Students brave rain to see future school

Polk County Itemizer-Observer
By Emily Mentzer
April 2, 2014

MONMOUTH — Stephanie Milbrodt, 18, was disappointed that she didn’t get to see the housing facilities during her first tour of Western Oregon University.

“I wanted to know where I wanted to live,” she said after learning the housing host was not available that day. “But that’s OK.”

Milbrodt was one of 18 students and their families who toured Western’s campus in the sometimes pouring rain on March 26.

Milbrodt will start school at WOU in the fall. For her, the choice was between WOU and Eastern Oregon University.

“It’s going to be a climate change for her,” said her dad, William Milbrodt. “The 6,000 people, she won’t like that. It’s too big.”

Stephanie is from Stanfield, near Hermiston, four hours from Western, with a population of 1,700, William said.

“She wants to be in the big city with the small class sizes,” said April, her mom. With lots of study areas to go and get away, she said her daughter should be fine.

April also appreciated the community.

“I feel like she’d be safe,” she said. “It’s like a community inside a community.”

WOU ambassador Samhita Dixit, an international student from Nepal, introduced the group to Western’s campus, but before they left the Academic Programs Support Center, she asked if anyone else needed an umbrella.

Dixit gave the group an inside peek into campus life.

“We call this the recycling building,” she said about the Lieuallen Administration Building, because students get their financial aid money on the third floor, and then pay their fees and tuition on the first floor.

“We also call it the happy or sad building,” Dixit continued. “Happy because you’re getting money or getting praise from the president; sad because you’re spending money or getting suspended or disciplined by the president.”

She explained how students could find work on campus, how the Wolf Ride program works and what facilities were available to students, including the Health and Wellness Center.

Rob Findtner, director of admissions, said tours are often the first time a prospective student has stepped foot on the Western campus, and sometimes the first time a student has visited the Northwest.

Having a week of pouring rain gives prospective students a real taste of what life will be like in the Pacific Northwest, he said.

“This truly will be home,” Findtner said. “I think for students, they appreciate (the weather), being able to see what the Pacific Northwest is really like. It’s reality.”

Tours are available beyond spring break. For more information about taking a tour or applying to WOU, visit Western Oregon’s website:


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