After a two-year break, personal campus tours will resume


Since the postponement of in-person admissions events in early 2020, prospective Cornell students have only been able to get a glimpse of the campus through virtual tours and zoom information sessions or unofficial tours from friends. But from Friday, October 15, the tradition of personal autumn campus tours was resumed.

Nico Modesti ’21 – who has been a tour guide for three years – looks forward to interacting personally with future students again.

“You never know who you’ll meet on a tour, where they’re from and what stories they have,” said Modesti. “The contact with visitors is the reason the job is different every day and I love it so much.”

Charlie Mueller ’24 and Tia Taylor ’25, two non-guide students, will be comfortable when tours resume as long as visitors keep physical distance from the students and wear masks indoors.

Taylor, a recruited track and field athlete, was frustrated that she was unable to speak personally to coaches and athletes when she applied to Cornell last fall. She supports the university’s decision to resume campus tours as she does not want current prospective students to share this challenge.

Although in-person admission events will resume, the Office of Visitor Relations will continue to host virtual briefings, video tours, and livestream campus tours.

“Livestream virtual tours have been quite successful,” wrote Taiya Luce, visitor relations director, in an email to The Sun. “Our office was able to reach an audience that might not have the means to travel to Ithaca for logistical or economic reasons.”

Modesti mentioned that the zoom chat feature made it easier to ask questions for prospective students who may be nervous about asking questions in person. He believed that virtual tours allow students to learn more about the university.

Charlie Frankel, an aspiring member of the Class of 2027, sees some of the benefits of virtual tours but would still love to visit a campus before committing to attend.

“It makes attending universities that are very far away a lot easier and cheaper because you don’t have to pay travel expenses,” said Frankel. “[But] I will definitely like the area and know where things are. ”

Frankel would like to do a personal, student-led campus tour, because “a student can give you very honest and very direct answers to questions”. Frankel wants to ask his student tour guides for their opinion on the campus: for example, whether it is accessible in winter and which buildings are the most unfavorable.

“You couldn’t really answer such questions,” said Frankel.

Sadie Transom – another potential member of the Class of 2027 – is excited to see the university resume personal tours. Virtual tours seemed to her to be an inadequate alternative.

“With virtual tours, I see exactly what they want to show me,” said Transom. “I won’t be able to see if I could actually introduce myself there.”

Transom is considering signing up for one of the university’s campus tours within the next month. She looks forward to hearing about campus life from a student – on a personal tour she said, “You can see and hear what student life really is like.”

The tours will continue on selected dates until November 13th. The personal information events will also be resumed, with the first taking place on Saturday, October 23rd. Visitors must register in advance for both guided tours and informational events on the university’s visitor relations website. For personal information events, visitors must provide evidence of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result within 72 hours of the event.


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