Update: NSCS pen pal venture turned down


Courtesy of Allison Peters

Andrea Zanaglio, Editor-in-Chief

In the February issue of The Sentry, the article “Breaking Awkward: NSCS hopes to add pen pal component to March2College Day” reported that RMU’s National Society of Collegiate Scholars chapter hoped to send letters back and forth to Cornell School District students prior to their visit to RMU in March as part of March2College Day.

Since that article was published, RMU’s NSCS Vice President of Planning to Achieve Collegiate Excellence (PACE), Allison Peters, said the Cornell School District has turned down the proposed pen pal component.

“The pen pal component was turned down due to the safety concerns of the students as well as the time commitment required,” said Peters.
However, Peters explained that NSCS has not given up on the idea and hopes to add it in the future in some capacity.
“NSCS might add a pen pal component in the future by looking globally. We are interested in developing a relationship with a school from another country to pen pal with,” Peters said. “As another option, we are also looking into finding an entire family to pen pal with.”

Peters had proposed to add the pen pal component from her own experience with having a pen pal and as a way to connect with the students prior to their visit to campus on March2College Day in order to get over the initial awkward phase.

“I went [to March2College Day] last year…there were only a couple of RMU students that showed up. Maybe like five or so, but still it seemed like the majority of the time was spent getting over the awkward stage,” said Peters. “So, I do pen pals with kids in Korea. So, [the idea] kind of came with that.”

According to the RMU’s NSCS advisor of four years, Kishma DeCastro-Sallis, the national office of NSCS established March2College Day in 1996. The purpose of the program is to host junior high school students at each chapter’s school for a tour of the campus with the hopes of inspiring the students to pursue higher education.

In the past few years, RMU has hosted about 20 students in seventh or eighth grade from the Cornell School District, according to DeCastro-Sallis.

Regardless of the pen pal component being declined, Peters said March2College Day will still be held on Friday, March 22 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.