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Missouri State University campus tours are back, but with new changes

(KY3)
Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 5:17 PM CDT
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Perspective students and their families can once again come tour Missouri State University in person again, but the tours have some new changes.

Each day there are three tour groups with a limit of 10 people per tour group. The campus tour takes place entirely outside, meaning visitors cannot go inside dorms, dinning halls, classrooms and other campus buildings.

Before the tour students and their families gather inside an auditorium at the Davis Harrington Welcome Center on campus, allowing enough room for social distancing.

Associate Director of Admissions Matt Magruder said the last few months have been difficult without in-person campus visits.

"A lot of things we would typically do, we cannot do and we knew that honestly going back into mid-March," he said. "We pretty much pivoted on a dime."

The university had various recruiting during the pandemic, but one student tour guide said the videos do not compare to visiting a campus in-person.

"As great as all the virtual tours are going to be and all the videos admissions has already made, there's something just that can't be beat about seeing a campus in person," senior Zach Greer said.

Greer said "these are challenging times" and the changes to the tour are a sign of adapting to those challenges.

"We're trying to reinstate the normal and keep it safe and fun for everybody," he said. "But there is definitely that but of pressure to keep things going and I don't know, make it as normal as possible in this very abnormal world."

Magruder said the tours had a slow start when the university began offering them again a few weeks ago. He said most tours have been pretty full this week though.

"The feedback has been incredibly positive and I think a big part of that is getting that chance to connect with students because that's one of the most important things for a future student," he said.

Magruder said there has been a nice mix of visitors from Missouri as well as other states. He said he is hopeful about enrollment for the upcoming semester in the fall.

"We are actually pleasantly surprised," he said. "I mean I'm not going to say it's exactly where we would like to be in a perfect scenario, but compared to where we thought we might be a few months ago, I feel like we've done really well."