Explore SDSU shifts to virtual platform due to coronavirus outbreak


File photo

Prospective SDSU students talk to a representative at the Aztec Parents Group table at a previous Explore SDSU event.

by Catlan Nguyen, Staff Writer

Explore SDSU, an annual open house for admitted and prospective students has been canceled due to the coronavirus and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control to limit large social gatherings.

“It would be premature to speculate about admissions or enrollment impact during this unprecedented, unique time,” university officials said in an email. “Right now, our priority remains supporting our greater campus community.”

The Admissions Department said they believe this is “the right decision given the uncertainty of COVID-19 and changing travel conditions” and they are “working on creating additional virtual programming” to replace the events, according to an announcement made by the department.

Students are unsure how it’ll affect admissions, but some said they believe it can be harder for students who are coming from out-of-state who haven’t seen the campus yet. However, the university said they are holding a virtual Explore SDSU open house for 2020, planned for March 21. 

“Considering that Explore SDSU is a major thing for getting people to see what campus is like, it could have an effect as far as admissions but on the other hand, it might not,” public administration city planning senior Wesley Cooksy said. “Particularly for people who are coming out-of-state, it’s important for them to see what SDSU is like.”

The virtual Explore SDSU will be a combination of live and prerecorded information sessions and can be accessed through a computer, laptop, cell phone or iPad, according to the Explore SDSU web page. The software Zoom will be needed to interact and attend.

President Adela de la Torre will provide a welcome presentation to students during the virtual tour, the web page said. Admitted student presentations and speeches from each division will be included too.

Other students said they believe it won’t affect admissions greatly and this cancellation is necessary for the overall health of the SDSU community.

“I understand that if the school is willing to say we don’t want more people to be affected (by the virus) and the fact that you wouldn’t know if you’re infected in time, I think this is the safest thing the school can do,” social work junior Madina Maho said. “I don’t think this will affect admissions as much because it’s not just one school or one state doing this, and this is for their own safety.”

Some students said they think the virus and the panic it has brought will influence more students to go to local schools near their hometowns.

“I would think some students might choose to go to local schools to avoid any travel bans and quarantines,” liberal arts and sciences graduate student Daniel Warren said. “It is looking like this anti-social world could last for a year until vaccines are normalized and distributed.”

If you can’t attend the virtual tour on March 21, the live sessions will be posted online as recorded sessions to be viewed at any time.