To the Editor:
On Wednesday, an article in The Dartmouth announced that this year’s Dimensions show for admitted students would not include the traditional “fake prospies” of previous years (“Over Dimensions, freshmen will no longer pose as prospective students,” March 5). As an applicant for this year’s Dimensions show, I urge the admissions office to reconsider this decision.
I applied for Dimensions because I love Dartmouth and want to share my excitement with prospective students. I love talking to them. Whenever I meet one, I make sure to engage them in conversation and encourage them to apply or enroll here. I want to help convince prospective students that Dartmouth is the place for them. My goal is to share pride for the school I love. Going undercover as a “fake prospie” would be the perfect opportunity to do so, because through this, I could play a role in helping craft the next generation of Dartmouth students.
While I did not attend Dimensions (I applied early decision), many friends who did rave about the show. Multiple friends said that after Dimensions, they decided to attend Dartmouth, even before attending other admitted student programs. The undercover students were the highlight of the weekend. Dimensions was apparently unlike any other college’s program. My friends loved the undercover student stunt because the “fake prospie” role is a fun, unique way to facilitate discussion in a naturally awkward situation. It is not a malicious deception. Rather, it is a surprise for prospective students to discover and enjoy.
The “fake prospie” surprise seems similar to the “safety show” during Dartmouth Outing Club first-year trips that turns into an impressive, entertaining and ice-breaking array of original songs. The moment I realized we did not actually have to take notes for two hours about how to learn first aid was the moment I started having fun. I had missed all of the Robinson Hall lawn dancing, but at that moment, the program, consisting of upperclassmen shepherding around awkward ’17s, turned into an absolute blast. Similarly, a ’16 friend of mine said that the moment the “fake prospies” revealed themselves when he visited Dartmouth was the moment he knew Dartmouth was the place for him.
The main argument against the “fake prospie” stunt is that it is not conducive to a truthful, welcoming environment. At the “safety show,” however, I did not feel the slightest bit offended or duped. The “fake prospie” stunt, much like the “safety show,” reveals Dartmouth’s sense of humor, not some fundamental commitment to deceit.
The announcement has already triggered immense backlash. A post on the Class of 2017’s Facebook page aimed at rallying support against the decision garnered an impressive 200 likes, the support of roughly a fifth of the freshman class.
I hope that the admissions office will change its mind and reinstitute the “fake prospie” method of welcoming members of the Class of 2018 to Dartmouth. A reversal of the decision would keep Dartmouth right where it belongs, unique among the Ivies.
We are the smallest, the wackiest and the best. Let’s keep it that way.
Raphael Sacks ’17
To the Editor: