By John Decker
Due to COVID-19, Flagler College’s Admission Office at Hanke Hall, 63 Cordova St., is taking on new ways to give campus tours to prospective students. The Admissions Office is working hard to ensure that guests feel safe while they are touring campus grounds.
Prospective students have the option to register for one-hour virtual tours of campus, via Zoom, where student ambassadors log-on and share their experience. The registration information is done online as well, the same as it was before the pandemic.
Genna Defalco, admissions counselor, works with students located in central and southern Florida region. She explains how admissions reopened in-person tours on June 1, 2020, and student ambassadors are taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Student ambassadors have fanny packs with cleaning products in them. They offer hand sanitizer to visitors, and they wipe down the doorknobs and tables that they touched,” Defalco said.
To make in-person tours safer, they have moved the introductory information from the presentation room to the lobby, where chairs are socially distant, wipes and hand sanitizers are on tables and visitors are required to wear masks. Hanke Hall is always locked and visitors must make an online appointment to tour the campus.
The main goal is to make the virtual tours feel just as personal as they are in-person. They do not show residence halls anymore, but people can virtually view dorms and classrooms.
Philadelphia Zimmermann, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions, works to make sure the rate of families visiting campus is consistent with what it was before the pandemic. The admissions office is flexible when scheduling campus tours for visiting families.
“Overall, the number of visiting families has stayed approximately the same. Previously, we saw ‘peak times’ but now, we are seeing consistent registration due to more flexibility with school and work schedules for students and families,” Zimmermann said.
The admissions office aims to create an accessible campus community as there was before the pandemic by offering in-person tours Monday through Friday, occasionally Saturdays, and two virtual tours per week.
“Even online, accessibility is helpful in the Flagler community,” Defalco said. Hanke Hall is open from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
The admissions office strives to create a safe campus experience, trying their best to answer everyone’s questions. They want everyone to have a connection with fellow students and professors.
“You want to be known by name and have a connection with professors as resources,” Defalco said.