Grinnell College has a new approach to encouraging student enrollment. And this approach begins over admitted student weekend.
“It’s well known that about 80% of Grinnellians marry each other,” Staci Charmeuse, head of admission decisions, explained as she handed out lanyards to students at Admitted Student Weekend. “For all you know, you could be standing beside your future spouse. And the only way they’ll be your spouse is if you both attend Grinnell.”
The Admissions Department has reimagined many of their typical Admitted Student Activities with love in mind. “We paired prospective students in tour groups based on similar admissions essays and similar interests indicated on their Common Application,” Charmeuse explained. “We’ve also had to revamp a lot of our activities.”
For example, tours are only being led by couples. They have been renamed Grinnell’s Super Romantic Tour Experience and come with a free map of the most romantic and exciting spots on campus.
“And here’s the third floor of Noyce…the greenhouse is especially romantic on Friday nights.” Stefani Frank ’18 stated as she and her partner, Casey Rimes ’18, walked down the hallway hand in hand.
Other new activities include a high energy Disco-themed dance party, and a new improve troupe called Amore. “Did I hear two admitted students deciding to attend Grinnell?” Richard Dawson ’16 put a hand to his ear in the Pub as he and Amore attempted to act out the parts.
Even the dinner had a romantic theme, with lobster and filet mignon being served alongside truffles and kale, and chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert. “Thanks to the 1,000,000 donation from an anonymous benefactor, we’ve been able to feed these students in body and in heart. Hopefully it was the most romantic meal of their lives!” Charmeuse stated. “Heck, it’s even better than what I ate at my wedding!”
The Admitted Student Weekend also has an online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. On pHarmony, the new Facebook page for prospies, students can post their thoughts of other students. “Johnnie C., in the lanyard and green shirt was super cute…I wonder if he’s single” posted Jesse Haines from one of the Chicago suburbs.
Other students have used the Admitted Student Weekend hashtag to find other students for platonic purposes. “If Paula M., from Des Moines, Iowa, went to Grinnell then we could totally room together” Gwenyth Olive from a small Iowa town about an hour away tweeted in her Chinese 101 class sit-in. “#admitted student weekend, #paulaandgwenyth, #ilovegrinnell.”
This experience has been met with mixed results. “One student said she already had a girlfriend and asked about the Biology department. I slapped her pamphlet out of her hand and said, ‘Not anymore ya don’t!’” Hannah Chance ’18 explained to a group of fellow tour guides.
On the other hand, for some it has been a raging success. “I was wondering where the bathroom was, and one of the people I asked told me to ask another prospective student. We ended up getting lost together, and now we’re in love!” Adrian Mantheus from the Twin Cities and their new friend said, holding hands outside of the bathroom.
Some students have decided to pursue their love elsewhere.
“Fuck this lovey-dovey BS. I didn’t learn anything about the English department or study abroad opportunities, which I’m really interested in” Lydia Turkin from NYC explained as she and José Hernandez from another fucking Chicago suburb walked out of the Burling Library hand-in-hand. “We’ve decided to choose Carleton. And we’re doing it together!”