In an effort to recruit students more effectively, members of two undergraduate organizations last night began calling all students who have been offered spots in the Class of '94 under the early action program, admissions officers said last week.
As part of a new plan, Harvard has cancelled its traditional February early action weekend, and instead will host a three-day program in April for students who have gained admission under both the regular and early programs.
Members of the Undergraduate Admissions Council (UAC) and the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program will conduct the phoneathon until Thursday, said Erika Dreifus '91, co-chair of the UAC.
Dreifus said the phone calls would be "a chance for us to congratulate them [the early admittants]" and answer any questions they may have about Harvard. She said that accepted students would be encouraged to attend the pre-frosh weekend in April.
Admissions officers said that the combined April program will provide a better opportunity for members of the entire Class of '94 to meet one another.
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons '67 said that a joint weekend attracts a "broader spectrum of students," explaining that those admitted early do not fully represent Harvard's geographic, racial or economic diversity.
It also offers a "more realistic picture of the class," Dreifus added.
Since minority students from both the early and regular action pools will be invited to attend the April weekend, Fitzsimmons said that this plan will also help minority recruitment.
Susie Chao '86, an admissions officer and an advisor on minority recruiting, said the weekend would attract minority students because there will be several "programs of particular interest to minorities."
Admissions officials cited April's milder weather as one factor in the decision to move the date of the pre-froshweekend, saying that the cold February days didnot help in recruiting students.
But while Harvard officials were positive aboutthe changes in the program, some students admittedearly expressed disappointment that the earlyaction weekend had been scrapped.
Recently admitted high school seniors HeidiSiedlecki of Boca Raton, Fla., and Daniel J.Sharfstein of Potomac, Md., both said a Januaryweekend would help convince unsure students toattend Harvard.
"Some of my friends from last year had a greattime [at the early action weekend]," Sharfsteinsaid. "[It] secured their favorable impression ofHarvard."
As part of the new recruitment procedure, theundergraduate admissions office also has plannedseveral mailings to prospective first-yearstudents who were admitted early, officials said.
Fitzsimmons said a definitive recruitment planis still being formulated