With the Quaker Days program approaching, the Admissions Office is searching for hosts to give prospective students a real taste of Penn.
Previously called Penn Preview Days, the program is now in its second year under the Quaker Days name. Its goal is to provide accepted students with a chance to visit campus and learn more about Penn as they decide which college they will ultimately attend. Last year was the first time that all students had the opportunity to stay overnight.
Eight hundred students participated in the program last year, and 700 stayed with current students. This year, the program hopes to accommodate 1,000 prospective students.
“It was more than just a name change,” Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said. “We want students to be able to have a perspective — by living it — what it is to be a Penn student.”
However, last year, the program experienced difficulty recruiting students to be hosts. In an effort to find interested hosts, Dean Furda rode around campus in a golf cart asking students to volunteer and brought pizza to the Undergraduate Study Center in Van Pelt Library.
This year, the admissions office hopes that the students who visited campus for Quaker Days last year will step up. “Hopefully the freshmen that are here this year that were hosted last year remember how important that experience was,” Furda said.
Office of Admissions Associate Director Lara Grieco expressed similar thoughts. “We’ve created a culture of hosting and welcoming the class for an overnight experience on campus,” she said.
Grieco also added that the program aims to provide students with a more individualized visit. “We’re going to find programming that’s going to fit their interests and their passions and their intellectual endeavors,” she said.
College freshman Rive Cadwallader, who attended Quaker Days last year, is generally supportive of the program. “Overall it was a super positive experience,” she said. “The part about it that I thought was valuable and that I really couldn’t have gotten otherwise was a better understanding of the social aspect of Penn.”
However, Cadwallader criticized the overly structured nature of the program, which required prospective students to attend mandatory events and information sessions. “I guess it was necessary to have that structure for the weekend, but I felt like I could have skipped that,” she said. “The most valuable part for me was getting to see different student groups and getting to do my own thing on campus.”
College freshman Joyce Tien had a similarly positive visit. “The really friendly vibe of the campus made a really good first impression,” she said.
But, Tien said she wished for more opportunities to connect with her future peers. “I didn’t get a chance to really meet a lot of the other potential students,” she said.
Students who participated in the program as hosts last year are also supportive. College sophomore Hannah Fagen said that she welcomed the chance to show prospective students around campus.
“I was really excited when they said they were looking for hosts because I love hosting people and showing them around,” Fagen said. “I know that that’s a nice way to get a personal view of anything, especially a school.”
This year, Quaker Days will take place from April 12 to April 15. Students who are interested in hosting can
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