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Accepted hit campus for ADOCH

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

“For all those of you visiting, registration begins in Leung Gallery at 4 p.m. And the dance party begins right now,” announced a Brown Student Radio DJ through speakers on the Main Green Tuesday afternoon.

The music played in front of a large white tent set up to greet the hundreds of prospective students and parents visiting yesterday from across the country for A Day on College Hill, the University’s annual two-day event for accepted students mulling the decision to attend Brown.

Walking five feet in front of their parents, as if determined to begin the inevitable separation right then, few prospective students seemed bothered by the sight of undergrads lounging in the sun amid miniature cardboard coffins in front of Faunce House, one of three separate protest installations vying for attention on the Main Green and Lincoln Field.

“It’s definitely a very active, vocal campus,” said Laura Fried, who arrived from Kansas City, Mo. on Monday, while browsing in the Brown Bookstore. “I have heard it’s a lot of fun.”

Fried, who said she is leaning toward Brown, stopped by the store to purchase a lanyard and maybe a tote bag to accompany the window decal she received with her acceptance package.

John Boeglin of Carmel, Ind., is deciding between Brown, Dartmouth and the University of Indiana.

“I’m looking for a certain seriousness but coupled with an ability to be social,” he said.

“Obviously, this is a more laid-back campus than some,” said Boeglin, who mentioned that “Rapture” by Blondie began playing as he walked onto the Main Green as evidence of Brown’s “alternative” character.

“We’ve visited a lot of schools,” said Anne Bunett, on campus with her son. “Harvard had a yuppie, preppie, jock kind of feel. … This feels more open.”

“I have to say I like the campus, very relaxed,” said Phillip Reinhold, who drove here this morning from Buffalo, N.Y. He spent the day visiting the physics department, where he attended a presentation.

Reinhold is still split between Brown and the University of Chicago, he said, but he thinks that speaking to undergrads and checking out the dorm life here will help finalize his decision.

Clay Theibodeaux flew in from Los Angeles on a red-eye and spent most of the day wandering around Providence. “I’m probably going to go to Brown, but I want to make sure I like it,” he said.

Students like Theibodeaux, already planning on attending Brown, were expected to make up a much smaller portion of ADOCH attendees than in previous years­ – the University did not invite early-decision admittees for the first time ever this year.

Instead, ADOCH organizers have said they’re counting on current students to provide enthusiasm about attending Brown.

Noah Kraft ’09 may be the kind of student they had in mind.

“You just need to remind the students that Disneyland stole their slogan from Brown, because this is the happiest place on earth,” said Kraft, who estimates that he’s probably delivered that line to about 200 prospective students over the past three years.

Unlike at the two previous ADOCHs, Kraft said he was not planning to don a Clifford the Big Red Dog outfit to greet students this year.

But others may not have fit the bill quite so well. Michael Frauenhofer ’11 volunteered to host prospective students but found himself swamped with work. He and a friend “decided we’d lock them out and they’d entertain each other,” he joked.

David Tagle ’11 said he had a great time at ADOCH last year because of the students he met on the train ride from Washington. “I got in with a group of kids so it wasn’t awkward to walk around.”

Listening to students’ forced conversations as they walked from the Sharpe Refectory up Wriston Quad, Tagle said, “Their awkwardness make me feel old. I feel like I’m a senior.”

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