Just a note to UMaine staff who might swing by here. We attended accepted students day, driving six hours to upstate maine as our final campus visit before making our decision. My daughter was accepted to every school she applied to, Maine was the only state university, and we went because of your attractive “honors college” invite.
Enthusiastic students greeted us outside, and that was the highlight. We toured the activities fair in the lobby, overcrowded but interesting. we then went upstairs to view student research presentations, which were entirely staffed by grad students(doesn’t speak well of undergrad research).
We were then herded into the auditorium for an inspirational video. Then the presentation began. With three speakers all reading from prepared remarks at a podium. Do you mean to tell me that your university president can not speak directly to an audience without notes? she cannot engage the audience? likewise for the next two speakers, none of which conveyed any kind of excitement for the school.
We were then herded off to smaller groups by college. in the science college there were perhaps 200 students, and so began a Q&A where the instructor announced that 100 level classes could have student faculty ratio of 400:1. with TA’s roaming and engaging students…it sounded horrible. Typical university setting where you pay $30k a year to be taught by grad students. regardless, we hurried off to our honors college presentation.
The dean of the honors college did NOTHING to sell this as being in any way selective or beneficial. “you write a thesis” is what we got out of this presentation. student presenters assured applicants, concerned about the workload, that honors was actually “less work”. what?
We were shown to a dorm, where we waited in line to view the ONE dorm room on campus they had available. the hosts crammed, I kid you not, 30 people into a room because “we don’t like to give this presentation too many times”. Nothing makes a freshman dorm room more appealing than touring it with 30 other people.
Lastly…Greek life. Good god, did ANYBODY ever think to tell frats and sororities NOT to have furniture out on the lawn, throwing benders, on a day when you have 2,000 prospective parents driving by?
nonetheless, my wife and I held our tongues. Back in the car for a six hour ride back my daughter announced “well I can tell you I’m NOT going to UMaine”. My wife and I agreed this was perhaps the worst professional presentation we’d ever witnessed. Never did an organization do more to make a large group of students feel less like individuals.
A very soft presentation, almost made me a little nauseated that my daughter might select it.