University News

ADOCH whets admitted students’ appetites for campus life

New diversity perspectives committee welcomes most diverse group of admitted students yet

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Admission Office welcomed 767 admitted applicants from as far away as Brazil to A Day on College Hill Tuesday, a two-night event to present prospective students with a comprehensive idea of Brown’s academic and student life. 

This year’s schedule included more events than in previous years, featuring fairs and lectures during the day and student-run activities and socials late into the night.

ADOCH coordinators and volunteers separated prospective students from their parents as soon as possible in the hopes of giving them a greater chance to interact with admitted and current students, said Marie-Claire Partridge ’15, an ADOCH volunteer.

ADOCH’s talks and events helped admitted applicants gain exposure to campus and to solidify their decisions on where to matriculate this fall.

At the opening reception on Tuesday evening, Liam Dean-Johnson ’16, one of two ADOCH coordinators, told prospective students that “the tables have turned. You’re in charge now. No longer are you trying to woo us — we’re trying to woo you.”

After some students were greeted in song by the Brown Derbies at the train station, Tuesday’s schedule included an official welcome by President Christina Paxson and Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73, followed by a Brown Political Forum debate, a mixer with 10 a cappella groups, speed friending, capture the flag and other activities.

Wednesday’s full-day schedule included visits to classes in 30 academic departments, a concentration fair and three keynote lectures also open to parents.

The keynote lectures this year featured faculty members from the fields of biology, comparative literature and Egyptology. Laurel Bestock, assistant professor of archaeology, Egyptology and ancient western Asian studies, lectured on how Egyptian pyramids shed light on the country’s ancient kings.

Richard Bungiro, lecturer in biology, molecular microbiology and immunology, spoke about the history and impact of vaccines, while Meera Viswanathan, associate professor of comparative literature, examined a famous poem in the context of its literary and cultural background.

Eight separate committees — welcome, academic and co-curricular, diversity perspectives, hosts and housing, late night, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, video and media and volunteers — created and coordinated events related to their specialties. Diversity perspectives, a new committee this year, focused on admitted students from diverse backgrounds, Dean-Johnson said.

Approximately 46 percent of the class of 2018 identify as students of color, marking the most diverse admitted applicant pool in University history, The Herald reported last month. As a result, several of ADOCH’s events were tailored to minority students, Dean-Johnson said.

“Never before have there been so many diversity or affinity groups involved,” Dean-Johnson said.

The Organization of Multiracial and Biracial Students, the Latin American Student Organization and Latino Student Initiative, Natives at Brown and the United League of Black Women all hosted separate mixers Wednesday night. Members of the African Students Association and the Women of Color Collective also held meet-and-greets.

“The ADOCH committee has always worked with minority recruitment interns hired by the Admission Office to work specifically on diversity issues,” Dean-Johnson said.

Several prospective students said ADOCH succeeded in providing them with helpful information and in painting a good picture of campus.

“I’m pretty sure you guys don’t have ice cream every night,” said Anish Aitharaju, who hails from Sunnyvale, Calif., though he added that ADOCH allowed him to observe what Brown students “are really like and who your future classmates will be.”

For others, ADOCH confirmed their commitment to Brown.

“What I got here as a vibe of people is just fantastic,” said Matthew DiMarcantonio of Williamsburg, Va., who said he is interested in engineering, entrepreneurship and computer science. “It kills the other schools I’m looking at. It has me dead-set on Brown.” He added that other institutions’ receptions featuring deans and presidents were less impressive than Tuesday’s opening reception at Brown.

“Now I’m leaning a lot more toward Brown,” said Natalie Ho of California, who plans on studying biology and came to ADOCH because she is deciding between two schools.

Though students who committed to Brown under the binding early decision program were not invited to ADOCH, some tried to take part in the activities anyway, only to be turned away by ADOCH coordinators, Partridge said.

But those students will be welcomed in September, and ADOCH organizers expressed hope that many attendees of this week’s activities will join early decision students in committing to Brown.

“With a microscopic acceptance rate, Brown has decided that you are absolutely the best of the best and that this is the place where you belong,” Dean-Johnson said during his opening remarks. “All that’s left is for you to agree.”


A previous version incorrectly stated that minority recruitment interns have not previously been involved with A Day on College Hill. The Herald regrets the error.

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