Open House displays K-State campus, groups, research to potential students

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Hundreds of parents, students and prospective students roamed the K-State campus Saturday during Open House.

Events ranged from the K-State band’s musical petting zoo at the All Faiths Chapel to the business school’s Bouncy Castle outside Calvin Hall to performances in Bosco Student Plaza by the band Catching Amy and a dance group. The weekend also showcased On The Spot, a K-State improvisational comedy group.

Cassie Smith, entertainment co-chair for the Union Program Council and senior in life sciences, was part of UPC’s booth in Bosco Student Plaza.

“We wanted to go along with the theme of social networking,” Smith said. “We figured Angry Birds would attract a lot of people. It’s a big age range too; there’s little kids and also some older adults.”

Children shot balls from a water balloon slingshot held by two UPC members, at buckets stacked in a pyramid formation with Angry Bird images taped to the buckets.

“It’s been fun,” Smith said. “Surprisingly, this is the first Open House I’ve been too, but it’s been a blast, and it’s been fun to see potential students and parents out here.”

Many spectators gathered in Bosco Student Plaza to watch the performing groups and browse different booths. The Horticulture Club sold small plants including flowers, tomatoes and peppers. Students offered campus tours and Willie the Wildcat even made an appearance to high-five potential students.

Inside the Union, a mix of campus groups set up booths, including greek houses, language departments and leadership organizations.

Erica Stones, graduate student in French, was working a booth for the modern languages program and said she volunteered to help promote her program.

“It’s been good. There’s a lot of people, and they’re interested in foreign languages,” Stones said. “It’s cool; you get to meet people of all ages.”

Groups used a variety of methods to attract visitors; some offered quizzes, the women’s studies department offered pictures for people to color and the veterinary medicine department displayed a painted cow skull.

Brian Moore, student life exhibit coordinator on the Open House committee and sophomore in agricultural economics, said Open House went smoothly.

“It was more of coordinating and planning and the Union staff did a great job of making the layout happen,” Moore said. “Everyone does a little bit here and there, and it just pulls together. The coolest thing is just how K-State is a community where people do their part to make this happen.”

The English department gave free books to students after taking an online quiz and handed out poems printed on slips of paper. The department’s “Poet in a Box” activity encouraged participants to submit a topic, then members of the English department wrote a poem about it. On the topic of the Collegian, the “poet in the box” wrote, “I am a special poet inspired by a muse, who has come here to tell you the KSU Collegian has the best news.”

Karin Westman, head of the English department and associate professor of English, said the booth had given away over 75 books and had written 100 poems.

Mitchell Widener, senior in English and history and volunteer for English department’s table, said the booth was entertaining.

“It’s a carnival environment, and it’s a great day to show off K-State,” Widener said. “The weather’s spectacular, too.”

Student groups represented K-State all across campus. Hale Library participated in the festivities with a book sale, offering hundreds of books ranging from “Robinson Crusoe” to “The Oxford Anthology of English Literature: Volume II.” The Quad had signs that directed Open House participants to visit various halls with slogans like “Picture yourself at K-State,” while children played the drums set up outside of McCain Auditorium and Fairchild Hall.

Paul Elmore, graduate student in architecture, displayed his master’s project outside of Seaton Hall. He and his partners used bamboo supports with fiberglass connections to support a plywood and two-by-four floor.

Adventurous visitors could climb on top and experience the floor’s durability under supervision. Elmore explained the structure, which could hold around 5,000 pounds, was intended to help people in Honduras build strong houses.

Jacob Wren, senior at Junction City High School, attended Open House to view the architecture department in Seaton Hall said he really enjoyed the festivities.

“It’s pretty cool; this is like my second time,” Wren said. “I think this is a cool place. It’s a big building.”

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