University News

ADOCH showcases diversity, student life to admitted students

Over 900 prospective students visit campus, explore dorms, classes, student-group events

Staff Writer
Friday, April 22, 2016

Brown students hold signs welcoming potential members of the class of 2020 for A Day on College Hill. Students got a taste of campus culture, staying in student dorms and attending events held by student groups.

Brown greeted a record number of 915 admitted students to its campus Tuesday through Thursday for A Day on College Hill, the University’s welcome event for students admitted through regular decision. This marks the first year that ADOCH did not overlap with other Ivies’ admitted student events.

“We have spent so much time with you for the past six months. You’ve been in our offices. You’ve been in our homes. We’ve had a wicked good time,” joked Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73 at the reception. Citing more than 32,000 applications, Miller announced his retirement, saying, “I say this every year, and I really mean it this year because it will be the last time I will ever say it — we really do expect the Class of 2020 to be the single best class of Brown.”

President Christina Paxson P’19 also welcomed the class Tuesday evening. Describing what Brown looks for in its applicants, Paxson said, “You know the basics — we look at your academic performance, we look at your extracurricular activities, we look at your essays, but in addition to that, we’re looking for true intellectual curiosity combined with a healthy streak of independence. … It’s hard to describe it, but I know it when I see it.” She went on to state that there are no “typical” Brown students. 

ADOCH’s three days of events allow admitted students to attend classes, stay in campus dorms and learn about student organizations on campus.

“One new thing we’ve tried is to make our students of color program at ADOCH much more inclusive, so we have a (Brown Center for Students of Color) welcome event happening at the start,” said ADOCH co-coordinator Madison Shiver ’17.

The BCSC brought together admitted students of color and current Brown undergraduates to discuss diversity and student activism on campus. Other events that showcased Brown’s racial diversity included, among many other events, the Black Student Union Block Party, the Black Student Kickback, a Minority Peer Counselor Workshop and the Biracial/Multiracial Welcome.

ADOCH also included programs dedicated to students of color interested in concentrations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, fields in which students of underrepresented backgrounds are particularly few, co-coordinator Fernando Ayala Vaca ’17 said.

A variety of student groups participated in this year’s ADOCH events at Faunce House. Student groups that cater to many identities, whether it be racial, queer or first-generation, held their own mixers. At the Faunce events, admitted students were allowed to witness the many groups at Brown that they may have interest in joining as undergraduates.

The event was particularly important for Gloria Nashed, from Orlando, Florida. “This wasn’t my first time at Brown, but ADOCH really gave me insight to what life at Brown is like,” she said. Nashed named the Christian Coffeehouse event on Tuesday night the stand-out experience for her. She described her pleasant surprise at seeing a strong Christian support group, which was her “biggest concern” despite already having committed to the University. Describing her happiness at seeing inclusivity at Brown, Nashed said, “I guess coming to ADOCH was to just confirm my decision.”

Ravi Betzig from Okemos, Michigan also attended ADOCH to confirm his decision. Planning to concentrate in both applied mathematics and economics, Betzig said he thought he would enjoy the Brown social scene. “I know that I want to do STEM, and seeing STEM programs at other schools felt like there would only be kids who are going to be looking at books for four years.” But at Brown, Betzig felt that he would have access to a wider range of perspectives.

Not all students who attended ADOCH have committed to Brown. Allie Arnold, from Georgetown, Massachusetts, said she has chosen to attend another school solely because of financial aid. While Arnold “really liked attending classes” during ADOCH, committing to the other school she was accepted to “means 15 grand less.” Arnold freely admitted that her intended concentration, literary arts, was superior at Brown, but financial constraints forced her to choose otherwise.

Shiver and Ayala Vaca said they had been planning the event since September.

“ADOCH is not just for the pre-frosh, but also the current undergrads at Brown,” Ayala Vaca said. “In order to showcase the liveliness of Brown, we need to have that reflected in the community and show that there’s a commitment to your own Brown community.”