The Daily Gamecock

Gamecock Connections 'takes Carolina home'

Volunteer program recruits prospective students

Gamecock Connections, a volunteer recruitment program, has completed its first semester at USC, and current students and the Office of Admissions are taking the university back home to recruit prospective students.

Alexandra Scovel, coordinator for volunteer programs, began the program last semester to connect future students with USC undergraduates.

“We train students who are involved in the program as admissions representatives and volunteers to help us out with recruitment,” Scovel said, “Students are the most effective recruiters.”

Program volunteers serve as representatives at information fairs, panels and meetings with parents and students.

“We want to give students who want to talk about USC the opportunity to do it,” Scovel said.

Gamecock Connections members have been “Taking Carolina Home,” visiting their former high schools to talk to students about their college experiences. Volunteers are given training and materials to make the most of their visits.

“I like being able to tell students that I used to see in the hallways why I like USC so much,” said Claire Critchley, a first-year biology student.
Critchley visited her former high school, Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh, NC, during winter break, where she held an open discussion about USC with 13 students.

“I would love to do Taking Carolina Home again,” Critchley said, “That’s what I was looking forward to most [about the program].”
Gamecock Connections volunteers attend a series of meetings that prepare them to visit prospective students. During the meetings, volunteers highlight various talking points, including their major, life on campus and why they chose to attend USC.

“It’s about being able to talk to high school students,” said Rixon Lane, a second-year broadcast journalism student. “They want to know more about the university, what the campus is like and what they need to expect.”

Lane visited Lexington High School last fall and plans to stop by Woodruff High School to give students a clear picture of his experience.

“I’m hoping that we can send more current students to be involved in Taking Carolina Home,” Lane said. “High school students want to speak to students who are at the university now.”

Lane would like to recruit students during Transfer Day and open houses as well.

Gamecock Connections’ schedule is flexible, allowing students to recruit in their spare time. They may volunteer to do as many or few recruitment events as they like.

“It’s been really great for me because I have a crazy schedule,” said Sarah Ferraro, a first-year journalism student. “If you want to get really involved and you want it to be a big part of your time, it can be.”

Gamecock Connections meets two Tuesdays a month from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. During these meetings, training is provided to help students relay their experience and information about USC effectively.

During fall semester, the program accepted 20 members and the program is currently accepting applications to expand further.

“I’m interested in connecting more with students and being a part of the growing population at USC,” Critchley said.

Gamecock Connections is developing a website and electronic application. Scovel plans to have student executive positions next semester.

“I just think it’s a really fantastic way for the students to be a part of the admissions process,” Lane said, “We hope to take the university farther than [where] it already is.”