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History Corner:Admit Weekend


As Admit Weekend approaches and over 1,000 prospective freshmen (ProFros) are soon to descend on the Farm, The Daily took a look back at the history of Admit Weekend.

In 1985, an experimental telephone hotline for ProFros overwhelmed the administration with over 30 calls in one night.

“Questions ranged from the obvious–class sizes, overseas opportunities and the quality of teaching in various departments–to the more esoteric–‘Is Palo Alto the suburban, boring place it is reputed to be?’ one prospect asked,” The Daily reported (“Admittees swamp hotline,” April 24, 1985).

On April 23, 1999, inspired by admit weekends at schools throughout the United States, The Daily published a collaborative piece between student journalists at Stanford, Williams and Harvard in which each writer penned thoughts on their respective schools.

“The theme of Stanford is ‘opportunity’,” the Stanford column read. “The Stanford students have the opportunities to take large lecture classes or small seminars, live in dormitories or vegetarian cooperative houses, conduct undergraduate original research, act in a student-written and produced musical comedy, or anything in between. That, in one paragraph, is the essence of Stanford.”

That same year, The Daily reported that there had been two alcohol-related incidents during Admit Weekend.

“On Friday, another prospective freshman became sick after drinking too much…‘People just nursed him to a state of semi-health,’ resident assistant Akhi Sista said,” The Daily reported in an article on one of the incidents (“Weekend role reversal,” April 27, 1999).

In 2001, The Daily reported that alcohol incidents continued to occur during Admit Weekend despite a change in administrative policy.

“Beginning last year, the Admissions Office put the guidelines for Admit Weekend participants in writing, in order to ensure that prospective students and their parents understood Stanford’s expectations before coming for the weekend,” The Daily reported (“Alcohol policy examined,” April 25, 2001).

Under the new Admit Weekend alcohol policy, which remains in effect, current students may not serve, provide or make alcohol available to ProFros. No alcohol may be present, served or consumed at any organized student group functions during Admit Weekend.

The dry policy raised student concerns that Admit Weekend does not accurately represent life at Stanford.

In 2007, The Stanford Daily Editorial Board wrote about the “falsely idyllic view” of Stanford presented at Admit Weekend, both concerning alcohol consumption and academics. (“Take Admit Weekend with a grain of salt,” April 22, 2007).

“It is our opinion that, whether Admit Weekend nearly made you choose another school or whether Admit Weekend alone made you fall in love with Stanford, it does not accurately portray our school,” the editorial read. “Over the weekend, the notion may arise that among the myriad of events and social activities offered, nobody here goes to class or works hard–or that they are academically serious. This is, of course, far from the truth.”

Admit Weekend 2012 begins on April 26.

-Natasha Weaser

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