“Turn off all your cell phones, or we’ll rescind your admission,” announced Admission Officer Matt Price to the roughly 250 representatives of the class of 2016 who assembled Monday for the Early Decision Admitted Students Day. Despite the chuckles, nearly every student in Sayles Hall reached for his or her pocket.
“Better safe than sorry,” said Ben Silverman ’16 a little sheepishly.
Almost twice as many students attended this year’s event for early decision applicants as last year’s inaugural event. Representatives from the Office of Admission and the Bruin Club said the increase was due to better planning and more foresight.
“Last year, it was kind of thrown together at the last minute,” said Rebekah Stein, a Bruin Club executive board member. Invitations to last year’s mid-March event were sent a few weeks before the event took place.
“This year, we sent out invitations in (accepted students’) admissions packets,” Price said. “We also used Facebook to publicize the event and scheduled it on a holiday, so most of the students have the day off from school.”
The University admitted 556 early decision applicants to the class of 2016, meaning that nearly half of the admitted early applicants attended Monday’s event. Those present were overwhelmingly from New England and the mid-Atlantic region, though close to a dozen hailed from the West Coast or Midwest. Roughly five students traveled from foreign countries, according to event organizers.
The best part of the day — which included a tour of the campus, lunch in the Sharpe Refectory and a discussion with a panel of current University students — was hearing from a faculty advising panel, said Peter Enriquez ’16 of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Calling Professor of Geological Sciences Jan Tullis “really inspirational,” he added, “It’s a little cliched, but she ended her speech saying, ‘Be bold.’ I thought that was the best advice of the day. Opportunities aren’t going to make themselves. You have to be bold, and seek them out.”
While at Brown, Enriquez hopes to expand on a nonprofit he began while in high school called Young Musicians Healing Haiti, which raises money in support of a music school in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
While members of the Bruin Club and Admission Office called the event “A Lunch on College Hill,” or ALOCH, among themselves, they have no plans to turn the Early Decision Admitted Students Day into an A Day On College Hill-type event, Stein said.
“It’s going to continue to be a lunch, at least for a while,” she said.
Early decision students from previous years have voiced their disappointment that they were not invited to ADOCH, The Herald reported last March.
But Obi Onwuamaegbu ’15, who attended last year’s early decision admitted students day, said the event “answered my questions and answered them honestly.”
“I was pretty skeptical, because I’d never been to campus before being accepted ED,” he said. Going to the admitted students day “was a huge relief. The event told me about a lot of things that I was looking forward to doing and reassured me that I’d made the right choice.”
Still, he said, once he came to school and heard about ADOCH, “I was pretty bummed that I wasn’t invited.”