In the middle of Galesburg, Ill., there are many proclaiming that they “are Knox.” But, with the possibilities that colleges all over the nation have to offer, especially those located in cities, Knox might seem a lot less appealing. Yet, with pretty purple brochures and booklets, prospective students know that they too can be Knox. Knox College seems anything but a bad choice. Then, of course, these students must talk to those in the Office of Admissions. To be sure, they will speak passionately of Knox’s academics, campus life or off-campus opportunities. Like every college, however, life at Knox is not perfect. How does Admissions walk around sensitive issues?
Senior Grace Fourman, who works for Admissions as a tour guide, said that when asked questions about Knox, regardless of the nature, she answers questions honestly.
“We’re not salesmen. We just try to paint a picture of Knox [and we work at] painting that picture accurately,” she said.
Junior Jamie White, who works in the Admissions Suite, reiterates the need for being honest to prospective students. He recalls his own experiences visiting colleges and says that he felt many were not being completely open with him. Now, White feels the need to reach out to prospective students, knowing the difficulty involved in making a decision to choose a college. When there were certain issues of The Knox Student that were not distributed to students, Fourman and White said that they made everything accessible to prospective students.
In line with their practices, Admissions does not avoid the question of drinking. Fourman tells students that it is a personal decision and said, “If you don’t want to do it, then you don’t have to do it.” She stresses that it is not an overarching peer pressure.
White said that he admits to students that frats can be rowdy, and just as hazing at Knox is severely frowned upon, it has happened in Knox’s history.
Senior Tim Schmeling, who works as a student visit ambassador and who is a member of fraternity Sigma Chi, said, “I am not gonna sugarcoat it because I’m Greek. I don’t ever have to lie.” Schmeling also said that even though he feels comfortable answering almost every question from prospective students, if there is a question that involves a sensitive issue, guides could let Admission Counselors answer appropriately.
Many prospective students also wonder what it’s like to live in the small town of Galesburg. About the worry of crime, White said, “If someone asks you a question that deals with safety or violence, it’s your moral duty to answer that question. There’s nothing that Knox won’t tell you.”
He also adds that there are great restaurants and local coffee shops where students can hang out. For students who come from cities, they might have to get used to the fact that there will not be a Starbucks and a Barnes & Noble to spend time at, not to mention the meagre size of Galesburg’s Carl Sandburg Mall.
Establishing a sense of community at Knox is something that makes many students comfortable here. Fourman said that it is the sense of community she feels at Knox that made her choose to enroll. She admits that it is what every student will hear from her. White chose to attend Knox for this reason as well. With students asking him why he chose Knox, he tells them of the very friendly, community-based college, where you will never feel alone. He also often mentions how great the cheesecake for lunch.
Knox College faces regular college problems like every other school, yet it is not out of control. Academically, this college will not only offer students many opportunities to excel, but will also take into consideration who its students are as individuals. Schmeling said that he received a music and theater scholarship without majoring in either subject. The fact that Knox holds a population of only 1,407 students with a student faculty ratio of 12:1, professors and advisors have the ability really to get to know students.