Admit Weekend: The HoHos’ Take

April 26, 2010, 12:53 a.m.

Last Thursday afternoon, Jackson Dartez ’13, Head House Host (HoHo) for Ujamaa, was camped out in front of Arrillaga Alumni Center, waiting for the throngs of prospective freshmen (ProFros) to roll in for Admit Weekend. For Dartez and all the other Admit Weekend coordinators, it was showtime.

Admit Weekend: The HoHos' Take
(HELENA VILLALOBOS/The Stanford Daily)

Clapping and cheering, the Head HoHos greeted each ProFro with enthusiastic dorm chants. It was organized chaos, and excitement was at an all-time high.

“It was a cluster**** of Profros, just milling about,” Dartez said. “I was a little confused, though, because I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to be. The e-mail only said come pick up your ProFros at Arrillaga, but they didn’t tell us where exactly.”

Dartez was just one of the many Head HoHos who helped plan the whirlwind of welcome events for the prospective class of 2014. Head HoHos are in charge of programming social activities for the ProFros and showing them the dorm-side of Stanford. Nearly 10 weeks of planning went into the 72 hours of packed activities that made up Admit Weekend.

According to Stewart MacGregor-Dennis ’13, a Head HoHo for East Florence Moore (FloMo), his team spent about five hours each the week before, preparing for the ProFros’ arrival. Just days before, the Head HoHos went door to door, spammed e-mail lists and posted flyers, getting their dorm-mates to volunteer to house the 1,350 registered ProFros. Their work paid off, and they ended up recruiting an additional 400 RoHos to share their rooms.

In planning for Admit Weekend, the Head HoHos tried to structure their programming around what they would have liked to see during their own Admit Weekend.

“It felt like yesterday when I was there last year,” said Bailey Ferrell ’13, Head HoHo for Soto.

“I was hoping that they didn’t think that the dorm programming was completely lame,” added Christina Nguyen ’13, Head HoHo of West FloMo. “For my Admit Weekend, I remember I didn’t do any dorm programming and just ran around campus.”

Attempting to give the ProFros a crash course on the Stanford experience, Head HoHos planned fountain hopping, hikes to the Dish and steam tunneling trips. The first night, they organized dorm icebreakers like “I love my homie who…” to capture the flag to speed dating.

“A few of the ProFros were really independent though,” Macgregor-Dennis said. “They met some people on Facebook, so they kinda wandered off. It made it a little bit more hectic, because we weren’t sure where everyone was.”

“But I mean, they are 18 years old,” he added. “We wanted them to be independent, so they can get used to Stanford.”

But Dartez explained that despite their extensive preparation, programming ran into last-minute snafus.

“I left the planning of our barbeque up to another HoHo, but the plans fell through at the last minute,” Dartez said, explaining a change to an event originally scheduled for Friday night. “I was left with a cart of raw meat and forty hungry ProFros and twenty minutes to find some way to feed them. I was really anxious and stressed.”

Dartez and his team postponed the event to the next day.

“Somehow, all of Uj rolled in all at once, and it actually turned out to be a success,” he said. “I was stressed trying to plan it, but I’m glad it turned out well.”

Looking back on the weekend, Head HoHos had mixed feelings. For some, the weekend was just an exhausting whirlwind. Many felt burnt out.

“It was probably my worst week this quarter so far,” Nguyen said, explaining that she had an IHUM paper due. “I was sick at the beginning of the week, and I was trying to do work while still doing the dorm programming.”

“I have to thank a lot of HoHos because they knew I was sorta falling over at that point, and they stepped in to help,” she added. “A lot of people were really helpful.”

“I went to Wilbur Field [across campus], and sat there for four hours because I just didn’t want to be here [on Saturday],” Dartez said. “I was just tired of everything by then.”

But for other Head HoHos, the sleep deprivation was worth it.

“I loved it, because you’re talking to people who are excited and about to make this huge choice in their lives, and you can really be enthusiastic and still be very honest to them,” said Robin Perani ’13, Head HoHo of Junipero.

“I loved [Admit Weekend] this year, and I hope to be involved next year,” agreed Daniel DeLong ’13, Head HoHo for Donner. “I look forward to seeing all the freshmen that were here during the weekend. It would be cool to see them next year as students.”

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