Tour guides explain Aggieland from the inside looking out
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 23:10
Throughout the year, Texas A&M welcomes more than 30,000 students and parents to tour the campus and learn about
Casey Richardson, assistant director of visitor’s services, said members of the Aggie Experience Council guide campus tours, sharing personal anecdotes and Aggie traditions with the visitors. Richardson said the council is a student group run by the A&M Division of Marketing and Communications.
Richardson said Mondays and Fridays are most popular for tours because people like to come on days that are attached to weekends.
Madison Metsker-Galarza, student tour guide and sophomore environmental geoscience major, said guides must first apply through the Aggie Experience Council and go through a rigorous process of auditioning,shadowing four tours and memorizing tour stops and
Metsker-Galarza says the tours start the way all Aggie events do with a “Howdy.” The small group of high school seniors look at their parents before replying back with a
Metsker-Galarza gathers up the students and leads them into the entrance of Rudder Theatre, where she commences to perform the sophomore wildcat and explain the history of Rudder Tower.
She will take them all around campus, from the Quad to “Sully” and more recently to Hullaballoo Hall before returning to the Visitor’s Center.
“You see them falling in love with A&M as they are going,” Metsker-Galarza said. “They just can’t believe that people actually say, ‘Howdy,’ so it’s just really fun.”
Metsker-Galarza said the best part of being a tour guide is meeting fellow students who say their campus tour of A&M helped make
“The first day of classes, when I was in class, I sat down next to this one girl,” Metsker-Galarza said. “I introduced myself, and then she was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you gave me my tour. You’re the reason I came to A&M.’ I fell in love with it after that.”
Jenna Bergstedt, California native and sophomore agricultural science major, said her campus visit was a vital part in her decision to attend A&M.
Bergstedt planned originally to come to Texas to tour The University of Texas, but she and her family decided to make the drive to Aggieland when she heard about
Perhaps, from the outside looking in, Bergstedt could understand it.
“It was just a feeling I got here,” Bergstedt said. “I can’t really explain it. I felt the Aggie Spirit.”
Visitors who take the tours have ranged from the general prospective students to curious visiting team fans. Groups from high schools, junior high schools and charter schools are also
Alec Ngo, a senior from Cypress, Texas and prospective civil engineering major, went on the tour also trying to decide between UT and A&M. Ngo said he really enjoyed
“Everyone here has been really nice,” Ngo said. “We even had one girl walk us over from Hullabaloo Hall [after a residence hall tour] to Rudder because we didn’t know where to go. I want to be a civil engineering major, so I know A&M is really great for that.”
Richardson said the goal of the tour is not just to show people around, but for them to get to see Aggieland for what it is and to treat it as a visit more than just a tour.
“When prospective students come with their parents, we want them to see everything, you know? We want them to get a really good idea of what it’s like to be on campus for a whole day, and to get to see everything and to do a lot,” Richardson said.