Boston College’s Student Admission Program (SAP) is one of the largest student organizations on campus, with almost 700 undergraduate volunteers. Through its numerous programs, SAP gives prospective students an authentic, first-hand look at life on the Heights. The many departments within SAP, from panels to tours to Eagle for a Day, could not be successful without the council of 14 undergraduate students that make sure everything runs smoothly day-to-day. The Gavel had the chance to talk with Haydn White, MCAS ‘18, next year’s SAP Head Coordinator, to get a closer look at the program, including her goals and responsibilities for the upcoming year.
What motivated you to become involved in SAP in the first place?
“When I was a junior in high school and a prospective student at Boston College, I visited BC during the summer to watch an Eagle Eye Information Session and go on a Campus Tour. I remember being completely in awe of how genuine and authentic my panelists and tour guide were, and, at the same time, I recognized how incredible their public speaking skills were. I knew that if I ended up at BC, this would be something I could see myself doing. When I initially joined SAP, I didn't have many expectations for the organization besides furthering my public speaking skills and meeting some new friends; however, this all changed upon making my very first call at an Outreach Telethon. I spoke with the mother of an admitted student for about half an hour and felt like I was on cloud nine when I hung up the phone. I then realized how much I wanted to be a part of a prospective student's college search journey, and I became fascinated by all aspects of the college admission process. After working for SAP this past summer, I developed valuable mentors in the professional staff, especially Kayte Hager, and I began looking into admissions as a career path. Essentially, I've come to realize that SAP is not just a passion for me, but it is a vocation and a calling. Nothing beats the wonderful feeling I am overcome by after completing a tour or panel, and it brings me so much joy to know that through SAP I have the opportunity to play a role, even if it is a minor one, in a student's decision to attend BC. That ability to help prospective students discover whether or not BC is the right fit by highlighting my experiences in an authentic light keeps me motivated everyday, and SAP has, without a doubt, been the program that has shaped, developed, and excited me most at BC.”
What are you most looking forward to during your time as Head Coordinator?
“During my time as Head Coordinator, I am most looking forward to further developing my leadership philosophies through continuing to do what I love in working with prospective students. I'm excited to lend as much positive growth as I can to the Student Admission Program, and it makes me so happy to know that I will be able to act as a role model and mentor for other students within SAP. I want to help give BC students the outlet through this program to genuinely share their BC experiences, stories, and opportunities, and I hope to encourage a true passion for this work within each volunteer. I am also looking forward to learning more about the admissions process at BC by furthering my mentorship relationships with a number of the admission counselors and attending staff meetings. Most importantly, I'm thrilled to be able to further give back to an institution that has truly shaped me to be the woman I am today, and I know there is no better way to do that than helping to shape the next class of Eagles. It will be exciting to lead a council and a large number of volunteers instead of a direct program as I do currently, and I hope that no matter what I do I am able to lend favorable growth to SAP.”
What are some goals that you have for SAP next year?
“My major goal is to allow each and every volunteer within SAP to truly come to understand the importance and overall value of their work. Whether it is conducting a tour, congratulating an admitted student with an email, guiding accepted Eagles at Admitted Eagle Day, or greeting families as they enter the glass doors of the Devlin Hall Admission Lobby, I hope every volunteer is able to recognize just how important this work is for prospective students. Yes, through SAP we are able to form friendships that will last a lifetime and gain valuable public speaking skills, yet we are ultimately doing this for the prospective students. I hope to see every volunteer as overjoyed as I often am when given this opportunity to walk with prospective students along the often difficult trek of the college search process. I most definitely want to implement a number of new ideas into SAP, including the creation of a SAP mission statement, as well. I hope to get SAP more known to other organizations across campus, especially culture clubs, and I hope to increase the diversity within this program. I hope to form a SAP Council that works together passionately and with 100% dedication towards our goals, and I know a number of wonderful ideas will flourish as the future Coordinators work to further develop their respective programs. I strive to lead by example and ensure that the opinions of all volunteers within SAP are heard and respected, and I'm devoted to allowing every volunteer to truly find their niche within this organization.”
What about BC’s Student Admission Program sets it apart from other schools?
“Our Student Admission Program is quite unique compared to other schools in the sense that it truly is run by the students. Aside from our direct admission counselor supervisors, Chris O'Brien and Kayte Hager, we are left to manage not only tours and panels, but also nine other umbrella programs within this organization. In the fall semester, our current Head Coordinator Jon Giara and I had the opportunity to attend NEACAC's (New England Association for College Admission Counseling) Students in Admission Forum as representatives of the BC Student Admission Program. Amongst student representatives from a large amount of other universities in New England, we realized that SAP truly is the most developed program. The student's role in admissions at a majority of these other schools is to act solely as tour guides, while we go above and beyond to make prospective students from all walks of life feel welcomed, supported, and engaged with BC through each umbrella program within SAP. It's certainly a lot of work, but the reward of aiding prospective students, while learning so much more about BC is completely worth it. Additionally, many student admission ambassadors at other schools are paid for their work, while SAP volunteers devote their time to do just that: volunteer. That really speaks to the community within SAP and just how willing and truly passionate BC students are when it comes to sharing their stories to help a prospective student possibly discover a home here.”