Undergraduate Admission resumes in-person tours for admitted students

Malcolm Van Halen, Reporter

California Lutheran University resumed in-person tours for admitted students about one year after on-campus activities paused.

“When the pandemic began, we cancelled all in person tours,” Talia Gaulke, senior and Undergraduate Admission associate, said in an email interview. “Over the summer [2020] we began virtual tours via Zoom that include one of our student workers showing videos of campus on a green screen.”

In-person tours resumed in mid-March 2021, adhering to California’s COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening guidelines.

Cal Lutheran currently offers three different tour options: self-guided tours, guided tours that take place Monday-Friday and Saturday Pop-Up Tour events–where students and staff members are stationed under pop-up tents on various parts of campus.

Wes Sullivan, class of 2007 and associate director of Undergraduate Admission, said things are starting to look more normal.

“We are starting to return closer to what our normal tour options would be,” Sullivan said in an email interview. “The primary difference at the moment is that all guests (for any of the tour options) must complete the Campus Compact and Daily Health Check before their arrival (just like all CLU community members) and we are currently limiting our guided tours to a single student and their guest(s) per tour time.”

Shelden Agbayani, Undergraduate Admission counselor, said in an email interview that any visitor participating in a tour must wear a face covering and socially distance throughout the entire time on campus. All visitors will have their temperature checked as well and will be asked to reschedule if their temperature is over 100.4, Agbayani said. 

Another aspect of campus tours that has changed since March 2020 is who can schedule a tour. 

“During COVID, our tours are restricted to just admitted students,” Agbayani said. “Each tour slot accommodates one household at a time to protect our tour guide and our guests. Before the pandemic, we could have anywhere between 1-6 families per tour.”

The Saturday events have staggered arrival times to allow distancing while families are touring campus.

There are normally two different groups of students that lead tours–Presidential Hosts and Student Admission Associates.

“Our Presidential Hosts are volunteer tour guides during the regular semester,” Agbayani said. “During the summer, our Admission Associates or student workers are giving the tours. So during the summer, our students get paid for the tours they give.”

Gaulke said in a normal year Undergraduate Admission has about 35 Presidential Hosts who each give two to three tours a week, but now they mostly give tours virtually while some are able to participate in in-person tours.

“We are currently paying our Presidential Hosts that are able to work our Pop-Up Saturday Events as a temporary measure due to COVID,” Sullivan said.

Gaulke said Cal Lutheran campus tours are still offered in both Spanish and English.

“My colleague, Diana Hernández oversees our tours in Spanish,” Agbayani said. “They have an entirely separate schedule and registration process. These are scheduled based on our Spanish-speaking tour guide availability and also follows the same COVID guidelines.”

Agbayani said if anyone is interested in giving tours, “they are more than welcome to email our office at [email protected].”