Unlike in years past, wide-eyed and newly admitted students this year will not be experiencing Penn on the Friday of Fling.
Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said that the Office of Admissions made this decision after hearing “mixed” feedback from students and their families who have visited Penn during Spring Fling in the past.
Some families like the “great energy” that they see, but some “quite honestly [think] this isn’t the behavior you’d expect from an Ivy League school,” said Furda.
Furda said another reason for the decision was the fact that the week of Fling “may not represent Penn in the most accurate light.”
“I say that as a Penn grad who had four amazing Spring Fling experiences,” Furda added.
Wharton sophomore and founder of the Penn Preview Days Committee Christian Cortes agrees with the decision to move Preview Days. “Obviously Fling is a very distinct, very unique weekend for Penn,” he said, “and really what we’re trying to achieve during Preview Days is to show them what Penn truly is like on a normal day.”
Cortes also credits “logistics” as a reason for not having a Preview Day during Fling. “In the past, people have complained that they can’t visit the Quad during Fling,” Cortes said, since College House tours are not allowed in the Quad on Friday.
“I think that it’s definitely really important for the freshmen and pre-freshmen to get to see the Quad,” Cortes said.
College sophomore and Preview Days Committee member Jordan Holmes agreed that “it doesn’t really make sense to [have Preview Days] during Fling.”
“It takes a lot to orchestrate Preview Days,” Holmes said. “We need to talk to all the facilities, student groups and administrative groups, and all those resources aren’t necessarily available on that day.”
Although Holmes did not visit Penn during Fling when he came for Preview Days, he said he remembers hearing about Fling and “how fun it was” and was “intrigued” by it. He admits, however, that “both parents and students can be turned off from Fling.”
According to Furda, each year the planning of Preview Days and when they take place depends on the changing academic calendar, religious calendar and also one-time events like the Coursera conference that took place last Friday. The conference prevented Admissions from hosting its new students in Irvine Auditorium.
The decision to not have Preview Days during Fling is not set in stone.
Other yearly events that conflict with Preview Days include Hey Day and Penn Relays, because of the amount of people on campus, Furda said.
Although there will not be a Preview Day on the Friday of Fling, there will in fact be a Preview Day on the following Monday. However, students visiting then will still not be allowed to see the Quad, since, according to Furda, “it takes time to clean up after a weekend of festivities.”
This year, the first regular decision Preview Day was held on April 8, and two more are coming up on April 15 and 22. The first ever early decision Preview Day was on April 5, and the Excellence and Equity Scholars Days took place this week.
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