Students flock to campus for Bulldog Days

Since Monday, campus has been thrumming with the presence of thousands of new people, which can only mean one thing: Bulldog Days is here.

Bulldog Days, the annual three-day program to welcome admitted students to the University, runs from Monday to Wednesday. Prefrosh are offered on-campus housing with current undergraduates and are invited to attend activities presented by the Admissions Office in conjunction with various other departments and student extracurricular groups. According to Mark Dunn, director of outreach and recruitment for the Admissions Office, 1,235 high school students registered for Bulldog Days and have arrived with roughly 1,000 parents in tow.

“We are thrilled with the positive response from admitted students,” Dunn said in a Sunday email to the News. This year’s Bulldog Days — which includes symposiums, forums, showcases and a series of “master classes” — has drawn roughly the same number of students as in past years.

Changes to the program this spring include a new scavenger hunt around campus, but no major adjustments to the schedule have been made since last year. For the first time, Dunn said, parents will get their own printed program with recommended events, and both students and parents will also receive a Bulldog Days map with directions to explore the University and New Haven. Students will pick up new materials that include a cinch backpack and a button with the new Bulldog Days logo, Dunn added.

During the Monday afternoon registration, Dwight Hall and the space outside it teemed with students dragging suitcases, clutching programs and introducing themselves to others. Of 11 students interviewed, the majority said they are already “pretty sure” they will attend Yale.

“It’s just really welcoming here — there’s a lot of school spirit, I can feel it,” said Wen Ting, an international prefrosh from China. “My host’s roommate came down in pajamas to welcome me when I arrived.”

Tho Tran, a prefrosh from Washington, also called the program “welcoming,” adding that Yale professors seemed “genuinely interested” in their students in the classes she attended Monday.

Over 600 undergraduates are hosting prefrosh, Dunn said, in addition to over 100 professors who are volunteering time for the event. Student groups are sponsoring roughly 125 events for the prefrosh, as well.

Though he just arrived on campus, Jonathan Terry from Illinois said he already thinks he will choose to attend Yale.

“It was sort of intense when the debate society came up to me and sort of grilled me on my thoughts on education reform,” Terry said. “Otherwise, it’s been pretty calm. It’s been really friendly.”

Emily Waligurski, a prefrosh from New York, said she is most excited to attend classes in the upcoming days. Waligurski made her decision to join the class of 2017 last fall, she said, and coming to campus will hopefully help her “get a better sense” of what she hopes to study at Yale.

Due to the large amount of involvement from professors, students, administrators and admissions officers alike, Dunn said Bulldog Days is “truly a campuswide event.”

The activities will continue today with a series of annual events, including an academic fair and extracurricular bazaar at Payne Whitney Gymnasium and a welcome address by Yale College Dean Mary Miller.

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