Campus Preview Weekend StartsBy May K. Tse
Campus Preview Weekend began yesterday with the arrival of about 425 prospective freshmen who will be staying in dormitories and some independent living groups this weekend.
More than 420 prefrosh are visiting this year, up from last year's 362. Among this year's group, 115 are male and 310 are female, and about 155 are minority students.
Those numbers reflect the fact that women and minorities are the two groups with the lowest acceptance yield, according to Assistant Director of Admissions Lisa J. Oliveira '90.
"With limited resources and space, those are the groups we target to attend" the event, Oliveira said. "But we encourage others to call and set up an overnight visit."
Women make up 43 percent of this year's admitted class, down from last year's record 45 percent. Meanwhile, minorities make up 18 percent, a four percent increase over last year.
The admissions office hopes to have a class of about 1080 students out of the total 1900 admitted. Admitted students have until May 1 to make their decisions.
Some prefrosh can stay in ILGs
In previous years, prefrosh attending Campus Preview Weekend have not been allowed to stay in independent living groups. This year, most prefrosh will again be staying in dormitories, but because of a policy change, some will be staying in certain fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.
FSILGs located on or near the main part of campus as well as the Alpha Chi Omega and Alpha Phi sorority houses across the river will be hosting prefrosh.
"We made the decision because Sigma Kappa had moved into Ashdown, and we couldn't lose that many hosts," said Sheetal B. Shah '96, an admissions intern who helped to organize Campus Preview Weekend.
About 50 spaces in the basement and first floor of Ashdown were set aside as living space for members of Sigma Kappa starting this year, meaning there would be 50 fewer potential Campus Preview hosts without the policy change. "If we let Ashdown residents host, then we had to let the others host, too," Shah said.
The previous policy of not allowing FSILGs to host prefrosh came from a concern that freshmen would be able to visit MIT without the pressures of rush, according to Shah.
Variety of events scheduled
There are a number of events scheduled for the weekend that range from official events and tours to informal discussions.
There will be a special lecture today given by Amanda S. Bosh '87, who in 1988 flew with NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory. During the course of the mission, the team discovered Pluto's atmosphere.
Other events planned include the various Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program tours and last night's "Diversity on Display," a show presenting various multicultural organizations on campus.
Such events "will show that we don't just work and study here," Shah said.
The visiting prefrosh will be staying with approximately 230 hosts. "We encourage the hosts to take them to their classes and do events on the schedule like the UROP tours" to ensure that prefrosh get a good chance to see what MIT is like, Shah said.
In addition to the prefrosh, about 160 of their parents are visiting and staying at hotels in the area. There are number of events scheduled for parents, including a discussion on financial aid and an open house reception at the Edgerton Center.
Alan Most, whose daughter Jennifer is a prefrosh this weekend, took time off from work to come visit the campus. "I think that it's important for parents to see the university environment that the child will be learning and relaxing in for the next four years," he said. "In addition, you need to see the entire picture - the city of Boston as well as the university."
Campus Preview Weekend will conclude on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. with a check out barbeque for prefrosh, parents, and hosts.