Admissions Whitman Reveals Itself

Austin Biehl, staff writer

As we all know, Whitman is an abysmal place to be between the end of October and the middle of March. It’s cold, rainy and a thick wet fog settles over everything, carrying with it the scents of decay and loneliness. Yet on Whitman’s website it appears that we live in a bubble of sunshine, Frisbees and indescribable, worldly gratitude. What is this trickery? Well my friends, look around because this particular illusion is busily being constructed as we speak.

Sometime in early April, a mysterious phenomena happens on campus in which Whitman College transforms into Admissions Whitman College: a shiny, glittering, fairy kingdom, designed to lure prospective students to a school that many students would describe, on a good day, as “okay.” The first signs of this process involve a sudden burst of photos on Instagram. You’re likely to see photos of crocuses pushing out of the earth with the caption, “Spring decided to show itself today.” No, you just decided that you were feeling fucking artsy. Alternative candidates include baby ducks, the weird tulip trees or lying on Ankeny in various states of undress.

Yet this is just the beginning. What begins as a few overly camera happy students quickly transforms into full-blown hustle by the admissions department. Videographers can be found everywhere, aggressively capturing footage of students extolling the virtues of Whitman whilst Cony Tabasco points a gun at their head from behind the camera. Meanwhile, the grounds crew goes wild, mowing the lawn with such vigor that particularly lazy students are often sucked into the blades. Cahlia Dorkrum roams the library, evicting any student who is seen crying, arguing or generally displaying any behavior beyond chatting quietly and smiling in polite and studious engagement.

All of this pales in comparison to the absolutely diabolical scheme that is Spring Visitors’ Day. Let’s be clear, Admitted Students’ Day can be cute. It’s fun to see all the prospies wandering around and fighting with their parents and generally reminding all of us of the joys of home. But on the whole, one student summed it up when the said, “if I was visiting on this day I would not come to Whitman.” First off, there is LITERALLY a Snapchat filter for the day, featuring some fun and frisky cherry blossoms. Is this necessary? Is Whitman being run by a bunch of, like, cool moms trying to relate with their angsty teen? Further activities included despondent student panels, several desperate a capella performances and several faculty members put their PhDs to good use and performed some hits by The Beatles.

The unfairness of it all is that in a few short weeks, Admissions Whitman melts away to be replaced by regular old Whitman. Students stop pretending to be happy and embrace their exorbitant levels of stress, the dining hall starts serving cheeseburger soup again and the Admissions Officers once again disappear into their eastern cavern, not to emerge until the next Spring Visitors’ Day.