Otis Baker

Yale welcomed around 270 students and 420 parents and guardians on Saturday for its second-ever Bulldog Saturday event for admitted students.

Bulldog Saturday is a one-day, condensed version of Yale’s classic three-day Bulldog Days program, which aims to showcase everything Yale has to offer to newly admitted students. The University introduced Bulldog Saturday last year after the University’s undergraduate population increased with the opening of the two new residential colleges. Administrators were concerned they would be unable to find enough hosts for all admitted students during Bulldog Days. Last year, nearly 400 students and 600 parents visited Yale on Bulldog Saturday, and about 1,100 admitted students and 900 family members came to Bulldog Days.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan explained that, largely because of space constraints, this year the Admissions Office hosted Bulldog Saturday only around a week after the admissions decisions were released, as opposed to last year, when the event took place two weeks after decisions came out. The short turnaround contributed to the decline in the number of students visiting campus this weekend, Quinlan said.

“We were worried about the weather, but it turned out to be a lovely sunny day in New Haven,” Quinlan said. “We also gave out Yale class of 2022 hats, which was great and exciting. … Almost everyone who signed up came, which is great. It’s a good opening act for what will be a busy April of recruitment.”

He added that although the Admissions Office anticipates more students “than ever before” at this year’s Bulldog Days, he expects to find accommodations for everyone.

Although the event ran for only one day, its programming mirrored the three-day Bulldog Days, with performances from Yale groups, open houses in the cultural centers, discussions about residential college life and academics, and master classes with Yale professors, including one with Yale College Dean Marvin Chun.

Admitted students could also attend evening events from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. organized by almost 30 different student groups ranging from an open rehearsal of the Yale Precision Marching Band to a discussion of Christianity at Yale with various Christian groups on campus.

As of now, Bulldog Saturday is not a permanent fixture in Yale’s recruitment efforts. Earlier this semester, Quinlan told the News that last year one of the Admissions Office’s biggest concerns was the potential lack of on-campus housing capacity for Bulldog Days. But as the new colleges fill up with students, this problem seems likely to become less severe, and after this spring, the Admissions Office will reassess whether Bulldog Saturday is still necessary.

Louis Moon, an admitted student from Florida, said that he “couldn’t have asked for anything better” in terms of the programming and that the people he met were “amazing.” He added that he has been to campus before and that his previous interactions with current Yalies contributed to his decision to commit to Yale, even before Bulldog Saturday.

Daniel Freedline, another admitted student from Florida, said he stayed on campus with friends for a few days before Bulldog Saturday and “had a blast” both during the official programming events and outside of them. He added that he is not yet committed to Yale, but is fairly he will eventually do so.

Both Freedline and Moon said they decided to attend Bulldog Saturday and not Bulldog Days because they had scheduling conflicts that prevented them from attending the three-day program.

Nidhi Pattel, an admitted student from New Jersey, said her favorite parts of the event were seeing the performance group showcase and connecting with current Yale students.

“I didn’t expect that everybody … would be so welcoming,” Pattel said. “Every Yale student that I talked to has been willing to answer questions and everybody is so enthusiastic about the school, and I really liked that.”

Anastasiia Posnova | anastasiia.posnova@yale.edu