Despite recent doubts about its solvency, the FreshPerson Conference will greet members of the newly admitted Class of 2007 this summer thanks to new sponsorship from the University Chaplain’s Office.
Under a recent agreement, the Chaplain’s Office will provide administrative oversight and funding for advertising, FPC Coordinator Anne Pelczer ’05 said. The program’s future had been in doubt after Dwight Hall dropped its sponsorship of FPC earlier this year. FPC organizers scrambled to save the future of the program, holding an extravaganza in Battell Chapel in February to raise money and meeting with the Chaplain’s Office and Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg.
FPC leaders will pay back the Chaplain’s office for advertising expenses once they receive application fees from participants, Pelczer said.
“When I found out FPC might not happen, a core group of 10 undergraduates really got together and decided that we would save it,” she said. “When Dwight Hall stopped sponsorship, we turned to the Chaplain’s Office to help out and they’ve been absolutely wonderful.”
Representatives from the Chaplain’s Office were not available for comment Thursday.
Pelczer said the student application fee for the three-day program will remain around $200 and the program will be completely funded by the application fees. She said organizers hope to have over 100 students participate in the program and are planning to push the application dates forward in an attempt to lure more students.
FPC leaders plan to have a booth at the extracurricular bazaar at Bulldog Days this month and hope to use Camp Jewel again as the location.
Trachtenberg praised FPC leaders for rescuing the program.
“I’m delighted that they can do it,” Trachtenberg said. “The FPC people wanted to mount the program for this year. It was clear that they could do it and we’re delighted to have them.”
Dwight Hall Program Director Johnny Scasibi said he was pleased to hear that FPC raised the funds to keep the program alive. He said FPC does not fit in with Dwight Hall because it lacks a strong commitment to community service and New Haven affairs.
“It has been decided that the mission of FPC is not consistent with the focus of Dwight Hall,” Scasibi said.
Scasibi said FPC was operating at a financial loss in previous years. But Pelczer said the program has been financially solvent for the past two years, pulling a small profit both times.
“For a variety of reasons, we’re no longer under Dwight Hall, but there are not any animosities,” Pelczer said. “The purpose of FPC has always been to orient the freshman class so when they come onto campus they’re prepared. We’ve re-evaluated the structure a little bit, but I think the mission of FPC will stay the same.”
Occurring just before freshman orientation, the program has a camp atmosphere, with students bonding over group activities, performances by Yale groups, and panel discussions with older students about academics and campus life.
Adam Weber ’06, who attended the program last year, said when he came to New Haven not knowing anyone, FPC gave him a chance to meet classmates.
“I think it’s a deserving program and it was really helpful for me to meet people,” he said. “It would be really unfortunate for the upcoming freshmen to not have the opportunity to do FPC.”