Starting Saturday, March 8 weekend campus tours and visitor information will be centered at the Campanile, with Sunday tours offered for the first time.
"The campus draws a lot of weekend visitors and the Campanile is such a magnet for everyone, we decided it would be the best place to center information and tours on Saturdays and Sundays," said LaDawn Duvall-Davis, assistant director of visitor services, a unit of Office of Public Affairs.
The campus is a major Bay Area tourist attraction, drawing 60,000 visitors a year.
On weekdays, general campus tours and visitor information will continue to be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Visitor Center, 101 University Hall, said Duvall-Davis. The free 90-minute walking tours begin at 10 a.m. each weekday.
The Saturday tour, now leaving from the Campanile, will also begin at 10 a.m. On Sundays the tours begin at 1 p.m. Sunday Hours to visit the bell tower have also been extended. The Campanile will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but will close from 1:45 to 3 p.m. during the Sunday carillon concert. Admission is 50 cents.
Because March and April are such busy months, said Duvall-Davis, an extra afternoon tour will be offered weekdays at 1 p.m. "We get a lot of students on their spring breaks and many prospective students and their families out scouting college campuses."
The walking tours are led by student guides. With adequate notice, usually two weeks, the Visitor Center can often match foreign-speaking visitors with guides who speak their language.
"We have guides who speak, among other languages, Spanish, German, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese and know American Sign Language," said Duvall-Davis.
The Visitor Center is also working with campus parking and transportation in the hopes of being able to provide tours using electric carts and shuttles. "We get a number of requests from the elderly and disabled who can't walk long distances, but who want to tour the campus," said Duvall-Davis.