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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

University hosts open house for prospective first-year students

Published: October 12, 2007
Section: News

The University hosted 401 prospective students for this years Fall Open House Monday, Oct. 8. The event featured sessions explaining different aspects of life at Brandeis, a buffet luncheon, and also gave students the opportunity to experience a Brandeis classroom and talk with faculty from all academic departments.

Admissions Associate Director David Rion, who coordinated the planning of the event, expressed that he was very excited about the turnout this year. While less than 500 people attended last year, this years Fall Open House saw 817 people total, marking a significant increase in interest.

Students were quite impressed with the days activities. Jen Caeser, a prospective student attending Fall Open House, said that the event had been very well organized and that I wasnt expecting a whole sit down luncheon. One parent said, We need more people to cover everything we want to see!

Another parent expressed that she was very impressed with the amount of smiling people on a rainy Monday morning.

Rion said, the rain was the only unfortunate part of the day, but I was impressed with the amount of families who walked around campus from session to session despite the weather. We gave out free Brandeis ponchos, which were a big hit.

Admissions Office volunteers further helped families find parking and navigate the campus, sporting bright blue shirts that had the words ask me printed on the back.

Following registration and breakfast, Dean of Admissions Gil Villanueva gave the welcoming remarks at Gosman Sports Center, followed by Sarah Brin 08.

In her address, Brin said to prospective students, if you are intrigued by the possibility of a challenge, intellectual exploration, and working with the best professors in their field, then Brandeis is the place for you.

Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe then spoke on academics, pointing out what he called the distinctive features of the academy at Brandeis. In particular, he noted the facultys strong commitment to teaching as compared to those at other institutions, boldly alluding to another well-known university, which also happens to be located on the Charles River.

Students were free to choose from a number of sessions, including Applying and Affording Brandeis, Student Life at Brandeis, Diversity at Brandeis, Life After Brandeis, Focus on the Arts, and Living at Brandeis. Campus tours, residence hall showcases, and open classes were also ongoing. Students were able to choose from 45 different classes in various fields.

Rion said, the Student Life at Brandeis session and the session on Applying and Affording were probably our biggest sessions. Many families went to visit a class, which I'm excited to see.

About 40 prospective students went for the full experience, staying overnight with current students to get a feel for the college dorm room. Several residents of North Quad got to know the prospective students by starting a dance party.

Tanya Kostochka 11, who hosted a prospective student, said, We went to the ICC open house, and then we went up to the Castle and there we talked more about qualities of college. She continued, I got to reflect on what makes Brandeis, and what makes it different from other schools. Thats what made it really nice.

After Fall Open House, participants were sent an online survey asking for feedback on the event. The Admissions Office expects results within the next two weeks, but so far several people have expressed that they enjoyed the day and learned a lot about Brandeis.

Rion said, in general, we're really excited at the turnout of Open House, and hope that the great increase in people attending will translate to a strong applicant pool.