Erin Richards '15 Associate Editor & Web Editor
On April 10, admitted students from all over the country came to Smith to participate in both Open Campus and Discovery Weekend. As two of the most attended events held by the Office of Admissions, they play a key role for prospective students searching for their perfect college.
Smith hosted Open Campus April 10 to 11 for all accepted students, and Discovery Weekend, which differentiates itself by being specifically for students of color, extended to Saturday, April 12. Ann sa Weston ’17 attended Discovery Weekend as a prospective student last year and said, “It was important because it gave me insight to life at Smith as a POC [person of color]. That, along with Bridge at the beginning of the year allowed me to forge relationships and situate myself within the POC community.”
However, both events allow prospies (as they are affectionately known to current students) to connect with current students, faculty and the resources Smith has to offer. Gabrielle Martone ’14, Chair of Gold Key Guides, spoke enthusiastically about the events: “I think the weekend was amazing! It was so thrilling to see all the admitted students running around Smith — especially getting to see students who were wary about Smith ‘get Smith’ and see the light in their eyes go off.”
Students were able to stay for one or all days, and participate in a plethora of activities the Office of Admissions set up for them including taking campus and departmental tours, attending classes and a student resources fair and staying over night with a current student. Melanie Kennedy ’16, who hosted a student overnight, said of her experience, “It’s awesome getting to meet accepted students from all over the country, especially when the student you host decides to come to Smith. The most rewarding part of hosting a student is sharing my honest experience about Smith with them, because I have two younger sisters who are going through the same process and I know how important the decision is, and also how difficult it can be.”
As Smith broke its record for number of applicants once again, the admission officers have put in countless hours reading applications and preparing for the events that follow the end of application season. Smith alumna and the newest member to the team of admissions officers Marilyn Flores was extremely pleased with her first experience with Open Campus and Discovery Weekend.
“Things went pretty smoothly, considering we had over 800 visitors to campus,” Flores said. “We got lots of great feedback from students and their parents, who’ve been visiting lots of schools… And we also received multiple deposits on the spot, so I guess that’s saying something.”
While these events may seem like distant memories for some students in their third or fourth year at Smith, the students who attend Open Campus and Discovery Weekend are the future of this college. The Office of Admissions continues Smith’s legacy of smart and motivated women.
“I think doing recruitment like [Open Campus and Discovery Weekend] is huge, because students need to be able to connect their colleges to real life current students and experiences,” Martone said. “Without it, it becomes extremely hard to find the place that you belong.”