Preview Southern is a two-day event that gives prospective students a glimpse of college life at Southern Adventist University. The event is designed for both high school and transfer students, according to Christalee Crary, the campus experience manager at Enrollment Services.
Preview Southern typically occurs three to four times a year. So far this year, it occurred three times, Crary said.
Last Thursday and Friday, several prospective students came with family and friends to visit Southern’s campus. One such student was Rachel Spates, who is from Hicksville High School in New York. Spates’ mother said she and Spates decided to visit Southern because it is a Seventh-day Adventist University with a Christian environment. Spates is interested in social work, so she spoke with Lunelle Bertresse, an assistant professor in the Social Work Department. Spate’s mother said Bertresse really engaged with her daughter. Spates gave Southern a seven out of 10 and said she might attend in the future.
Other attending students were Ethan Jahn and Elio Martin, who came with their school group from Newbury Park Adventist Academy in California. When asked which part of the campus stood out the most to them, they said the Bietz Center for Student Life, particularly the slide. Both gave Southern a rating of 10. However, they said they would like to visit some other campuses first before deciding whether or not to attend Southern.
Another attending student, Ellie Britain, is from a non-denominational high school in Wisconsin called Abundant Life Christian School. While visiting Southern’s campus, Britain stayed overnight with a friend in the dorm, according to her mother, Jenny Britain. When asked about what stood out on campus, Britain said she liked the new student center and the views on campus.
“It’s beautiful, like especially this time of year,” Britain said. “The colors are gorgeous, and then, yeah, the student center is pretty impressive.”
Britain visited the business department since she is interested in pursuing a business degree. She gave Southern a rating of 8.
“It has been a good experience,” Britain said. “I’m more leaning towards Union. I liked the smallness of it, just like how close the community was, and it’s a little bit closer to home. …Southern is very nice, and I do like it here. But I’m just leaning towards Union.”
Crary said that the university encourages prospective students to visit the campus in-person before deciding what college they will attend.
“…Studies show that 80% of people that come for a visit end up attending, so we always try to encourage as many people to come for a visit as possible,” she said. “And, you know, a person’s interactions on campus actually have a ripple effect. So if somebody comes for a visit and they really have a wonderful experience, they’re going to spread the word. And it will actually be almost free recruitment for us.”