Setting the stage for Open House

Welcoming with open (house) arms: AMcGill alumnus greets students from Quebec City at Open House 2008. / Photo: Owen Egan
Welcoming with open (house) arms: A McGill alumnus greets students from Quebec City at Open House 2008. / Photo: Owen Egan

By Cynthia Lee

The tent is ready to be erected on the lower green (or, more appropriately these days, the lower white), the activity schedules are printed and the volunteers have been mobilized. McGill’s annual Open House is ready for prime time. On Sunday, Jan. 25, McGillians will showcase the University for visitors from countries as far away as Italy, India, China, Nigeria, Turkey, Belarus, Belgium, Russia and France. If last year’s numbers are any indication, more than 4,500 potential students, curious parents and hangers-on will walk

through the Roddick Gates. 

The people at Enrolment Services are the brains behind the massive co-ordination needed to stage a successful Open House. The task begins months in advance and involves planning information sessions with the faculties, organizing student panels and exhibits, co-ordinating logistics, and promoting Open House to high school and CEGEP students and counsellors.

“Making sure everyone is up to speed and ready for the big day is our greatest challenge,” says Patty Tarica, Marketing Systems Officer and a member of the Open House team. “But once that’s done, the real fun begins.” Volunteers come out in droves to make the day an event not to be missed. Roughly 800 staff and faculty, and 70 student assistants will be turning in early Saturday night to be fresh for waves of visitors looking for directions to the Arts building come Sunday morning.

The event is proceeding as planned, despite a threatened demonstration by members of MUNACA which is in negotiations with the University for a new contract.

Open House 2009, Sunday, Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information,