The University of Connecticut is currently looking for student volunteers to serve as Husky Ambassadors. These ambassadors assist the Office of Admissions by “hosting prospective and admitted students during Husky-for-a-Day visits and help facilitate open houses and large campus tours.”
According to UConn’s admissions website, Husky-for-a-Day pairs up prospective students with current UConn students for a day-long shadow program. The prospective students attend a UConn class with their student host, visit a residence hall, explore campus, enjoy a provided lunch in a campus dining unit and get the opportunity to interact with current UConn students, faculty and staff throughout the day.
Touted as “the student perspective” of what it means to attend UConn, the Husky-for-a-Day program is a worthwhile opportunity for current UConn students — though likely not for the reasons you would expect.
This ambassador program provides current UConn students the power to talk about their own experiences and those of their peers at the university — the good, the bad and the ugly. The Daily Campus Editorial Board has discussed UConn’s many structural issues at length, including, but not limited to, lack of support for students who experience rampant sexual violence, an overfunded and militarized campus police department and an increasingly profit-seeking administration that aims to hike up costs for students and their families as much as possible. Current and future Husky Ambassadors can play an integral role in giving prospective UConn students the tools they need to make an informed decision about attending UConn for the next four years.
Compared to being a tour guide, for example, there is much more autonomy over the interactions current students get to have with prospective students in the Husky-for-a-Day program. According an April 20, 2022, Daily Digest posting explaining the Tour Guide position with the Lodewick Visitors Center, “It is the responsibility of the LVC Tour Guides to ensure that prospective students and visitors have a positive experience by assisting them with directions, offering friendly advice about places to see and things to do while on-campus, and helping to promote UConn as a top college choice.”
This description does not lend itself to allowing tour guides to discuss the very significant negative aspects of attending UConn. However, allowing prospective students to shadow current students one-on-one gives those current students a chance to explain an honest and realistic view of what attending UConn is like rather than perform a relatively-scripted and narrow tour to a large group. Thus, Husky-for-a-Day paints a more accurate picture of life in Storrs as an undergraduate student — from the convenience of the Student Recreation Center and bus system to various issues regarding student safety on campus — which is immensely beneficial to prospective undergraduate students.
The Daily Campus Editorial Board encourages Husky Ambassadors to be honest about the reality of the student experiences at UConn. Furthermore, this is a strong opportunity for undergraduate activists to give a real look at student life at UConn with little university oversight. While the opportunity to be a Husky Ambassador for the Spring 2023 semester seems to have passed, Husky-for-a-Day is an opportunity for UConn students to openly reflect on their time at the university in order to better inform the decisions of prospective students.