For Immediate Release — April 14, 2004


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516



GENESEO, N.Y. — Minority students from New York City and Upstate New York will visit the SUNY Geneseo campus this week as part of a revamped multicultural recruitment program aimed at attracting these students to the college.

About 40 students are expected to participate in the SUNY Geneseo Multicultural Choice Weekend, which is being held in collaboration with the SUNY Metropolitan Recruitment Center, based in New York City. All of the students, who are African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Native American, have been accepted to Geneseo but have yet to decide where they plan to attend college. The national deadline for accepted students to enroll in colleges is May 1.

The majority of the students are from the five boroughs of New York City, while the rest are from Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo. The recruitment center is providing the cost of the round-trip bus trip and providing a staff member to accompany the students on their journey.

The students will arrive Thursday, April 15 and leave the morning of Saturday, April 17.

"More so than anything, it gives them a chance to be a college student for a day and a half," said George Anselme, a Geneseo admissions advisor who is coordinating the program.

While here, the visitors will be paired up with Geneseo students, who will act as the students’ hosts. The visiting students will attend classes on Friday with their hosts and then mandatory sessions with representatives from career services, multicultural affairs, financial aid, university police, residence life and the Access Opportunity Program. Friday night, the students can shoot pool for free at the Corner Pocket and attend a party in their honor at Geneseo Late Knight, both located in the Student Union.

The Geneseo program is one of 15 such programs being held on SUNY campuses this spring, said Beryl S. Jeffers, associate director for college services/enrollment management for SUNY System Administration (Metropolitan Recruitment Center-NYC). The recruitment center assists colleges and universities in the SUNY system with such events through its Discover SUNY Campus Visitation Program.

"It’s an opportunity to bring talented New York City students to a campus like Geneseo. Perhaps they have never been outside their community in New York City," she said.

"If you have an opportunity to come and visit the college, then you are three times more likely to decide, ‘This is the place for me,’" Jeffers said.

"I believe that diversity is critical for all of our college campuses and universities," she said, adding that a "blending of different regions" adds to the academic discourse to higher educational institutions.

The multicultural weekend will allow Geneseo to continue attracting underrepresented minority students, college and SUNY officials say. Statistics of the student population admitted in fall 2003 show that minority students comprised 10.1 percent of the total Geneseo population. African-Americans comprised 2.0 of the student population, while Hispanics, Asians and American-Indians comprised 2.7, 5.2 and 0.2 percent respectively. Non-resident aliens made up 1.6 percent, while 88.3 percent were white.

The multicultural program is one of many new ways Geneseo is marketing itself to prospective students, said Kris Shay, director of admissions for Geneseo.

Geneseo this year also began a "fly-in" program, which encourages students from the New York City area to visit the campus with their parents. The families are referred to a specific Jet Blue flight, and the campus provides round-trip transportation to and from the Greater Rochester International Airport. Unlike the multicultural program weekend, this program includes events for parents, and the families must pay for their transportation. Twenty students and their families have taken advantage of this new offering, said Shay.

In addition, 300 accepted students are participating in nine overnight programs being held throughout March and April, Shay said. The visiting students are placed with host students who are part of Geneseo’s students ambassador program. Students volunteer to host the students overnight or give campus tours to parents, she said. About 65 percent of the accepted students who participate in the overnight program select Geneseo as their college of choice, Shay said.

Shay agrees students are more likely to attend a college if they visit it. "It’s the most important thing they can do in making their decision. Absolutely, hands-down," she said.

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The students will arrive about 5 p.m. Thursday. On Friday, April 16, the students will have breakfast from 8-9 a.m., attend classes from 8-11 a.m., attend "rap sessions" from 11 a.m. to noon, have lunch and attend classes from noon to 2 p.m., take a campus tour from 2-3:30 p.m., and attend more "rap sessions" from 3-5 p.m. From 5-10 p.m., they will have free time with their hosts, including dinner at 6 p.m., free pool from 5-10 p.m., and other activities, including the Late Knight at 10 p.m. and a party in their honor from midnight to 2 a.m. They depart at 10:15 a.m. Saturday.