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KU team goes with Plan B

8/23/2012

By RANDY GONZALES

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Two lessons: The show must go on, and always have a Plan B.

The Rock Chalk Roadshow stopped Wednesday in Hays, with University of Kansas admissions representatives singing the Jayhawks' praises to prospective students.

The event was to conclude Wednesday evening at Fox Pavilion, 1202 Main, with a former Hays High School and a former Thomas More Prep-Marian High School student who are both now KU students; they were to answer questions from those in attendance. But their plane, which took off from Lawrence on Wednesday after classes, developed engine trouble and had to return to the airport.

With Jen David (Hays High) and Haylee Hedge (TMP) absent, the admissions representatives had to wing it -- which was fine with them.

"When it happened we were actually excited, because we love to do this -- roll with the flow -- and you really don't know what's going to happen," said KU admissions representative Katie Law.

Hays was one of five cities where an evening reception was planned, and they are scripted. This was a chance to do something different.

"Something we're used to, roll with the punches in the admissions office," said Law, a 2011 KU graduate.

Plan B included finding other former KU students to answer questions, along with David's mother and KU Vice-Chancellor of Public Affairs Tim Caboni, also an instructor on campus.

The event lasted a little more than an hour. After, TMP senior Braden Splichal was glad he came, even though he already was pretty sure KU was the place for him.

"I got a letter in the mail, decided to come," he said. "I've already checked it out, but decided to come anyway."

Splichal found helpful more information on scholarships, as well as different living arrangements available. He also was envisioning attending KU men's basketball games. The Rock Chalk, Jayhawk chant that can be heard at the end of games is 136 years old.

"I've been on campus," Splichal said. "I want to go to the games; never happened."

Caboni said it is the school's mission to represent all of Kansas; there are Jayhawks from all 105 Kansas counties. That's why they do the roadshow every year; this time it visited more than 80 schools in more than 60 counties.

"One thing the chancellor has said is that if we're going to be the University of Kansas, we're going to be the university of all of Kansas," said Caboni, who has been in Hays five times in his 14 months at KU. "So the chancellor and the provost and I spent the month of July traveling across the state.

"One of the things we want people to understand: We want students from all parts of Kansas who are interested in studying at the University of Kansas, to be in Lawrence with us."