Inside the tours that are flooding NU’s campus


Dylan Shen

West Village G is one of many residence halls that must be vacated by Tuesday.

Deanna Schwartz, news staff

Since Dec. 15, admissions decision notifications from Northeastern have been arriving in the inboxes of high-school seniors across the globe. Accepted students have until May 1 to make perhaps the biggest decision of their teenaged lives: where to go to college.

At the same time, high-school sophomores and juniors are beginning their college search and figuring out where they want to apply.

Prospective student season brings groups of eager parents, anxious high-schoolers and bored little siblings onto campus in droves, sporting bright red badges with “PICTURE YOURSELF HERE” and “GET #NUready” on them.

They are led around campus by a Husky Ambassador, “a distinguished undergraduate student leader dedicated to providing campus visitors a glimpse into the power of a Northeastern education,” according to their website.

Husky Ambassadors are required to spend a semester as “minglers” before they can train to be full tour guides.

“[Minglers] talk to prospective students in the Visitor Center while they wait for their admissions session and tour,” said Husky Ambassador Sheridan Lasher, a second-year politics, philosophy, and economics major.

“Throughout that semester and the start of the next, we train to be full tour guides. Once we have passed our certification, then we must meet a tour quota by giving tours to prospective and admitted students in addition to attending meetings put on by the leadership council of Husky Ambassadors,” Lasher said.

The hour-long tours show prospective students “a first year residence hall, the student center, the recreation center, the research areas and the main quads on campus,” Lasher said.

Tours run year round, and in the busy spring seasons we offer Saturday tours as well,” said Husky Ambassador communication chair Deirdre Dunham, a fourth-year bioengineering major.

Connor Hamill, a third-year political science major, has led tours as a Husky Ambassador for a year and a half.

“I find it very rewarding to help people in their college journey,” Hamill said. “I enjoy helping people out and it’s also a really great way for me to sit back and reflect on just how much I’ve actually accomplished during my time here at Northeastern.”

Dunham said that leading tours is something she always knew she would do. “I knew no matter where I went to college, I wanted to be a tour guide because I realized what a huge impact a tour guide could have on a student in the college decision process. I joined Husky Ambassadors my freshman year, and I’ve gotten continually more involved and passionate about what I do.”

Finn O’Brien, a high school junior from Hinesburg, Vermont, participated in an afternoon campus tour on Feb. 26.

“[Touring colleges is] a little intimidating, but it’s fun,” O’Brien said. “The [NU] tour is really good so far and has covered about everything I’d be interested in.”

High-school junior Lara Crochik came to Boston from Cary, North Carolina to tour Northeastern.

“It’s a really modern and cool campus,” Crochik said. “The tour has been really good.”

While the tours are helpful resources for prospective students and their families, some current students find them to be a nuisance. Thia Fowler, a first-year marine biology major, said she understands the necessity of the tours, but finds them annoying.

“I have a class in the lecture hall beneath the welcome center, and it’s often a hassle to get through the congregated mass of high-school prospects and parents,” Fowler said.

Lasher said that, as a tour guide, she has heard that “students living in Stetson East find it inconvenient that we take the tours through there.”

Other students are not impacted at all by the presence of tour groups — some even enjoy seeing them.

“It’s cool seeing people interested in the school you go to,” first-year environmental science major Paul Cirillo said.

Madeline Desnoyers, a third-year design major, finds it “nice to know people are interested.”

Margot Kohler, a first-year journalism major, said that she and her friends have made a game of spotting the tour groups.

“We have a competition over who can spot them first. We really have fun with it,” Kohler said.