Tomorrow afternoon, hundreds of prospective students will arrive on campus to register for A Day On College Hill 2009. As most Brown students know, every April about 600 admitted students and a comparable number of parents pile onto campus for what has become Brown University's biggest matriculation event of the year. ADOCH is a two-day/one-night program designed to give admitted students a preview of Brown University and hopefully influence their college decision.
Though ADOCH is extremely important for the admitted students, it is even more critical for the University. One of the key features of the Brown community is our vibrant, engaged, curious and caring student body. Therefore, year after year, continuing to attract classes filled with such amazing students is essential for our school's success.
After months of reading essays and recommendation letters, comparing GPAs and SATs and learning about each applicant's extracurricular activities, the Admission Office has selected the best and brightest students who are most compatible with Brown and has granted them admission.
As these are indeed the best students in the world, most of them have also been admitted to other leading colleges and universities. They are currently making the difficult decisions that many of us had to make only a few years ago: Harvard-Brown? Stanford-Brown? Yale-Brown? ADOCH is the unique opportunity to give admitted students the answer to those questions.
Thankfully, many Brown students realize how important ADOCH is. Although organized under the supervision of the Admissions Office, ADOCH is primarily a student-run program. About 20 students have been working since September, planning this event from start to finish. They have been working with faculty, student leaders and many of Brown's offices to ensure that every aspect of ADOCH is a success.
With the goal of constantly improving the program, the ADOCH Committee is implementing a few innovative changes this year. One of these improvements is increasing the efforts to welcome students on the first day (tomorrow!). A large welcome barbecue will kick off ADOCH 2009 and give admitted students the opportunity to meet their future classmates as well as current Brown students.
A second change to the program this year is a heightened focus on the parents of admitted students. As parents are instrumental in the college process and in helping their child decide where to matriculate, the ADOCH Committee has created new events for them. For example, this year, current Brown parents will greet prospective students' parents at the parent welcome event. Parents have just as many questions as their children about life at Brown — rightfully so, given tuition costs — and this is a tremendous step toward assuaging those concerns.
So what does any of this have to do with you? The goal of this column is twofold. First, it is an attempt to alert the campus that ADOCH is happening tomorrow. For reasons I still don't understand, over the last few years the Admission Office has been unable to obtain permission to send a campus-wide e-mail announcing ADOCH and has limited their announcement to an entry in Brown Morning Mail. (I know the head coordinators are still pushing for an e-mail announcement this year, and I hope they are successful.) The second goal of this column is to explain, as a past ADOCH Coordinator, how important campus-wide involvement is.
Although the ADOCH Committee has done everything in its power to ensure a great ADOCH, ultimately the event's success is up to all of us, as members of the Brown community. The responsibility is on all faculty, students and staff members to open our campus to the admitted students and welcome them to Brown. It is our responsibility to help them have an amazing time here and convince them that Brown is the best place to get an undergraduate education. Campus-wide involvement is even more necessary, considering the Admissions Office decision last year to only invite "regular decision" students. Although this measure was necessary, it means that we can no longer count on all the "early decision" students, who are committed to Brown, to help convince their fellow admitted students to enroll.
We all care deeply about Brown University and we must therefore play an active role in ensuring the students that were chosen by our Admission Office for their achievements and their potential value to Brown, actually end up enrolling here! So answer their questions, tell them why you love Brown and let's get an amazing Class of 2013!
Anthony Staehelin '10 is the current vice-president of the Bruin Club and a past ADOCH Coordinator. He can be reached at Anthony_Staehelin (at) brown.edu