Approximately 78 percent of students who applied to be Meiklejohn Peer Advisors, or 353 out of 453 applicants, will soon be notified of their acceptances, said Kira Bromwich ’15, a Meiklejohn Leadership Committee member.
Those selected include 187 first-time applicants — known as rookies — in addition to veterans and applicants who were waitlisted or deferred in past years, Bromwich said.
While the number of applicants was consistent with past years, more applicants were accepted this year because the Meiklejohn Leadership is “trying to grow the program,” Bromwich said.
“We would like it for groups of advisees and Meiklejohns to be smaller so that Meiklejohns can get to know their advisees,” she said, adding, “If you’re advising a greater number of students, you’re not going to get to give them the individual attention they need.”
While the major components of the application remain largely unchanged from year to year, the Meiklejohn Leadership Committee annually alters the specific questions. Sometimes applicants write “the same thing for a certain question or we thought that it didn’t necessarily give us great insight into the applicant,” Bromwich said. Besides written questions, the application for new Meiklejohns includes two 15-minute interviews and a letter of recommendation, she said.
Bromwich said it was “tough to make the decisions” this year due to “a really strong applicant pool” distinguished by strong essays and interviews, both of which are taken seriously in the application process.
As in past years, the Meiklejohn leaders advertised the program by handing out fliers, hanging posters and speaking in large lecture classes. Bromwich said she thought they targeted more classes than usual, noting, “This year I know personally I went to some smaller classes to speak, which I haven’t done in years past.”
The Meiklejohn Leadership Committee hopes to notify accepted students before spring break, though it still needs to ensure that all accepted students are in good academic standing.
Samantha Gohh ’18 said she applied to be a Meiklejohn because “you gain a lot of freedom and independence and responsibility” in the first few months of college, “and all that can be a lot to take in,” so she wanted “to be a support system for the freshmen and guide them through the first year.” Gohh said she was pleased with the application process, noting that the application allowed students to show “if you care about the program, why you want to be in it and if you’re qualified.”
Alyssa Baum ’18 chose to apply to be a Meiklejohn because she enjoyed working with younger students as a peer leader in high school, and she “had a really good experience as a freshman with the Meiklejohn program.” She noted that she had two different Meiklejohns this year because one studied abroad during the spring semester, and “it was just nice to know somebody” who could answer questions and whom she ran into often even outside of group meetings. As a rookie, she thought the application was “straightforward and easy,” she added.
Jacob Binder ’18 decided he wanted to be a Meiklejohn so he could “have a voice in … the next class” and “help them through Brown’s … confusing policies.” He also found the application process easy to navigate and appreciated that there were enough essay questions to allow him to showcase his strengths.