On January 25th, high school students from across the nation gathered at Union College to defeat the current students at their own game...actually, that’s not why they visited, but little did they know a handful of them would prove to excel at a Union event.
The days leading up to the success were quite eventful. The Preview Days students toured the campus, sat in on some classes, visited downtown Lincoln and the Haymarket and got a general feel for what college life is like. There were various things the students appreciated while on campus. Students from Georgia-Cumberland Academy (GCA) provided insight on their experience. Evan Diaz stated, “The campus is very well organized,” and Calvin Scott, appreciated the campus as well, saying, “The atmosphere is very welcoming, the balance between the campus and the city is nice, and all the activities for the preview day students are genuine.”
Other students from GCA appreciated the programming on campus, including the educational programming as mentioned by Sergio de la Cruz. “I really liked the way that the engineering program works with Walla Walla University and other universities to continue your engineering education. Also you save money at Union.” Comments were made about the food service programming as by Kudzai Mhondiwa, “The cafe food was exquisite,” and athletic programming, “I like the sports” (Alex Nesmith).
What stood out to many students during their time leading up to the Saturday night event was the atmosphere on Union’s campus. Ngady Kabia, from GCA, commended, “The Christian environment was shown very well,.”
“Everyone was willing to help you get to where you needed to be,” stated GCA student, Noelle Lucas, and Alexis Castro, another GCA student, said, “Overall, Union has shown great hospitality.”
Students appeared to have a wonderful time during their stay. It wasn’t until Saturday night at the ASB dodgeball tournament that their true abilities were revealed, though. A team of all Preview Days students won again and again throughout the tournament, and while they didn’t receive first place, they did show their potential to be future Union College dodgeball champions. Freshman business administration major, Danyelle Nesmith, while watching the high schoolers play, even proclaimed, “We need them at Union College!”
This display of teamwork and bringing strangers together during the dodgeball tournament is the whole focus of Preview Days, says student ambassador and sophomore computing major, Francisco Campos. “This last Preview Days was a success. The students were interactive and inclusive towards other visitors. One thing that stood out to me was when a group of them gathered Saturday night in Prescott lobby [after the tournament]. They were all from different schools and they hung out as if they were all good friends. This is significant because normally kids keep to themselves or stay with other people from their school during Preview Days. As an ambassador this shows we were able to really help these kids. If they come to Union, they will already have made some connections.”
Union College, keep up the good work. Continue acting as examples of hospitality, camaraderie and, most importantly, Christianity. It makes a difference for all who visit the campus and allows them to see the love of Jesus present on this campus.
Kayla Miller is a junior studying nursing.