Rolling Out the Welcome Mat
by Jacqueline Frost, Public Affairs
After months of planning, Berkeley has expanded its spring efforts to include additional activities to encourage admitted underrepresented minority students to come to Berkeley.
This campus intends to do all that is possible to encourage African-American, Chicano, Latino and Native American students who have been admitted to enroll, said Chancellor Berdahl.
Since last fall, admissions staff have been planning a structured program to encourage minority students to choose the Berkeley campus by extending a warm welcome and answering their questions.
We want to celebrate students successes and will do everything in our power to convince them to come to our campus, said Genaro Padilla, vice chancellor for undergraduate affairs. Berkeley has a level of exuberance and vitality that is unmatched anywhere.
Working with a coalition of student groups, Undergraduate Affairs and the Cal Alumni Association, a wide array of activities has been planned. These include a number of new student receptions, luncheons and campus visits as well as Cal Day, the traditional day set aside to welcome new students to Berkeley.
In addition, students, faculty and staff have launched an ambitious telephone drive, with the chancellor himself volunteering to call students to urge them to come to the Berkeley campus.
I will personally phone as many of these students as I can and I am asking our faculty and staff and student leaders to join me in this effort. In addition, I will be visiting high schools in the state to urge all students admitted to Berkeley, and especially students of color, to become a part of our learning community, Berdahl said.
Many students will also receive a new recruitment videotape. Produced by Undergraduate Affairs, it features interviews with current Berkeley students explaining why they chose to attend Cal, and a message from the chancellor congratulating students on their acceptance to the Berkeley campus.
The first round of calls began on Monday evening, with students from Bridges Multicultural Center, a consortium of student groups organized to recruit underrepresented minorities to the Berkeley campus, calling many of 1,300 newly admitted African-American, Native American, Chicano, Latino and Filipino students.
Faculty and staff will make the second wave of phone calls starting around April 16, said Nancy Park, coordinator of the faculty/staff phone effort.
Park said faculty and staff have been generously offering their time. So far, about 150 faculty and staff representing many campus departments have volunteered to participate in the recruitment drive. Each volunteer is asked to telephone between five and 10 underrepresented minority students who have been accepted. Park said they will try to match callers with students who have similar interests.
Our goal is to offer students a personal and friendly welcome to Cal, said Padilla. We want them to understand all that Berkeley has to offer.
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