Charleston 40: The Faces of the College

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The Charleston 40 Executive Board. (Photo Courtesy of Randi Smith)

There comes a time in everybody’s life where they feel the need to make an impact on someone else—to change another’s life for the better. Here at College of Charleston, students have the opportunity to delve into an organization that does just that: makes a difference. Charleston 40, the official student tour guide organization, makes it their mission to articulate the College’s traditions and history while showing campus’s unique attributes to prospective students.

With the beginning of the school year came Charleston 40 fall recruitment. 62 applicants participated in hopes of becoming a tour guide. On the first day the applicants performed a mock tour stop and participated in a group interview. For day two the candidates had an additional short interview, and by day three whoever remained in the running was asked to give a presentation about Charleston’s most historic site: The Cistern.

Junior Jenny Bailey, the Membership Coordinator,  joined Charleston 40 as a freshman. She had nothing but positive things to say about the impact the program has had on her and all the others involved.

“One of the biggest attributes you can gain from Charleston 40 is the ability to grow your public speaking skills and confidence,”  Bailey said. “We really ease them into the process and kind of help build their confidence, and that is a really big thing, especially for incoming freshman.”

Bailey’s participation in the organization allows her to make an impact on prospective students’ lives. She recalled a time where a current student shared that she was not only her tour guide, but a huge influence on her decision to go to the College. Every college freshman can recall a determining factor in choosing a university, and Charleston 40 allowed Bailey, along with C40’s other tour guides, the chance to be that factor.

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Bailey (left) and the Charleston 40 team table in Cougar Mall. (Photo Courtesy of Randi Smith)

Charleston 40 not only gives students the chance to make a difference, but offers them the opportunity to make lifelong friends. Often times those friends are heavily involved in other organizations on campus as well. Freshman honors student Emily Ramsayer is a new tour guide who is also in the Student Government Association and the premed sorority, but this did not hinder her excitement during recruitment.

“My other organizations will be fun, but the personality and energy level here, personally I think it’s unbeatable, so just to be a part of that I think would be a fantastic experience,” Ramsayer said.

Now that fall recruitment is coming to a close, new tour guides will attend weekly classes in order to learn The College’s facts and history they can use to wow prospective students and their families. On top of this, each will shadow current tour guides to gain hands on experience. Throughout the semester, the guides will be slowly eased into giving full tours, and will then take their place as full-fledged tour guides second semester.  

Charleston 40 presents students a chance to practice their self confidence and communication skills. Every student that visits the College of Charleston will tour with a C40 member, making them some of the most influential faces on campus. People like Ramsayer and Bailey, although at very different ends of their college careers, have already experienced the positive attributes the program provides and will use them to prepare for their futures.

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