Nearly 10,000 visitors — including nervous mothers, energized fathers and bewildered prospective students — gathered at UCSB on Saturday in what became one of the university’s largest information sessions.
This year’s Spring Insight, which began at 9 a.m. and lasted until 3 p.m., filled the campus with tabling clubs, organizations and academic departments hoping to entice applicants to attend UCSB.
The various organizations tabling on Saturday used the opportunity to attract future members. Jan Ferrer, a cheerleader and second-year psychology major, said she spent hours in the hot sun for the UCSB Cheer Squad in an effort to bolster interest in the program.
“It is balls hot out here,” Ferrer said. “Besides the heat, I have been impressed by how many people we have on the sign-up list for cheer. The newcomers definitely seem very aware of what they want to do.”
While prospective students evaluated the campus, some of their parents traded alarmist rumors and fretted over I.V.’s party scene. Jan Vanatta, a prospective student’s mother, said she was less than enthusiastic about her daughter’s interest in attending UCSB in the upcoming fall quarter.
“UCSB has a little bit of a reputation, and as a parent, I am very concerned about it,” Vanatta said. “I heard at the Halloween party that people impersonate police officers and make students do horrible things.”
On the other hand, David Greenberg, a prospective student, said his experience at Spring Insight has encouraged him to inform the university of his intent to register, which attendees were invited to submit at Davidson Library.
“I wanted to go to a UC, so my parents and I are checking out all the different campuses,” Greenberg said. “I saw UC Irvine recently, and it looked really empty, so I think [UCSB] is where I will end up going.”
With the largest applicant pool in school history, many of the 23,100 high school graduates who were extended an opportunity to enroll at UCSB came prepared to decide whether or not they want to be Gauchos in the fall. Prospective students have until May 1 to submit their Statement of Intent to Register.
In addition, this year’s Spring Insight was host to a variety of lectures, as UCSB professors discussed their work on topics ranging from astrophysics to modern art. For those seeking a break from the world of academia, families in attendance had the opportunity to jump on a moon bounce near Storke Tower or check out the University Art Museum.
Kaitlyn Hollister, a first-year biology major and volunteer at the event, said she decided to help out as a result of her own enjoyable UCSB experiences.
“A lot of kids that were here today were deciding between two schools,” Hollister said. “What I’ve been telling them is that this is the only time in your life your parents pay for you to live on the beach.”