The Herd, a student organization, assists the admissions process and recruitment of new students at Oklahoma Baptist University. Over the past few years, The Herd has experienced growth within its organization, which in turn positively affects recruitment of new students.
"We're the primary outlet for any kind of prospective student interaction, and we are the operational part of the admissions events," said Emily Reiser, The Herd co-chair.
Comprised of 54 students, The Herd gives tours of the campus, sends postcards and hand-written letters to prospective students each week and assists with admissions events such as Night on the Hill and Be a Bison Day. They also attend prospective student dinners in nearby cities and help with Super Enrollment Days at OBU and in other cities.
"We want prospective students to feel like they get a personal touch and a real idea of how personal OBU is as a university, not just a generic view of things," said Reiser. "We try to give them personal touches even when there are hundreds of students here visiting."
The Herd used to be known as Bison Student Ambassadors. During Reiser's first year at OBU, the admissions staff decided to revamp the program. Darrin Darnell, a 2007 graduate and Reiser were appointed as co-chairs for the newly named group.
"We had about 20 students in The Herd that first year, and now it has grown to 54 students," Reiser said.
This year, Reiser and senior Erin Zahrt are co-chairs for The Herd. They work with admissions counselors to improve the organization.
"Our goal is to share our personal stories with prospective students so that they not necessarily choose OBU, but so they have some direction as to where they will be going in the next stage of their life," Reiser said. "It's a pretty demanding organization. Members dedicate an hour a week, plus five or six weekends throughout the semester they devote an entire Saturday."