Leibee: Campus tours don’t tell the whole truth about this school

Katrina Leibee

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

We all chose to come to Colorado State University for different reasons. Some of us have known our whole lives that we were going to come here, and others may have been on the fence and took a leap of faith. A lot of our decisions were swayed by taking a tour that showed us the finest parts of campus.

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It is unethical to only show students the very best and brightest parts of this school on general tours. Part of this University includes the things that need to be improved upon, and ignoring them might make the school look better to prospective students, but it is unfair to them. 

The Office of Admissions ultimately does this to sell the school to prospective students. The worse-off parts of campus are what you get after you’ve already written a check. The logic behind this tactic makes sense, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Before one even gets to campus, they can take a virtual tour of the University.

The virtual tour shows beautiful buildings such as the chemistry and biology buildings, as well as the prettiest areas of campus like The Oval. The virtual tour is so appealing that students might decide to go ahead and visit in person.

When you get to the University Welcome Center, it has a historic feel to it that just makes you feel at home. It is genuinely beautiful. On the tour, the guide shows you The Oval, then the biology building, the stadium, Aspen Hall in Academic Village, the Lory Student Center and the Student Recreation Center. 

The one academic building—the biology building—shown is most newly renovated and arguably one of the nicest places on campus. The tour guide basically went around the Education, Eddy, and – you guessed it – Clark buildings. Liberal arts were already scarcely mentioned on this tour, and during the information session, the Clark buildings, which house a large amount of liberal arts classes, were not mentioned at all.

The example residence hall the tour showed was Aspen Hall in Academic Village. Again, Academic Village has some of the nicest, if not the nicest, residence halls on campus. When I asked if all residence halls were that beautiful, the tour guide referred to the other halls as, “a little different.”

The issue with this answer is that halls such as Newsom, Edwards and most others are not just a little different; they are significantly older and visually worse. This past fall, many students were placed into converted study lounges because dorm rooms were overflowing. It is false advertising to show prospective students a beautiful dorm then place them into something quite the opposite once they arrive.

The problem here is ethics. Students are not realizing the realities of their residence halls or the way the College of Liberal Arts is treated until they get to campus. Further, it is not until we got here that we saw the religious activists on The Plaza or the major flaws within the student government that runs this campus and manages our student fees. 

“The problem here is ethics. Students are not realizing the realities of their residence halls or the way the college of liberal arts is treated until they get to campus.”

The transition into college is already difficult for students, but it is made harder when they are given false expectations on a tour. The morality behind ignoring a large fraction of the school for purposes of marketing is questionable. Only revealing part of the truth is still a form of lying.

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I’m not asking schools to advertise the worst sides of themselves, but I don’t think it is too much to ask for admissions officers to be a little more realistic. This school is amazing and beautiful, but its reality is far from what is showcased on general campus tours.

Katrina Leibee can be reached at letters@collegian.com or Twitter @KatrinaLeibee.