Here’s a shout out to all the accepted Ephs-to-maybe-be on the evening of the first Williams preview.

All admitted students are cordially invited to attend our “Previews of Williams” to meet with students, faculty, staff and especially fellow prospective “Ephs” (pronounced Eefs, aka The Purple Cows). Two different previews options are available for your convenience: an overnight program Monday, April 11 through Tuesday, April 12 and a day-only program Monday, April 18.

Kudos to the admissions office for running such an event. I think that this has been going on for years now, but I don’t recall it from back in the day. Was there such an event 20 years ago?

How are things going tonight anyway? EphBlog readers are urged to comment. College Confidential doesn’t have many details.

One thing I do remember is that, despite the best efforts of the Purple Key folks, there always seemed to be a problem in finding current students to host applicants. This was true during the school year. It must be especially true when there are scores (hundreds?) of visitors.

Moreover, and I don’t want to be mean, but it sometimes seemed that the students who would do the best job of “selling” Williams — the ones that were most involved, most friendly, most charismatic — were the students least likely to host applicants. After all, they were busy with all their fun activities.

What’s the solution? Well, for starters it would be nice to focus institutional attention, at least a bit. Williams should obviously provide the opportunity of a visit to everyone, but there are probably 50 odd accepted students at Williams tonight that Director of Admissions Dick Nesbitt ’74 really hopes will choose Williams instead of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford. He knows who those kids are. Does anyone else? Is Purple Key, say, making special effort for those 50 students. I realize that the mechanics of this are difficult, but it seems an effort worth making.

More broadly, the College could do a much better job of channelling the intense desire to be a JA of 1/3 of the current first year class into extra effort in hosting pre-frosh, both during the school year and at previews. First years should be told that, if they are interested in being JAs, they should consider volunteering to host applicants. This won’t be a requirement, but it would provide a way for students who want very badly to be a JA to demonstrate that they are ready and able to sacrifice some of their own time and sanity to help under-age drunkards stay happy and safe applicants enjoy their visits to Williams.

The admissions office could keep track of who hosted how many students and then provide this information — with or without evaluating the quality of the hosting itself — to the JA selection committee.

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