Meridians – Rochester’s on-campus tour guides

One of my favorite things I miss about being on campus is my job – I’m a campus tour guide, or “Meridian” as we call them.

Views from a campus tour in fall 2019.

Imaan Salimi, ’23, Lena Weinbaum, ’22, and Jillian Breithaupt, ’22, talk about their experiences with my favorite job on campus.

  1. What inspired you to be a meridian?

Imaan: I couldn’t personally ever do an in person tour of the school because I’m an international student but I knew I loved UR and wanted other people to feel the same way about it and want to come here so I thought “what better way to do it than becoming a Meridian?” and I have loved every minute of it so far.

Lena: I’ve always loved jobs where I can share something I’m extremely passionate about with people who are interested. And in this case that passion is for the U of R! I love it here, and I love telling people why. Also, my mom was a Meridian back in the day, fun fact, so perhaps it was initially on my radar as something to do because of that.

Jillian: I was looking for an on-campus job, but I knew I didn’t just want to sit behind a desk or something like that. I thought being a Meridian would be perfect because I get to gush about how much I love UR (which I do anyway) and I get paid for it!

 

  1. What is your favorite thing to ever happen on a tour?

Imaan: After one of my tours, I had someone tell me that they were going to accept their offer to UR and attend in the fall because of me and in that moment, I felt such an immense amount of happiness because I thought the hard work was paying off!

Lena: One time I was giving a co-tour, and my co-tour-guide got wished happy birthday THREE times along our tour. It was not his birthday.

Jillian: Since I started Spring 2020 and then everything with COVID happened, I didn’t get to do too much in-person touring. Therefore, I don’t have one particular favorite thing that’s happened, but I always get excited when we have someone interested in ASL on the tour!

  1. What was the best memory you have from touring?

Imaan: Honestly, it’s hard to pick because every tour is so different and fun in its own way but I did love this one time when a family told me they were really happy to know that there are so many research opportunities for non-STEM majors at UR too and that hearing about my experiences made them consider UR more strongly.

Lena: It’s a simple thing, but one time, after a tour, a prospective student wanted to return to Rush Rhees to check out some books and study areas more thoroughly than we had on the tour. I walked them there, and getting that one-on-one connection with someone who was really interested and proactive in their college search. Getting to answer their questions and learn more about them on the way over was really fulfilling.

  1. What is your favorite place on campus to talk about?

Imaan: I love talking about Wilson Commons. I think I just like talking about how Wilco is such a social space and you always run into friends there. I also like talking about what I’m involved in on campus because I love everything I do and it helps connect with prospective students who might be interested in the same things!

Lena: I enjoy talking about the different libraries, because there’s so many spots with so many cool and different resources and study atmospheres, that there’s always a niche for everyone. I personally thrive in the Art and Music Library. I also enjoy talking about Wilson Commons, because it’s an excuse to talk about our many awesome extracurricular student groups, which are where I made most of my closest friends. Go to activities fairs folks, wherever you end up!

Jillian: Probably the fraternity quad, honestly. I like to spend the time talking about Special Interest Housing, particularly Drama House where I live. SIH is a great and fairly unique part of Rochester, so I enjoy highlighting it.

  1. What else do you like talking about?

Imaan: I love talking about my favorite places to study on campus and places to go off campus for fun like the cafes in downtown Rochester (when there isn’t a pandemic, of course).

Lena: I like talking about special interest housing, because I think it’s a really cool opportunity that’s pretty unique to UofR. Similarly, I like talking about the Take5 program because of how awesome it is.

Jillian: The Rochester Curriculum, of course! I’m a quadruple major and I help my friends plan their schedules, so I have the curriculum down to a science at this point. My friends joke that I should be an advisor since I love schedule-planning so much!

 

While campus tours are not currently being offered by the Office of Admissions, you may tour campus virtually! 

About the author

Madeleine Fordham

My name is Madeleine Fordham, I'm from Amherst, Massachusetts, and I am a sophomore at the University of Rochester. Right now I am planning to double major in American Sign Language and theatre, with clusters in web design and British history. I also do every extracurricular activity I possibly can, including (but not limited to) ASL Club, Debate Union, TOOP, Todd Theatre, Campus Times, and Quidditch—go UR Thestrals!

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