On Monday, Youngstown State University hosted Crash Day — an event that invites prospective students to campus, allowing them to explore the school’s buildings and classrooms, meet professors and students and experience college social life.
The number of participating students at this summer’s Crash Day, 281, surpassed last summer’s number, 148. Considering the decline in enrollment over the past three years, Crash Day’s success is particularly noteworthy.
“[Crash Day was] fantastic. It was the largest group of students we ever had for a program like this,” said Sue Davis, director of undergraduate admissions.
Some coordinators speculated that acting President Jim Tressel’s presence helped popularize the event. For the first time in Crash Day’s history, students were invited into the Wick Pollock house to meet the university’s president.
“I think the involvement of President Tressel was really a selling point for this program. Students got the opportunity to meet him and go over his house,” Davis said.
Gary Swegan, vice president for enrollment planning and management, echoed Davis’ sentiment.
“This is of course just speculation, but I think President Tressel making an appearance today and being in this new position may have helped bring a lot of students out today,” Swegan said.
Christine Hubert, associate director of undergraduate admissions, is responsible for organizing the school’s Crash Days. She said the event introduces prospective students to the college experience, calling Crash Day a “compilation of the academic side and the social side” of college.
“They can go down and learn about their major; they can learn about the opportunities they would have within their academic degree program; students can sit in the classes. Then, on the other side of it, they have the opportunity to learn about the student organizations that we offer so that they can actually get involved in some of those organizations if they choose to come to YSU,” Hubert said.
Crash Day proved popular among participating area students. Erica Sahli, an Ursuline High School graduate and prospective student, said “it was fun and informative.”
Alena Burzynski, another Ursuline graduate, agreed with Sahli.
“All my questions were answered while we were here. It was a good guide for what we’ll be doing later this year,” she said.
Additional reporting by Graig Graziosi.