“Prospies” arrive in droves for “Admitted Student Day

Christiansen, Grace

Hordes of prospective students descended upon Lawrence this past Monday. The cause of this sudden invasion was Admitted Students Day, which, as suggested by the name, is a day when students admitted to the following year’s freshman class can come tour Lawrence, attend classes and ask questions.
During Admitted Students Day prospective students – or “prospies” – and parents are invited to take part in a number of activities that are meant to show them what Lawrence is like. These activities actually begin on Sunday night, with the option of an “overnight” in which prospective students stay in a dorm with a current-student host.
As I walked around to the different dorm activities I prepared myself to be disappointed in Lawrence for wooing new students with sweet treats. But as I sampled ice cream in Hiett and s’mores in Colman – I understand there were also pancakes in Plantz – I realized that, in fact, activities organized around sugar offer a pretty accurate depiction of dorm life as I have experienced it, especially as a freshman.
So, I gave one point to Lawrence and began talking to some prospective students and asking how they liked the school. Most prospies’ responses mixed appreciation of the Lawrence campus and its students with general anxiety about the decision-making process.
Yet there was also a young man – he chose to give The Lawrentian only his first name, Mike – who commented that he “like[d] the free food and checking out the ladies.” Luckily, there is a chance that Mike will not actually end up attending LU.
Monday brought a slew of activities including classes, tours, panels for parents and students and academic and student activities fairs. This reporter had the happy task of following the prospies and their parents around, eavesdropping and asking questions. As it turned out, this stalking was not very difficult, as one could not move without practically tripping over a tour group.
Senior tour guide Meghan Bonham commented that she suspected “the tours are more for the parents than the students, as they [the parents] are the ones asking all of the questions.”
And indeed, this seemed to be the case. When I asked prospective student tourists about how they liked Lawrence, they would generally shrug and utter some variation on the comment, “it seems nice.” Whereas, when I asked the same question of the parents they would – almost uniformly – answer with questions of their own about the dormitories, the professors, my major, the winters, the health center and much, much more.
Luckily, there was an academic and student life panel in the afternoon meant just for parents, so I began giving them that information instead of the detailed description of student life they were inevitably seeking.
I have to admit, my favorite part of my day stalking prospies was seeing what Lawrence was selling. Some of it is naturally a little misleading – the biggest lie concerning the weather – but most of it appeared to be well-identified points of interest, such as the garden, individual attention and the Milwaukee Downer room, which each tour guide seemed required to jokingly call “the napping room.”
Whether you hate Admitted Student Days or pointedly ignore them, you must – however grudgingly – admit their importance. Ideally Lawrentians will do this sooner rather than later because another, larger, visit day is headed our way on April 26.