By Kimberly Ilkowski
This year marks the 30th Ambassador class to grace the College. The latest class has just been accepted into the program and assigned their pals, which act as mentors for the new Ambassadors. In the February 5, 1985, issue of The Signal, Managing Editor Jean Nesterak wrote about Trenton State College’s “new concept in public relations,” which has evolved into a group that is more like a family than an organization.
A new concept in public relations is being introduced on the Trenton State College campus in the form of Student Ambassadors.
Introduced by the office of Student Development Services, the college ambassadors will phase out the old Trenton Orientation Program Services. The T.O.P.S. was used for orientation.
The college ambassadors will be students serving as public relations representatives for the college at official events. Their official responsibilities will include working with orientation, giving tours, hosting campus visitors and providing student staffing at college programs.
According to a release sent out by the office of Student Development Services, “the program has been designed to create a highly selective and prestigious organization whose membership reflects the highest caliber students which Trenton State College produces.”
“It’s not just a job we envision,” said Sheila Fleishman, assistant to the dean of students. “It’s an honorary kind of group. People are selected after a competitive interview process. We’re looking for people who have a strong commitment to the college and who have leadership and intersect well. We’ll be putting people out on the line for Trenton State.”
Second semester freshman, sophomores and juniors may apply for the positions. Students who apply must be in good academic standing and have an average of 2.50 or better.
The ambassadors will receive the minimum wage for all events they work. Other benefits will include on-campus housing and a campus telephone. Members will also be issued a Trenton State blazer, slacks/skirts, and a Trenton State sweater to wear while working.
According to Fleishman the blazer outfit is being used “not to create an image but to give students appropriate things to wear.”
Jesse Rosenblum, director of college relations said that the blazer outfit is important for the image of the college ambassadors.
“We feel it’s necessary as far as putting forth that image. Just like the beautiful entrance gate. We have to represent the student ambassadors in a quality manner that is representative of the institution.”
The cost of the program according to Rosenblum, will be approximately $10,000 a year.
The program evolved because there was a need for a more specialized form of group besides T.O.P.S.
“We knew all along how important students are in terms of how the college is perceived,” said Rosenblum. “We can’t have it left to chance. We will use the students who know a great deal about the college, they will be trained about the college.”
“Students will appear as official representatives of the institution,” said Rosenblum.
Each applicant for a position as college ambassador will have two interviews. Applicants must also submit at least one letter of reference.
“The interview process will take place and then the training will probably be ongoing through the year. We would like 25-40 people. If we have 40 we would be in a pretty good position to cover all the events,” said Fleishman. “People we hire won’t begin until Fall ’85. T.O.P.S. will be phased out after summer orientation.”
“This is an opportunity to take our really good students and train them. The college has been very active in marketing the college and I think we have a special program here. Our most effective salespeople are the students,” said Fleishman.
“T.O.P.S. was not always able to get enough students and we often had to recruit untrained students. They did the best job they could. The frustrations with working with student groups is that you can’t coerce volunteers.
“We hope to create a really incredible opportunity for students,” said Fleishman.
Though the program is looking for above average students Fleishman said, “We’re not putting down the average student we’re just saying we need the above average one’s.”