High school senior Matthew Busik has wanted to go to Yale for weeks, but his dad thought he should visit to be sure.
After spending Monday on campus with more than 900 other prospective freshmen, Busik said he was more confident than ever in his choice of Yale.
“Everything [Yale College Dean Richard Brodhead] said was like what my dad and I talked about, about coming to Yale and forming it and not having it form me — that’s exactly what I said a couple weeks ago,” Busik said.
Like Busik, prefrosh visiting from around the country attended an extracurricular bazaar and academic fair and panels on residential college life, met admissions officers, and attended classes. They also took tours, some of which passed through the “Better Way Village” on Beinecke Plaza created by the Undergraduate Organizing Committee to illustrate concerns of Yale’s unions. Many prefrosh said the campus activity and spring weather were proving influential as the May 1 deadline for picking a college approaches.
Prefrosh Emily Morgan said everything was exciting — even the architecture.
“I just keep falling more and more in love with the place,” she said. “I love the buildings, and I’ve been talking to people about the marching band because I play violin, but I’ve always wanted to be in the marching band.”
Erica Larsen and Emily Eames said they saw the “Better Way Village” and did not know what it was, but said they are intrigued by activism on campus.
“I talked to the College Dems and an environmental group and I talked to people who are on FOOT,” Larsen said. “I really care a lot about having the freedom to express your opinions. I like activism — I enjoy seeing it, and I enjoy doing it.”
Alek Felstiner ’04, who was helping man the “Better Way Village” yesterday afternoon said prefrosh reaction was mixed.
“I think they’re mostly excited to see a campus that isn’t apathetic,” he said. “We’re happy to show them the positive side of a very energetic labor community, that it can be a terrific educational opportunity instead of an inconvenience.”
At the extracurricular bazaar in the Lanman Center at Payne Whitney Gymnasium Monday afternoon, hundreds of prefrosh picked up flyers and talked to representatives of singing groups, religious organizations, political parties, and performance groups.
“I found the Japan corner!” prefrosh Zoe Durner-Feiler said. “I’ve been taking it since first grade — it’s an immersion program. I have no idea what I want to do, but this definitely helped.”
Durner-Feiler, who is from Alaska, said she was surprised by Yale’s size, which she said “is on a scale that’s so much bigger.”
Yale Coalition for Peace member Kanishk Tharoor ’06, who was working at the organization’s table during the bazaar, said he was surprised how much interest parents showed in the group.
“I’ve gotten positive responses, better than I would have thought I would get,” he said.
Other events for the prefrosh included a welcoming speech by Brodhead in Woolsey Hall, “Master Classes” in the evening, a movie screening in Linsley-Chittenden Hall, and an ice cream social.