Admission Office amidst a pandemic

How Hamline’s admission office continues to work in the midst of a pandemic


Emily Lall
Like many offices on campus, the Undergraduate Admission Office has had to shift how they operate. Tours and events for prospective students have seen many changes.

Leslie Farrera-Perez, Reporter

Hamline was forced to make numerous changes once COVID-19 hit the world. An essential resource on campus is the Undergraduate Admission Office, which has had to face several challenges this school year. Because of the pandemic, the admission office cannot run as it usually would. 


Sophomore Julie Mesita is a student employee at the admission office who is facing the challenges these new restrictions bring. 


“We’re doing a few different things. “As far as tours go, we are just using the regular Hamline mask policy and then we’re giving tours as we usually would. We are also trying to make sure that we only have one family in the office at a time. So we have like a really, really strict kind of schedule.”


Families of prospective students must park and then call the admission office. After being asked questions about health and safety, they are cleared and are permitted to come inside. They will then leave for a tour or meet with a counselor.


Mesita said juggling the strict time constraints has been difficult: “If people aren’t on time and things, it gets a little bit tricky because one family literally leaves and the next comes in. If anybody calls early, it’s been like, ‘hey, can you wait in your car until 9:15 and at 9:15 you can come in’ and then the next family’s out and in.” 


Not having an accurate representation of what the student body looks like is also a major obstacle. Classes have been hybrid or online, with more and more classes moving to a completely online format.


“When parents and kids are coming in touring, a lot of the time I get the question, ‘Where are all the students?’ and it’s like, we have students. I promise, but that’s been another kind of difficult thing: not being able to showcase student life when there’s not a lot of hustle and bustle,” Mesita said.


Instead of having larger scale events in person, like every other year, the admission office found a way to host them online.


“As far as our larger scale admission events, those have been moved to online. We did like a virtual tour a few weeks ago, and we’ve done virtual panels over the summer and things like that,” Mesita said.


Another huge change that has been made is that testing is now optional. In addition, the overnight program has been suspended. However, admission started a series of online calls to replace the overnight program for the time being. During the summer, students got to participate in online Piper Talks, trivia nights and games.


Despite all the sudden changes, the admission office has still been making tours, events and everything in between happen in a safe way.


“I would say I’m definitely very impressed with how quickly and seamlessly everything has switched and especially in admission to like, this modality,” Mesita said.