Skip to main content
STARS team members are leading a campus tour.

Is there a maid coming to clean the apartments in housing?

Before he became the assistant director of admissions events, Ryan Meriwether was a Purdue Fort Wayne undergrad and then an admissions counselor. He also guided more than 100 campus tours during his student days, which qualifies him to help those struggling to find their way around — and sometimes answer odd questions.

Meriwether directs the Student Admission Representatives, or STARS, team of about 20 who show new and potential students around campus. 

“It’s going in with the mindset that you are the first person they are going to see on campus,” said senior JaNia Guy, who has led more than 200 tours. 

“Whatever impression you put out there, that’s what they are going to think other students are like,” said senior Trusha Patel. “I remember when I got my first tour, I was literally clueless, but my tour guide helped me out so much and we became friends. That’s part of why I became a tour guide.”

That also means answering tons of questions. Most answers are easy, but guides appreciate the occasional challenging inquiry.

After meeting sophomore Katie Gloyd, grad student Kusum Barajuli, senior Hailey Bower, senior Blake Gillespie, Patel, and Guy, here’s some of the more interesting questions they’ve been asked.

  • Can you drive over the bridges?
  • How often do the lawns get mowed?
  • Can I have a party on campus?
  • What are the exact number of books in the bookstore?
  • Once my child completes the admissions process, will they have to do everything on their own?
  • What’s the climate like here? (They lived 30 minutes away.)
  • Are you allowed to change the air conditioning settings?
  • Can we get football tickets?
  • Can I use the school WiFi to download stuff?
  • What rule was made specifically because one person did that thing?
  • How do you walk backwards without falling over or running into something?
  • What’s the winter like in Fort Wayne?

Gillespie, who has led more than 300 tours, said, “We tell them to be prepared for anything.”

Bower might hold the record with more than 320 tours and counting. Usually, STARS lead up to four tours per week, which take about 90 minutes each being paid $9 per hour. Being able to share stories and relevant campus experiences is an asset, along with thinking quickly.

“No matter how long you’ve been doing this or how many tours you have given, there’s always going to be one question you’ve never heard before,” Meriwether said. 

Parents and prospective students interested in taking a campus tour can find more information here.