Campus tours continue with reduced group sizes amid pandemic

A student rushes past the “Trust” statue sculpted by Kendra Fleischman located on the top of Western Kentucky University’s campus on Monday morning, Aug. 31, 2020. Gordon Wilson Hall, the building behind the student, is home WKU’s Theater and Dance Program, who are currently dealing with the struggle of having to have classes in-person while still following COVID-19 guidelines.

Kelley Holland

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, WKU’s campus tours are still available to prospective students with implemented changes.

During April and May, little to no tours were offered and began phasing back mid-summer.

Jace Lux, Director of Recruitment and Admissions, said in an email that tours have changed in a number of ways that include no bus tours being offered and limited capacity during in-person tours.

Lux said more tours were added to supplement the smaller group size.

“Our tour guides are very intentional about pointing out adjustments that have been made on campus in order to enhance safety,” Lux said.

According to Lux, evening tours will be added on select days throughout the fall.

While social distancing is not possible in certain areas such as residence halls, tour guides ensure that families and prospective students are spaced six feet apart throughout their visit. Only one family at a time is allowed to visit those spaces.

Lux said that guests are asked to complete the “Healthy On the Hill” checklist before coming to campus. If they answer “yes” to any of the questions on the checklist, they’re asked to reschedule.

Recruitment and admissions received positive feedback about the in-person tours, according to Lux.

“I think that pointing out those changes to the norm rather than trying to hide them helps us develop a sense of trust and demonstrate our commitment to taking care of students during this time,” Lux said.

For families that can not visit in person, WKU offers a virtual tour with an interactive map, photos and videos, according to Lux, who said WKU is also in the process of adding a 360-degree, Google Street View experience of campus.

Prospective students can also take a self-guided tour by downloading the iWKU app and going to the “Campus Info” section.

WKU is not currently hosting any on-campus, in-person recruitment events. Many of those events have been moved to a virtual format.

Kelley Holland can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @kelleyaholland.