Open house not always a big part of K-State

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Saturday concluded this year’s Open House – something many students and families look forward to each year. Though it might seem like a staple, having an all-college open house was an issue of debate in the 1950s and 1960s.

The first open house was in 1921 for the College of Agriculture and called Ag Fair. Later, it was called the Engineer’s Open House, Hospitality Days and finally, Open House, which included all colleges, in 1969.

The following article is from the May 15, 1951, Collegian and displays students’ opinions on having an all-college open house.

All-College Open House Favored in

Student Poll

How can you say for sure? This sums up what many students think about an all-college open house for K-State. While some say “yes” and others yell a blunt “no,” the general opinion is that “we think it can be done, but we’ll have to be shown.”

Most of the students questions about an all-college open house showed that they had thought about the idea because they could see both advantages and disadvantages to the plan.

The questions these students answered are: “What do you think about having an all-college open house here at K-State? Do you think it would work?”

Glen Davis, AG 2, thinks that the plan has possibilities because then the ag school could work up something big like the engineering school now has.

He adds that he doesn’t think it would cut attendance at any one display, but that it would have to last more than one day for people to get through all the exhibits.

Dorothy Van Horn, HE 2, says that “a display of all schools at the same time would be OK, but that there would have to be a maximum of co-operation between the schools to make it work. Either the departments would have to limit the number of displays or very few people would see them all.” She points out that “no one appreciates or enjoys anything when they are too tired. All in all, it’s a good idea, but it would need co-operation and limitations.”

Evans Freese, AGE 4, thinks that “it would be excellent publicity throughout the state for Kansas State. It would be hard to see in one day, but if it lasted more than one day it would create a very serious housing situation in Manhattan. Attendance at the individual displays would be very probably be about the same.”

Jacqueline Pantier, HE 2, feels that more people from all over the state could come if only one weekend during the year were set aside for Open House at K-State.

Allan Ingle, AGE 3, says, “No, I don’t think it would work here. It takes too long to go through engineers’ Open House alone. The families that come couldn’t split so that they could just visit the displays that interested them because they could never find each other again in all the crowd. The plan sounds good in theory, but there are too many problems to make it work out.”

Doris Keas, HE 2, says “something along this line could be worked out. It would have to take more than one day. It would save the individual schools a lot of bother if the school had Open House at the same time and divided the responsibilities.”

Harlan Copeland, AG 2, thinks that the plan probably could be carried out here, but that “it is more impressive the way it is. Each might detract from the other, and as a result each school might try to out-do the others by having more exhibits and thus sacrifice quality.”

Though the opinions of the students are not unified, there is a lot of interest in learning more about an all-college open house. They are most interested in how the plan would be put into effect, the benefits they would get from it, the disadvantages of the plan and the success other schools have had with all-college open houses.

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