Texas A&M International University held their annual open-house event, Discover TAMIU, on March 19th. The event was group effort of many TAMIU organizations coming together to promote themselves to potential future students.
Booths and tables with different representatives were stationed in several of the campus’ buildings where they had different information and activities for the guests. Contrary to Laredo’s sunny and hot days, this Saturday afternoon was overcast with a gray sky, cloudy atmosphere, and mild winds. Guests were seen wearing light jackets and sweaters. For a day about discovering the university, potential students did not have to endure a typical hot day with long walks under the sun while navigating through the many buildings. One could say it was Mother Nature doing a favor for recruitment. The event was well organized and the staff were motivating. Passage through the booths and presentation was not difficult, compared to other conventions. The Student Center parking lot was filled just as it is on class days. Public school buses brought students from area high schools to attend the event as well. These students did get a taste for our universities. Some of them were already taking to our norms and crowding the Starbucks at the library. Overall, the event did succeed in catching the eyes of parents and future students of TAMIU. It even caught the attention of TAMIU alumni and current US Congressman Henry Cuellar, who was there with his daughter. There were some really neat and expansive exhibits during the event. The Office of Information Technology had a large classroom in the World Trade Center Building where they had some techno activities for the guest. There was a photo stage where guests could have a high definition photo taken of them alongside some popular video games and some useful mobile apps. Fernando Buenrostro discussed how their high-tech attractions brought in many visitors even some current TAMIU students. Outside of the World Trade Center Building, the Army ROTC had special paintball course for visitors. Equipped with military-style paintball guns and actual army battle armor, visitors were given a chance to partake in mock battle experience. ROTC Cadet Aaron De Los Santos was seen assisting visitors in their armor while having some paint spatter on him.Over at the Student Center, the TAMIU Training Center had a special room for where they conducted special CPR classes. Janet Haverkamp explained how the training center gave useful and universal training for current students. She was very glad to state that they manage to train 133 visitors, of all ages, during the event. The training, like many of the activities, were well sponsored and supported by member of the training center and real CPR dummies for practices. The Student Government Association was present at the event to support the overall machinations of the events. Their presence was visible as they informed visitors about the organization. However, they were still but a few in comparison to all registered members of the student government. Members of the government explained the other members were working and representing the other organizations they were members of. SGA Vice President and senior Stephanie Martinez spoke joyfully about the event. “Discover TAMIU definitely went as planned and we were very happy to see that over 1,500 [people] attended. Our campus was ready to welcome students and their families to our home by providing different activities as they visited our campus.”Discover TAMIU, in my perspective, reminds both incoming and current students that our university is still in a big influence in Laredo and throughout the Rio Grande Valley. I am very appreciative of having a Texas A&M school in our hometown. Most are quick to judge about Laredo, and while there is much to judge, our university is something we should be proud of; we should always find new avenues to promote the International U.