More To Explore–ASU’s Biggest Recruiting Event
Arizona State University is on a mission. The university devised a plan to grow and develop its four campuses throughout the Phoenix-area into flourishing campuses with unique atmospheres. The master plan for one of the largest public universities in the country involves increased research and more faculty, as we saw last week with President Michael Crow’s conversation with Senior Reporter Angela Gonzales, but what about the student population? How will all these new additions to the university affect those who will be attending it? The answer is growth.
Last Monday, February 18, Arizona State put on the largest on-campus recruiting event ever held by the university, called More To Explore. More than 800 perspective students toured dining halls and dorm rooms at the Polytechnic, Downtown, West and Tempe Campuses. They brought guests, bringing the total number of visitors at ASU to roughly 1,600. It was a massive event, and I was there.
One of the first things I did when I started at Arizona State in 2010 was to look for an organization to join. The total enrollment alone was nearly four times the size of the town I grew up in, so needless to say I was a little overwhelmed. I was looking for an organization that was integrated in the university and would help me get to know ASU and my peers better. So, I joined the Devil’s Advocates.
The Devil’s Advocates — for those of you who don’t know — are the “backwards walkers” on campus, the tour guides. The over-caffeinated, out-going undergrads who show high school students and their parents around the campus. Across all four campuses the Devil’s Advocates, with the help of ASU staff, were pointing out buildings and answering questions about parking passes.
The More to Explore event consisted of everything from pictures with Sparky to informational sessions with staff from financial aid and undergraduate admissions. It gave high school students the ability to see the campus, meet other students interested in the university and help their parents see where the tuition money would be going. Perspective students could even stay in the dorm rooms with current students the night before the event.
This is Arizona State’s first More to Explore event, but I would be very surprised if it were its last. ASU is growing, no question about that, but it isn’t simply Operation Manifest Destiny on the Valley, but rather an enrichment of the projects it already has running. Buildings are seeing long overdue renovations and additions, new space is being provided for a number of different projects and the infrastructure is being remolded to provide for a more populated university. By 2020, the Tempe campus could be the collegiate metropolis of the future.
Rejuvenating Arizona State seems like a daunting task, but it appears to be working. The entire university appears to be coming together under a new facade, with Crow leading the charge. By looking at ways to increase university revenue, athletics and tuition being two top earners, Crow is able to then allocate that revenue into research or campus development. Those two big moneymakers are both seeing positive growth. New designs and logos coupled with new top management is giving the athletic department a much needed facelift. Undergraduate Admissions is doing its part as well, by hosting these largely successful recruiting events to continue bringing in new students.
Crow’s idea for ASU appears to be taking shape. He is developing projects around each campus that tailor to the area it surrounds. Crow expects to see $700 million in research by 2020 and adding 10,000 in new jobs. Tempe Campus is expected to grow as well, to around 60,000 students on campus over the next seven years. The downtown Phoenix Campus is busting at the seams, hitting nearly 13,000 in student population after being open just seven years. The West and Polytechnic campuses have seen steady growth since their beginning, with new construction projects becoming a regular sight across all of the university’s campuses.
For Sparky and the university as a whole, this is all positive. The university’s reputation as a degree-mill socialite school seems to be changing into something with more substance and meaning. The partnerships with different industries around the Valley have proven to be working, or else I wouldn’t be sitting in this chair writing this piece. From a first hand perspective, ASU gives me the opportunity to meet and work with professionals in my field and I know it’s had that same impact on an overwhelming majority of my peers. The big picture for Arizona State and the state of Arizona lies within those individual interactions. What can ASU and its growing student population do with these partnerships and internships? Can the state of Arizona one of its biggest businesses to develop itself into a economic destination for businesses around the world? The university seems to be headed in the right direction, and if it continues to do so, the impact Arizona State University could have on Phoenix and the state could be enormous.
About joemartin2014J-student at Arizona State University, and pursing a minor in business as well.
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