BlogDH Panel: Why Brown?

whybrown

With decision day (May 1st) rapidly approaching and the reality of college setting in for high school seniors, BlogDailyHerald presents its latest panel. Staff members were asked one simple question: Why Brown? Here are some of their responses. 

“Brown has the coolest people of any university in America.” – Liam Trotzuk

“Brown makes you into an actively self-motivated person by providing you with LOTS of freedom…But, there’s still obviously a safety net both literally and in the community vibe, so you feel comfortable taking those risks… [The] open curriculum really is a huge deal! No requirements is so awesome!” – Jacob Koffler

“We have a great sense of humor (professors, administrators, and blogs included).” – Caitlin Dorman

“Impressive, motivated, and [very] smart peers, but also nice, chill, and supportive. The open curriculum is really so key — I can’t imagine actually being forced to think of gen distribution requirements when picking classes. Providence is really artsy and fun — great restaurants, museums, music… all the hills work out your gams. The grading system (ABC NC, S/NC, and just not having NCs show up anywhere outside of Brown) sounds ridiculous when I explain it to my friends at other schools but I think it really supports the idea that Brown provides us with a safety net. It allows students to challenge themselves and try difficult [and] new things without worrying about the grade as much.” – Kenji Endo

“We’re in an artsy, fun city but still have the feeling of a campus and community.” – Julia Elia

“Close to Boston/Newport/NYC; super strong arts community and [very] talented [people] here; connections [you] meet and network of alumni [you] can’t get at a lot of other places; [being a Brown student] makes [you] a better/more open/more informed person.” – Danielle Perelman

“Proximity to RISD is key!!!!! Our campuses overlap!!!! Providence is home to the ‘principal art museum for the city, state, and southeastern New England,’ so proximity to Rothkos, de Koonings and Matisses is also a bonus. And out of all the Ivies, Brown has the best Henry Moore.” – Edith Young (she’s technically a RISD student, but whatever…)

“I love how people at Brown are always down to chat about really important issues. Despite Brown’s reputation of being politically homogenous, it never ceases to amaze me how many interesting and nuanced perspectives you’ll hear as soon as you start talking with your peers around you.” – Charlotte Bilski

My own thoughts? There’s simply no other undergraduate institution in the world where you will grow more as an academic and as a person. The community, the student body, the courses, the open curriculum, the campus, the location, the constant open dialogue, the professors, the connections, the diversity, the opportunities, the academic integrity, the social life — they’re all geared towards making sure that you gain as much as you possibly can out of your college experience. Essentially, in my humble (and obviously unbiased) opinion, Brown’s the best school in the world. (Also worth noting: the food’s good.)

Image via Jason Hu ’16.


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Does money talk in the Brown admissions office?

A Gawker exposé published Tuesday quoted leaked emails with offers of preferential admissions treatment from Brown administrators, including President Christina Paxson, for the children of potential donors. The story has drawn rapid response from both administrators, who claim the messages were cherry-picked and taken out of context, and student protesters from the #MoneyTalksAtBrown movement, who argue that they further validate the group’s concerns about undue financial influence on university policy.

Brown firmly stated that all admissions decisions are based on merit alone. Last night at the State of Brown, President Christina Paxson denounced the validity of the Gawker article for selectively quoting emails.

“The real purpose of that letter is to let people set their expectations about the level of influence they can have,” she said.

Cass Cliatt, the Vice President of Communications, added, “It’s tempting to seek connections where none exist. At no time is there communication between advancement and admissions.”

In so many words, the university firmly denies that financial donations have ever had any clout in the admissions office–except “maybe 100 years ago,” according to Cliatt.

Cliatt also took the opportunity to address what she called “discrepancies” in the article. The differences arose, Cliatt claims, because the article does not include all the correspondence that is accessible on WikiLeaks. The first problem was that the framing of the emails made it seem as though the donation and the early decision admittance were around the same time, she said. According to Cliatt, the discussion regarding the scholarship fund started in April 2012, and the concluding payment was made in February 2014, 10 months before the student’s Early Decision notification.

Cliatt also addressed an email in the Gawker article that was originally sent from Paxson to the Brown Corporation in September of 2014. According to Cliatt, the part that reads, “Also, please tell us if you learn of a prospective applicant who may need ‘special handling’ for campus visits or communications,” does not imply that the University gives special treatment to visitors of high status.

Instead, it is given to about 800 students per year who are from “any family we think could benefit from additional attention for their tour and/or meeting with a faculty, and the category includes a variety of reasons for this ‘handling': having served in volunteer or leadership positions at Brown, being a family member of an alum, having made extraordinary contributions to Brown, being a celebrity or dignitary, or any reason that might disrupt a public tour,” Cliatt wrote in an email.

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@BrownUAdmission accidentally linked to employee’s private Facebook account

Everyone knows the internet is a scary place where it becomes frighteningly easy to do slightly awkward things, like when you “Like” a mupload of someone you’ve never spoken to (stupid Facebook for iPhone), or Reply All when you REALLY did not want to.

To accidentally link the @BrownUAdmission Twitter to your private Facebook account is kind-of on another level.

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Yes, it seems that someone working for our Admissions office—hopefully in an attempt to link the Admissions Twitter with the Admissions Facebook page—somehow managed to send all his/her private status updates as tweets to Brown alumni, students, and whoever else follows @BrownUAdmission.

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An appeal to Admissions: Accept the brown M&M

http://youtu.be/yn3mktl30iw

Remember that four-eyed brown M&M in those white high heels who made us all LOL on Super Bowl Sunday? Ms. Brown (not to be confused with Chris Brown) is the newest addition to the colorful M&M crew that rolls deep: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Orange have all embraced their posse’s newest sassy, smart and sophisticated member. For these reasons (among some other fairly obvious ones), we think Brown University would be the perfect fit for the little lady. Here’s why:

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Welcome, Class of 2016!

At 5 P.M. today, decisions for the ~2,765 early applicants to Brown became available on the Brown website. Commence the stalking of current high school seniors’ Facebooks!


Harvard and Princeton to restore early action programs

Image courtesy of The Huffington Post

After going four admissions cycles without an early admission option for prospective students, Harvard and Princeton announced yesterday that they will be restoring their early action plans.  Both reinstated programs will allow prospective students to apply in the fall through a non-binding application process.

The admissions offices at Harvard and Princeton announced in September 2006 that they would be eliminating their early admission programs due to the fact that they catered mostly to students from high-income families and purportedly led to increased stress on high school seniors.  In the last several years, however, the early application pool at other universities appears to be skewing less towards privileged students, according to Harvard President Drew Faust.