Open house showcases Eastern to prospective students

Hannah Shillo, Associate News Editor

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Potential future panthers learned about what Eastern offers at the open house Monday.

Students began checking in at 8 a.m. in the Doudna Fine Arts Center.

Mya Roberts, sophomore history education major, and Shannon Rahn, sophomore psychology major, worked together at the check-in table providing students with their nametags, campus maps and itineraries for the day.

Both were still at the check-in table after the welcome session began at 9 a.m. for the students who arrived later than expected.

Rahn, who has been a tour guide for nearly a year, said she also gave a tour at 7:45 a.m. before working the check-in table. 

“It’s been pretty good so far,” Rahn said. “Everyone seems to be pretty alert, which is kind of weird because it’s early in the morning.”

Rahn said she enjoys seeing all of the people at the open house events Eastern hosts because of her own open house experience before officially becoming a panther.

“The open house was the very first visit that I made to campus,” Rahn said. “It was a really big impact because I was able to see multiple buildings, I got to see what majors I wanted to see, got to know what being in college is going to be like and all of that.”

She said she chose Eastern because of how safe, friendly and quiet the campus felt to her.

“I was at home the minute I came here, even just at open house, which is super busy,” Rahn said.

Roberts said she chose to attend Eastern because she wanted to major in education.

“This is the best education school in the state and, quite possibly, in the Midwest,” Roberts said. “The other reason is it reminds me of home; I have connections here and I have friends here. My admissions counselor was somebody I knew from back home and he made me feel really comfortable.”

Molly Raymond, a high school senior from Herscher, Illinois, went to the EIU Bookstore with her parents after they ate lunch.

She said she enjoyed her campus tours and the academic sessions she attended.

“I like the environment,” Raymond said. “The dorms are alright.”

Lamont Poole, a high school senior from Matteson, Illinois, said Eastern is one of his top choices for college.

“I liked the tuition costs; that was really good,” Poole said. “The classroom sizes are really good for me.” 

Poole said his high school class size is a little smaller than Eastern’s class sizes, so he will adjust well if he attends next academic year. 

Heather Suarez, a high school senior from Collinsville, Illinois, said she left her home at 5 a.m. Monday to attend the open house. 

Suarez has already been admitted to Eastern and said it was one of her top choices, too.

“I really like getting to know what all (Eastern) has to offer,” Suarez said. “I also really like how their campus looks, too.”

Suarez’s mother, Rhonda Suarez, Collinsville, Illinois, said her daughter has been talking about attending Eastern since the seventh grade.

Braden Tate, a high school senior from Salem, Illinois, said he is still deciding between Eastern and his local junior college for after he graduates high school.

He said attending the open house has helped him realize how Eastern compares to his high school now, where the class sizes are similar.

“It’s been fun. We’ve had a couple sessions and learned a couple things about the college,” Tate said. “I did like the campus, how open it is and just how friendly people are here.”

While the open house is meant to help people decide on their future in education, Roberts said decisions should be made with a lot of thought.

“First impressions are everything, but (do not) make your choice based on first impressions,” Roberts said. “Do research and look into things. If you have questions, call. We aren’t afraid to answer anything that you might have for us.”

The next Eastern open house will be Nov. 11.

Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].