President’s Select Ushers in New Wave of Recruiters

By Caroline Huey

Hordes of the “red bags” are a familiar sight on the Texas Tech University campus. The leader of the group, who can be seen navigating the group while walking backwards, is more than likely a President’s Select member.

Texas Tech does not hand the recruiting process of its precious prospective students over to just anyone. President’s Select members go through a competitive application and interview process in order to be admitted. Once they are in the group, they have a six-week crash course on everything Texas Tech.

Picture provided by Texas Tech University.

Kiyah Hays, a sophomore public relations-sport management dual major, knows how competitive the organization is. She was recently chosen to be a part of the group, but only after her second year of applying. This year, Hays said the application process consisted of submitting an application with two reference letters and several essays, and three rounds of interviews.

President’s Select plays a vital role on the Texas Tech campus – bringing in new students by showcasing the university. If you are a school spirit nerd like her, Hays said President’s Select is the perfect organization for you.

According to the Texas Tech website, the recruitment process is held every spring and the application is due in February.

It doesn’t get much easier for the members after they are selected because they immediately enter into training.

Berkley Stell, a freshman who was selected to be a part of President’s Select this spring, said the new members had mandatory training meetings every Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 for six weeks. During the meetings, they learn the tour script and membership requirements for President’s Select.

Fallon Contreras was selected to be a part of the organization last spring and now is serving as the vice president of admissions. In that role, she is in charge of training the new members.

Contreras said the training is tour script-heavy. They spend the first three weeks of training walking the tour route, so the new members can learn where the best places to stop are and what the best facts to mention are.

The tour script is no light reading. Contreras said the script can range from 12 to 16 pages long depending on what information the organization chooses to leave in or out.

“There’s so much information and not enough time to cover it all,” Stell said.

According to the Texas Tech University Campus Tour Script, the members are expected to know everything from the height of the official seal statue at the entrance of the campus to the amount of scholarships annually awarded in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“The tour is like a 2.5 mile walk, so to fill up that whole space just talking about facts the whole time, you have to actually know your stuff,” Contreras said.

Contreras said the most challenging part of the tour is the unpredictability.

“You never really know what is going to happen,” Contreras said. “Different things happen every week that have never happened before. Every tour group, you never know if someone has something going on academically and then they have all of these questions for the tour guide and they might not be prepared for that.”

However, many President’s Select members, including Hays, believe walking backwards is the hardest part about the tour.

Navigating the winding Texas Tech campus can be hard enough walking forwards. Hays said during training current members told them stories of walking into a truck hitch or falling over a curb because their tour group did not warn them.

“One girl said that she actually fell and everybody just kept walking, so I’m just scared that I’m going to do something stupid and no one is going to care,” Hays said.

So, the next time you see the leader of the “red bags” about to fall over a flower bed or run into a pole, warn them.

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