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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Editorial: Open house, open discussion

Published: April 13, 2007
Section: Opinions

Next week Brandeis will open its doors to hundreds of high school students as they decide whether or not they will be a part of the class of 2011. These prospective students will be given an array of showcases, presentations, and other types of persuasion so that they deeply consider Brandeis as their top choice of school. This is a high stakes process for the admissions department as it is their biggest event of the year. Pressure is high to create an image of Brandeis that may be above what we are in reality. With Open House around the corner, we urge the community to display a true image of Brandeis so that students can make an intelligent choice on where they want to spend the next 4 years.

Around campus, one can see the improvements that are being made to entice students to consider our school. Flowers are planted, carpet grass laid, and a number of other features are added to make our campus look more aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, many admissions workers are told to look beyond certain problematics of the school. They are told to respond to difficult questions in ways that reflect positively on the university, and even relate tall tales such as the myth that Brandeis was once asked to join the Ivy League. With a smiley face and a positive attitude, many Open House employees portray an image of Brandeis that may not reflect reality.

This false likeness of Brandeis can be dangerous to students as they choose their college preference. Some may find our school socially incompatible, undesirable, and feel stuck in a decision that they do not like. It is important to think of the student first and the institution second. A true, valid portrayal of the school can give prospective Brandeisians the opportunity to accurately view our school and the experiences they can expect here. It also ensures that both the student and the university are happy with the choice that has been made.

And so we urge Brandeis students to be real with the prospective students, and show them the true image of Brandeis. Whether this reflects poorly or positively on our school makes no difference as the choice by the high schooler is most important. Give these prospectives enough facts so that they can make an independent choice of college on their own.