Newly-arrived, '08s open doors for next year's crop

by Jinah Roe | 10/20/04 5:00am

Having made it through Orientation and the first few weeks of Fall term, many freshmen are opening up their dorm room floors and common-room couches to prospective students hoping to get a taste of Dartmouth during an overnight stay.

About 200 students stay overnight on campus during the Fall term. The Admissions Office e-mails the freshman class at the beginning of the fall asking for volunteer hosts. Another 400 to 500 admitted students typically visit during Dimensions weekend in the spring.

Dartmouth considers overnight visits an integral factor in helping prospectives choose a school, but places few restrictions on who is allowed to host. Mostly, the College crosses its fingers and hopes the hosts show its best face.

"I think it's really important for students who are interested in Dartmouth to get this full experience -- inside and outside, meeting people, seeing the facilities," said Dean of Admissions Karl Furstenberg.

Karelle Hall '08 had such a good time visiting Dartmouth at Dimensions last year that she decided to play host herself this year.

"When my former host and now peer advisor asked me if I would be interested in hosting prospies, I said yes," Hall said.

Elise Krieger '08, a volleyball player, also found that visiting Dartmouth cemented her decision to apply.

"I think this is an amazing process," she said. "When I was picking schools last year, my official visit made the decision for me. I went home and called the coaches immediately to tell them I was going to apply early decision -- and now I'm here."

For athletes like Krieger, recruiting trips are an important way to get to know the team they may be joining, as well as the academic and social atmosphere of the school. These visits, however, are subject to strict guidelines from the National Collegiate Athletic Association that impact the host as well.

Krieger, who hosted several volleyball recruits herself last week, said the Athletic Department stresses that hosts must keep recruits from drinking or attending parties during their stays.

"We kept a close eye on them," Krieger said. "Some wanted to run away, but we more or less had them on a leash -- they never left our sight."

However, other students said they have seen groups of prospective students or recruits loose on campus, wandering about aimlessly without knowing where to go or how to find their hosts.

"I know the volleyball team did an excellent job hosting but I've heard stories of some recruits gone wild," Krieger said.

Hall said that since freshmen are already busy with their hectic schedules, it is sometimes hard to keep a track of prospectives.

"I didn't really lose them, though I didn't always know where they were either," Hall said.

But overall the hosting program seems to achieve what it sets out to do: entice students to choose Dartmouth over a bevy of other select colleges.

Krieger said a campus stay encouraged at least one of the volleyball recruits to choose Dartmouth over the University of Pennsylvania.

"The first group of recruits came in on the fence," Krieger said. "Most were picking between Dartmouth and one or two more schools, but they all left telling our coaches they are applying early decision."

Advertise your student group in The Dartmouth for free!