The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will not be able to provide overnight housing during Quaker Days to all the admitted students who have requested it.
Quaker Days – set to take place this Wednesday and Thursday – serve as an opportunity for students admitted to Penn through regular decision to spend some time on campus, where they attend special events and visit classes.
According an email from Vice Dean and Director of Marketing and Communications Kathryn Bezella, 1,245 admitted students registered to attend at least some portion of the scheduled Quaker Days event. Of them, 896 students requested overnight housing during their stay on campus.
Yet, Bezella added that only 848 spots will be available for visiting students during Quaker Days, leaving some students without a place to stay on campus.
To compensate for the expected batch of hosts who could potentially cancel or get ill, as of the morning of April 16, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is still looking for another 100 students to host over Quaker Days, according to Bezella. Quaker Days begins on April 18.
Bezella noted that, while it is a yearly struggle to find enough student hosts, this year’s Quaker Days registration saw a jump of 242 admitted students.
This increase in the number of students attending Quaker Days occurred even as the total number of accepted students remained about the same as years past.
Bezella said some students who requested housing were told that they would have to find their own arrangements for the visit.
“We are working on exploring other options and there are discounts associated with Penn for many area hotels," Bezella wrote in an email. “But we realize that the experience of a hotel accommodation won’t be as compelling to a prospective student as getting a sense of the student experience here with a host, and we are also sensitive to the costs associated with hotel stay.”
Bezella added that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has been working since February to recruit hosts, sending emails to students, meeting with student groups to convey the importance of hosting, and sending Admissions staff to recruit student hosts outside the Quad, Hill House, and New College House.
Engineering freshman Claire Pince said she was not originally keen on hosting but decided to after receiving several of the emails from Penn.
“After the third round of emails asking us to host, I thought ‘might as well,’” Pince said. “I was hosted when I came to Quaker Days, I had fun, and it helped me decide to come to Penn. So I thought ‘Why not host?’”
College freshman Reagan Bracknell said that she decided to host during Quaker Days immediately after attending them herself as an admitted student.
“I know that for me, it was a really formative experience in my decision,” Bracknell said. “Penn is a really special place, and Quaker Days is definitely a deciding factor for many students.”
College junior Joy Sun was eager to register as a host for Quaker Days and was disappointed to learn that, despite the shortage in overnight housing availability, she was rejected as a host due to her living space’s designation as “gender-neutral.”
According to official Admissions policies, the Quaker Days planning committee “can only match an admitted student over 18 who opts into staying in a gender-neutral room into those spaces,” according to Bezella.
Despite her inability to host admitted students this year, Sun expressed support for the idea that Penn students hold some sort of responsibility to host admitted students.
“I understand the reasons against hosting but I also understand that the commitment is super low," she said. "There really is not much you have to do as a host besides showing some Penn pride – but even if without it, you’d be fine too.”
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