A “Virtual” Tour of Westmont
During this time of uncertainty, I would like to be the first to acknowledge the possibility of potential Westmont students having to experience a virtual tour of our beautiful, currently empty campus. In the past, tour guides would skip around campus with curious college applicants and show off our newest class equipment and the fancy buildings that have definitely not put Westmont into a lot of debt. Today, while staring down the barrel of a quarantined summer, I would like to offer my services to Westmont’s Admissions department by providing the very first script of the impending virtual tours of the campus.
The video opens with an image of Kerwood Hall, and a voice-over begins: “Hi, welcome to Westmont College. We’re excited to show you our elite dorms, five-star Dining Commons, and casual gardens that you might, one day, call your own (for only 10-15 years of student debt). This here is our primary Admissions, Business, and presidential hall. Inside you’ll find chandeliers, green marbled bathrooms, and a current student operating the front desk with a Colgate-bright smile, waiting to be told which phone to answer.”
Next on the video is the post-office, Clark, Emerson, and Page Hall: “This is upper campus. Here you’ll find your mailbox, which you’ll check once a month, and the post-office, which will either never be open when you can actually make it to pick up a package, or always have a line after chapel, which is the other time you can actually make it to pick up a package. The upper-campus dorms are Clark, Emerson, and Page, which will feel very distinguished your first two years here, but come junior year you’ll be living on lower campus and believing that they’re all a bunch of hooligans up there.”
The video pans down the hill to Adams, Porter Theatre, Whittier, and Winter: “These are our primary classroom spaces. Right now, you probably feel like you’ll spend all of your studying time within these many walls. Well, you’re probably wrong. Come senior year, you won’t be leaving your room except for the occasional Trader Joe’s run and a reckless day at the beach when you probably should be studying for an exam, which you’ll definitely stress about for weeks beforehand.”
Next is lower campus: “Over here we have lower campus. This is where the student anxiety really fills the air. It’s primarily juniors and seniors in these dorms, which you can tell from the tense smiles and pasty complexions developed from months of overwhelming workloads and social anxiety. But take a moment to look beyond the dorms to our shining gem, Murchison Gym. This. This is the place we hold chapel, three times a week, totally voluntary and inclusive. You’ll love it.”
The video closes with an overhead shot of campus: “We hope you enjoyed this tour of Westmont, and, though it was short, we’re certain that the little details we failed to mention will show up on your student bill, somewhere along the lines.”