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University Residences Adapts Through Online Opportunities

View of Cary Quad from across Stadium Avenue in the Spring

With the suspension of campus and admissions visits through at least May 2 due to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, University Residences faces challenges in showcasing campus housing to prospective students and answering the questions of admitted students on their campus housing options. University Residences is rising to the challenge and adapting to bring an online experience to these students.

University Residences is already participating in Daily Virtual Visit for Admitted Students events, created by the Office of Admissions. These live events, held using an online conferencing program, give students and families the opportunity to learn about their next steps through audio and video interaction, receive information about new opportunities and ask questions. University Residences staff have been participating in these popular online events and have been fielding questions from admitted students.

University Residences and Dining & Culinary are also partnering to produce virtual visits specific to housing and dining. These presentations will show admitted students their next steps, with staff members available online to answer questions afterwards.

Other efforts in the works include virtual tours of residence halls and a Tik-Tok social media account to connect with prospective and admitted students.

Research shows that the top two factors prospective students weigh when making their college choices are their physical visit to campus and their feelings of a connection with that campus. Since creating a connection through a physical visit isn’t possible for the time being, University Residences is focusing on creating feelings of connection virtually.

Randi Purvis, manager of guest relations for the Alumni and Guest Center, is spearheading University Residences’ efforts in this area as well as serving as a spokesperson and liaison for recruiting and admitted student events.

“Feeling a visceral connection with the campus is what we’re trying to highlight with all of these efforts,” says Purvis. “We can’t focus on the campus visit right now, but we can focus on that connection.”

No matter what challenges arise, University Residences will continue to seek new ways to connect with students make them feel welcome in their future campus home.