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The Dartmouth
May 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

College to host 1,500 this weekend

The words "Hanover" and "bustling" are not usually found in the same sentence, but this weekend, as nearly 1,500 visitors descend upon the New England hamlet that Dartmouth calls home, the Green will be swarming.

Not only will nearly 1,100 parents, family and friends make their way to Dartmouth beginning today for the First Year Family weekend, but yesterday prospective members of the Class of 2007 began arriving on campus for the annual Dimensions weekend.

The Dimensions program has become a fixture of the Admissions Office's annual recruiting program, inviting all students accepted in the regular-decision process to visit the campus for one April weekend each year. This year approximately 400 prospectives are scheduled to be on campus for the weekend, according to Assistant Director of Admissions Chris Bradt, with the College sponsoring the travel of nearly half.

"All students are hosted by undergraduates in non-Greek campus housing," Bradt said, though he acknowledged that some prospectives will be hosted in affinity housing

Students will attend classes with their hosts today, and scheduled weekend activities include a reception with President Wright, a climbing gym open house, and a "Cultural Expressions" event in Alumni Hall featuring some of the College's a cappella and dance groups.

But Wright and many of the school's a cappella groups will be doing double-duty this weekend. Wright will be speaking to and meeting with first-year families Saturday morning as part of the Family Weekend activities, and there will be an a cappella showcase in Rollins Chapel Saturday night for the first-year families, according to Ben Schwartz '06, co-coordinator of the Family Weekend.

Never before have both events occurred on the same weekend, and the convergence of so many people at Dartmouth for a single weekend is creating hardships for the organizers of both events.

The main concern for the organizers of the First-Year weekend, according to Schwartz, is keeping all the events scheduled for first-year families open to just first-year families who already paid the registration cost.

For Bradt and the organizers of Dimensions the concern was a bit different. Because many freshman are going to be hosting their families already this weekend, Bradt was worried that there would not be enough volunteers to host the numerous prospectives. But it turned out to be less of a problem than he had anticipated.

"We got fewer '06s, but I was surprised by how many we got," Bradt said. "All students have been matched up."

In fact, Bradt said that the busy campus may actually improve the impression prospectives receive.

"Hanover will seem packed. It may make it seem that much more happening and appealing," Bradt said.

Another change to this year's Dimensions weekend was the date. In previous years Dimensions had run one or two weeks earlier in April, according to Bradt. And while this year's date pushed the weekend right up against the May 1 acceptance mailing deadline, Bradt doesn't see that as a problem.

"Because of the late date it actually means that this will probably be the last campus most of the students see," Bradt said. "More people have already been to campus earlier in the year."

But a key determinant of the success of the Dimensions weekend will have nothing to do with how packed Hanover appears, or how quickly the May 1 deadline is approaching. It's the weather.

"The last couple of years we have had lucky weather," Bradt said.

Though sun is predicted in today and tomorrow's weather forecasts, as of midday yesterday snow was falling on the Green.

Nonetheless, Bradt expects the weekend to go smoothly and successfully, "as long as these snow flurries stop," he said.