The University will host three days of the annual A Day on College Hill event in person for the class of 2026 on April 8, 13 and 22, Dean of Admission Logan Powell wrote in an email to The Herald. This year’s ADOCH marks the first time the event has featured in-person activities since 2019.
The event brings admitted students to campus to help them understand the undergraduate experience. In previous years, attendees stayed overnight in residence halls and attended campus events such as club activities, performances and panels, The Herald previously reported.
Faced with the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, over the past two years the University has turned to virtual programming dubbed the “Bruniverse” to allow prospective students to connect with the campus community remotely.
This year, Powell wrote that the University decided to host the event in person “based on the (public health) information and projections available in the fall.” The University is “requiring all students to sign a vaccination attestation form” to register, he added.
Students will not stay overnight in dorms this year, and instead will be given a choice of three identical day-long programs operating from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Powell wrote that participants will follow current University public health guidelines and that the majority of the University’s peer institutions are following similar procedures for their in-person events.
“Considering the equity of opportunity among admitted students, as well as the importance of the health and safety of the current campus community, we felt that day programming and virtual programming would best allow us to help prospective students get to know Brown,” Powell wrote.
Planning meetings for ADOCH began “in the summer of 2021,” he wrote, and the University “felt confident” that it could host the event in person due to “the success of in-person events happening on campus during the fall of 2021.”
“Through the entire planning process,” he explained, “we have kept a close eye on … COVID case trends.”
Janek Schaller ’24, a tour guide and student ambassador, said he felt “fairly comfortable with the measures.” He noted that prospective students have already been a “constant” on campus through tours this semester.
Tour guide Olivia McClain ’22.5 said she thought hosting students in person was “a bit more risky” than she would prefer, but added that the University was “much more experienced” in making public health decisions.
Benjamin Connor ’22, another tour guide, said he felt “pretty comfortable with people coming here in large groups at this point,” but understands the discomfort the event might create for others.
Powell noted that the University wanted to “maximize the amount of time current students and admitted students have to interact.” The majority of planned sessions feature current University student panelists who will “speak about their experiences (and) share advice (and) wisdom and the reasons why they chose Brown as their home.”
Events from past ADOCHs, including an overview of the Open Curriculum, a student organizations fair on the Main Green and opportunities for socializing, will return this year, Powell wrote. The University will also host a food truck festival on Brown Street with a “variety of local Rhode Island truck options, as well as a Del’s Lemonade stand,” he added.
To accommodate students who can’t make it to in-person programming, the University will also be “offering a wide variety of virtual events and engagement opportunities” throughout April, Powell noted. Those events include a virtual address from President Christina Paxson P’19 and virtual editions of many in-person events, according to Powell.
“We recognize that not all admitted students will be able to attend ADOCH in person,” Powell wrote. “This virtual element will allow students and families to engage with the Brown community from their homes. … We have been able to reach so many more admitted students and their families with engagement opportunities in the Bruniverse than was previously possible.”
Claire Brown ’22, a University tour coordinator, said she believes this year’s ADOCH will be better than previous years — both virtual and in-person — because the programming options are “a little more spread out” and “everyone is kind of starved for interaction.”
Schaller, who described his own ADOCH experience as “kind of a chaotic time,” similarly thought that this year’s ADOCH would help give students a “more complete look at Brown.”
The University will also sponsor a group of students with financial need to attend the final ADOCH session on April 22, Powell added. The students will be offered transportation and overnight accommodations.
Powell noted that the students involved in the planning of the most recent in-person ADOCH in 2019 have graduated. This year, the University asked “current student ambassadors and tour guides to participate in multiple events throughout the month of April including both in-person and virtual offerings.”
He emphasized that faculty and staff will also play a large role in virtual offerings so that prospective students can connect with the entire University community.
Brown said she chose to participate in an event because she enjoys “talking to prospective students and admitted students especially” and thinks “it’s really fun to be able to see that … the sort of spirit of Brown is living on.”
She also noted that input from ADOCH student leaders was encouraged in the event planning process, including on which topics student panels should cover.
“They’ve given us a lot of detail about what we’re doing,” McClain added.
“We hope that offering a combination of both in-person days and virtual events over the course of April will allow admitted students and their families many opportunities to truly experience what Brown is all about, meet the students, faculty and staff and help them make the most informed college decision possible,” Powell wrote.
“I’d just ask that everyone is very friendly and kind,” McClain said. “This is such a special place and we’re very lucky to get to experience it.”