By Brooke Schultz
Elm Staff Writer
WACLUV, a campaign created by the Admissions Department, is starting its circulation as Washington College’s new mantra for prospective students. The department developed the campaign and subsequent hashtag #WACLUV as something catchy for this year’s admissions campaign.
Aundra Weissert, a member of the Class of 2008 and associate director of the Admissions Department, is one of the people behind coining the new phrase. She works with students through every aspect of the application and decision process ultimately helping them make a decision of whether or not WC is the right choice after they’ve been admitted. She said, “We wanted something we loved and could share with perspective students… [It’s] about sharing that love with people who are new to WC and help get them excited.”
Admissions is just starting to push the new phrase out and hasn’t encouraged prospective students to use the hashtag yet, but Weissert said that’s changing at the next open house on Oct. 18. “We’re going to have a WACLUV table. The students who are bloggers for the Admissions Office are going to be writing about what they love about WC and are going to be there to share it and ask people, ‘What do you love about WC? You’ve been here all day, what strikes you as really cool about WC?’,” she said.
Weissert hopes that Wacluv will excite current as well as prospective students. She said, “Get the counselors excited, get people who are just forming a relationship with WC excited and help them figure out, what can you fall in love with?”
Weissert also mentioned We Love Washington College Day, which is held for admitted students on Feb. 14. She said, “There’s a lot of love being shared on that day…we hope that it will culminate into something big.”
The goal is for WACLUV to become even bigger than helping perspective students choose WC, but also to reach out to current students and alumni and have them recall what exactly made them fall in love with WC. Just from a handful of students, it appears that all different aspects of WC that drew them to the College.
Freshman Taylor Harcum said, “Coming from a small high school, I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by a big college so I liked how it was small and everyone knows everyone. I liked the small classes and the home-y atmosphere.”
Harcum, a pitcher for WC’s softball team, also mentioned the athletics as a deciding factor.
“When I came here as a senior for a clinic, the team…treated me like I was one of the players,” she said.
Senior Meredith O’Connell was a transfer student. She heard great things about the English department, her “forte.” Before she moved to WC, she toured campus to make sure it would be a good fit. “The girl who gave me the tour told me how wonderful the professors were…that was something that drew me in. That’s why I wanted to come to a small school. I wanted the teachers to know who I am,” she said.
O’Connell experienced this first-hand once she committed to WC. She said, “I think the best thing is the professors. They all care about me, they all know who I am, and I’ve taken classes with them multiple times.”
Junior Taylor Moore mentioned several aspects including the small class sizes and the one-on-one attention with professors, and specifically mentioned Dr. Terrance Scout, an associate professor of Business Management. “My mom had him when she went here and he’s just a great guy and fun to have class with. It seemed like every professor was like that.”
Freshman Kirsten Moore followed her mother and brother to attend WC. She also took classes on campus as a senior in high school. She loved the environment and classes she took, but Admitted Students Day was the real deciding factor for her. “On Admitted Students Day, you had the option to stay overnight and go to an Andy Grammar concert. It was so much fun; the concert was amazing [and] the girl I stayed with was amazing,” she said.
Weissert, an alumna herself, has her own image of when she fell in love with WC. As a freshman, she said, “I had a class with Dr. [Michael] Harvey [called] Community, Nation, World and it was a class on leadership. I just remember we were having our daily discussion about the reading.”
In this class everyone was participating and bouncing ideas off each other. This flourishing academic conversation was the key to Weissert falling in love with the college.
Current students and alumni can share their love for WC with the hashtag #WACLUV on Twitter or Instagram to get the word out on what prospective students can fall in love with at WC.