Hundreds of folder-toting high schoolers, yellow Carleton backpacks everywhere and the arrival of the annual Drag Show this past weekend could mean only one thing: Accepted Student Days have arrived.
Every year, the College organizes two official weekends for accepted students to spend time on campus with a Carleton host. During these weekends, typically over 300 accepted students and their families visit.
One hundred sixty-two accepted students came this past weekend, with another 165 expected later to descend on campus tonight. Those students come from all over the United States and abroad.
“Accepted Students Weekend is important because prospective students can experience Carleton for themselves,” said Linda Mueller, the administrative assistant in Admissions. She explained that the admissions office begins planning for Accepted Student Days in November and December, due to the sheer amount of coordination that the event requires.
“Many of these students are choosing between a variety of fine institutions,” she explained. “We want them to really understand what [Carleton] has to offer.”
College President Steve Poskanzer agreed.
“Accepted Students Days are critical because they are the one time in the admission cycle when prospective students can gauge whether Carleton is truly the right fit, without the awkward dynamic of uncertainty over being admitted,” he said.
Visitors on Thursday and Friday found their schedules full. For students and their parents, there was the traditional Welcome Dinner on Thursday night, held for the first time in the Weitz Center and featuring the Carleton Singers, Chinese Music Ensemble, Intertwining Melodies, and the Knightengales. Following the dinner, prospective students were matched with Carleton hosts, and officially began their visits.
The next day, prospective students could choose up to two classes to attend from a selection of over 100. Accepted student Mikayla Coulombe, from St. Louis Park, Minn., chose to attend African American Literature, an English class taught by popular professor Kofi Owusu, who is also chair of the English Department. “I really liked the English class I went to,” she said. “It was definitely interesting, and the professor seemed really cool. I liked that there was conversation among the students, too.”
On Friday, students had the opportunity to participate in open office hours among the academic departments, campus and Arboretum tours, an athletics luncheon and presentations about off-campus studies and community service at Carleton.
As usual, Carleton also hosted a convocation speaker on Friday morning. Kwame Anthony Appiah, the Laurence S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, delivered a presentation entitled “The Honor Code: Making Moral Revelations” to a packed chapel.
“It was so interesting to attend convocation,” said Jean Terpstra, an ’82 graduate whose daughter was visiting as an accepted student. “I felt like I was a student all over again.”
Friday evening also saw the return of the popular drag show, an annual event sponsored by the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC). As hundreds of excited students and prospies watched, drag queen and king performers took the stage for over an hour, transforming ordinary Cowling Gymnasium into a spectacular array of lights and music.
Accepted student Laura Westneat of Lexington, KY attended the drag show. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, because I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “But it was definitely interesting.”
“I think everything went smoothly,” said Mueller. “Things went well.”
President Poskanzer agreed. “We consciously chose to admit every one of these prospective students,” he said. “Now that they know that, they can best assess whether Carleton would be their ideal choice. And of course we hope and expect it will be!”