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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Union creates Admissions Task Force to improve outreach

Published: March 6, 2009
Section: News

In an effort to enhance connections between the Brandeis and the non-Brandeis world, the Student Union created the Admissions Task Force. The Task Force will be comprised of 7 to 9 active Brandeis students who will work to promote the various benefits of the school and expose the unknown treasures of campus life . Co-chair Jamie Fleishman ‘11 said that the Task Force will serve as a “bridge” between admissions and the Brandeis student body.

CARS – the Curriculum and Academic Restructuring Steering Committee – was established this year, in light of the country’s progressively dismal economic state. One of its subcommittees is Admissions and Recruiting. Members of the Admissions and Recruiting subcommittee then came together to create the Task Force. Fleishman, Sofya Bronshvayg ‘11, and Union President Jason Gray ‘10 brainstormed and sought people out who would fit as Task Force members. They also solicited help from people for suggestions of suitable potential Task Force members. Next year, there will be a formalized application process to be on the Task Force.

“These ideas about how Brandeis students could become more involved in admissions were ideas that had been floating around in my mind since when I applied for the CARS subcommittee. Once I was accepted to the committee, I fleshed out these ideas with the other subcommittee members and then worked closely with Jason Gray, Sofya Bronshvayg and Gil Villanueva to create the Task Force,” said Fleishman.

“The Student Union Task Force on Admissions is a new initiative to help connect current Brandeis Students to prospective students. The idea behind the task force is that current students are the best resource to prospective students. Since prospective students may be concerned with the reputation of Brandeis, the task force provides a way for current students to help admissions and to recruit the best possible candidates to maintain Brandeis’ competitiveness,” Bronshvayg explained.

The Admissions Executive Task Force’s primary short term goal is to establish connections between current students and prospective or admitted students. Also, the Task Force is working with the communications department on a “Why Brandeis” video to be posted on Youtube. Another short term goal is to integrate more student-influenced material on the admissions website. The Task Force will also help plan various events and recruit volunteers for Admitted Students Day on Apr. 7. Further, the Task Force plans on emailing club leaders to request submission of pictures and videos that will be used in a slideshow for the admitted student open house. It is “vitally important to have the general student population involved in admissions,” Fleishman commented.

Though all of the goals of the Task Force will not be executed this year, there are plans to have either current students or faculty contact every newly admitted student.

First, though, the Task Force will comprise a list of students who could make up the Student Ambassador program. This is the primary long term goal of the Task Force. The Ambassador Program will launch a network of students who will contact admitted and prospective students and provide information about Brandeis that is difficult to discover without inside knowledge. As Fleishman put it, “the program encourages prospective students to…get a feeling for the atmosphere of the student body.”

Fleishman felt passionately that the potential students who actually get the chance to visit Brandeis are much more likely to matriculate. His hope is that with the Task Force, there will be a heightened awareness and more talk of what Brandeis has to offer.

In that same vein, Fleishman said that one of his hopes for the Task Force will be to encourage current Brandeis students to return to their high schools and give information about Brandeis. He hopes that this positive word-of-mouth trend will motivate more students to attend Brandeis and increase awareness of the university.

“Every time I give a tour I get a renewed passion for Brandeis. I just want people to share that in that feeling.”

Editor’s Note: Jamie Fleishman is a contributor to The Hoot.