High school students spend a day in the life of a ‘Cane

High school students accompanying UM students was a common sight around campus this week as Hurricane for a Day, a new program implemented by Student Government [SG], began on Monday.

Students accepted to UM Early Decision were invited to shadow a student leader for a day to experience the life of a UM student.

The program was inspired by an idea from the SG Executive Board, who wanted to use the program as a strong recruiting tool. Initially, the idea was to invite top prospective students who had not yet decided where they wanted to go to school. It was eventually decided that Early Decision applicants [who had already decided to come to UM] would be the group invited to participate.

The effort was spearheaded by Billy Bludgus, chief of staff external SG. “I was confident that if we showed these students what we’re about, they would choose UM,” Bludgus said.

Program organizers also mentioned that in order for UM to move into the top tier of universities, top students must be attracted.

“Our University always talks about how we are improving over other universities,” Scott Sadowski, SG president, said. “I feel that this program is a prime example of us going the extra mile to help students experience Miami.”

The list of students accepted Early Decision was provided by the Office of Admissions. Student Government then sent letters to the students, inviting them to come to campus this week. Overall, 234 students were invited and approximately 60 are participating. Of these 60 students, about 25 percent are from out of town. Some students even flew in to be a part of the program.

Students spent one day on campus, with hosts meeting them in the morning, taking them to class, lunch and maybe a few meetings in between. Special overnight accommodations have been made for students flying in from out of town. Student leaders, mainly from the different parts of SG, volunteered to act as hosts.

“The response from students willing to act as hosts has been overwhelming,” Bludgus said. “The participants really enjoyed their visit due to the efforts on the part of the student hosts.”

At the end of the week, the SG Executive Board will gather feedback and determine whether the program is feasible financially and logistically. The next goal is to invite prospective students who have applied Early Action and are not bound to matriculating at UM. This program could be implemented as early as later this semester.

Minal Ahson can be contacted at m.ahson@umiami.edu.