Our opinion: Tour groups can make UM feel like zoo-niversity

On the days where hundreds of prospective students and their parents take a tour hand-in-hand around our glorious campus, the buildings, the lake and most importantly the students all become an attraction. It may be the sunshine, it may be Lake Osceola and the fountain, or it may just be the way we act, but it really feels like a zoo-niversity.

Now we know it is quite easy to hate on these tour groups. No matter what day of the week or time of the day, there always seems to be at least one cluster of aimless wanderers getting in your way. Thankfully, most of the tour groups are kept to the weekend to avoid crowds, but students still move around on campus on Saturday and Sunday.

Our goal isn’t to just kvetch about prospective students infiltrating our campus. We often like to think the world of UM revolves around us, but we’ll all be gone in at least three years, if not fewer. In the university’s case, the children are indeed our future, and as holders of a University of Miami degree, we all have a vested interest in seeing UM improve with better quality students each year. We just want to see the tour group method tweaked a little bit, perhaps featuring a smaller tour-leader-to-group ratio. If one group can force you nearly into the lake, it’s too big.

In the meantime, we suggest giving the groups a little bit of a show while they’re here. We don’t want to suggest anything too extravagant (Google “Drinkin’ Time” for Dartmouth’s example of tour group prankhood at its best), but maybe organize a random cheer or coordinated dance to raise a couple of eyebrows. Especially you seniors – it’s not like you’re doing any work anyway.