 2016 Experience day for newly admitted students:
To all admitted students coming to visit campus this month for one of the 2016 Experience dates: Make sure to keep your eye out for all our Meridians who are excited to show you around campus, answer your questions, and share their Rochester experiences with you.
And if you see Melissa or Danielle, let them know if you like the cardigans!