November 20, 2008
Usually one of the first people a prospective student visiting Oklahoma Baptist University meets is a member of "The Herd." This student organization, created to assist the OBU Admissions office, plays a vital role in conveying what campus life and classes are like on Bison Hill.
"The Herd is a student organization whose primary purpose is to assist in the recruitment of new students to Oklahoma Baptist University," said Penny Dunaway, an OBU admissions counselor and co-director of The Herd. "Our goals are to exhibit Christ both on and off campus and to assist prospective students in their college choice, however possible."
The 42 student members of The Herd are required to spend an hour a week doing tasks such as composing hand-written letters or giving tours to prospective students and their parents. The Herd also works special events throughout the year which are dedicated to showing the OBU campus and introducing high school students and their families to OBU professors and staff members.
OBU hosts a "Preview Day" during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Another special event is "Be a Bison Day," where prospective students visit campus, attend a chapel and classes, eat lunch in the cafeteria, and visit with professors. OBU's "Night on the Hill" is an event where prospective students visit on a Sunday evening and spend the night in a dorm room with a member of The Herd, then attend classes and events the next day. "Super Enrollment Day" is an opportunity for incoming freshman and transfer students to complete their enrollment and housing forms early in preparation for the fall.
To become a member of The Herd students must fill out an application, including an essay and recommendation form, as well as complete an interview.
"Students interested in being in the Herd need to have a love for OBU, be able to have a conversation with a complete stranger, and have a passion for helping prospective students in their college decision," Dunaway said.
"I love being a part of The Herd because I remember what it was like being a stressed-out senior in high school trying to find the right college to attend," said Rachel Landers, a sophomore journalism major and Herd member from Oologah, Okla. "I like helping them determine whether OBU is right for them."
"Probably the most rewarding aspect is when you meet people on Preview Days and then see them as a student on campus the next semester," she said.