The Gustavian Weekly

Potential greeters hoping to get their chance | The Gustavian Weekly

By Steven Palmer Staff Writer | February 29, 2008 | Variety

Gustie Greeters have been an integral part of the first-year experience for over twenty years. Above, last year’s greeters welcome the class of 2011.

Applicants hope to welcome next year’s new Gusties to campus

Many Gusties remember their first day at Gustavus—from the excitement of a new dorm room to the many cheers of the Gustie Greeters. With Gustie Greeter applications in, the process of selecting a new batch of high-energy Gustavus enthusiasts begins.

Director of Student Activities Megan Ruble said the idea of Gustie Greeters came about “twenty years ago or longer.” When they started out, “they were sort of the welcoming crew—high energy, big smiles, singing, all that stuff. It wasn’t until ten years ago that we started the Greeter group model, where students are in a small group.”

Ruble said that being a Greeter isn’t just about “being a rowdy welcomer” and making “some [first-years] freak out.” Greeters are also responsible for “facilitating and connection making” in the small group settings during orientation.

Each role of the Greeter, however, is equally important. On move-in day, Greeters “make first-year students feel important, feel like they are the center of attention… Greeter groups serve an invaluable role in engagement. Upperclassmen are no longer ‘untouchable,’ they are accessible and welcoming to students,” said Ruble.

Greeter Coordinator Senior Carlie Mauss said of her years as a Greeter, “Taking a group of incoming students and helping them to develop relationships with each other and the campus community has taught me so much about community building. That energy, I think, comes from the passion and desire we all have to celebrate Gustavus, make it a home and build community on campus.”

Ruble said of the application process that there is no “one kind of greeter.” The only kind of requirements are that you “have to love Gustavus… you have to want to serve first-year students and the College, you have to want to put yourself out there in a number of different ways. You also have to be a good communicator. Ultimately, I don’t think you can get by without those skills.”

Current Greeter applicant Sophomore Lucas Neher, said, “When I came to campus, I thought the Greeters were awesome. They made me feel welcome on campus and I want to do the same thing.”

Applications are currently under review by Ruble and the Student Activities Office. The next step, Ruble said, is group interviews. “We observe applicants in group settings. That’s the …[easiest way to] replicate being Gustie Greeters. We want to see the applicants be themselves. Some think they have to stand out, so they try too hard. It’s what they say, not how much they say. [Applicants] should relax and be themselves.”

Gustie Greeters have been an integral part of Gustavus for years and they’ll continue to be important in the future.

Photo By: Courtney Woodward