Brunonian Sins: Are You Guilty?

(Ed.- This is a slightly altered version of the post we put up before Yom Kippur last year. Have an easy fast!)

This Wednesday is Yom Kippur.  If you’re not Jewish, you’re probably familiar with this holiday as the day that your Jewish friends are really crabby because they have to fast.  It’s considered the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, and is the day on which Jews are supposed to ask forgiveness for the sins they’ve committed in the past year.

What you might not have realized is that even if you look at this campus through a purely secular (or ironically thick nonprescription) lens, there are Brunonian sins, too – things we all do that we shouldn’t.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, what day of the year it is, or if you’ve been a Brown student for three years or a month, you should probably take some time to ask forgiveness for those transgressions that would make your professors, roommates, and Gail shake their heads in shame:

1. That case of plastic water bottles under your bed.  Sure, we’ve heard your explanation – your mom doesn’t want you drinking tap water.  Don’t lie, though.  You like how convenient it is.  You don’t have to walk down the hall to the bathroom sink or worry about finding hydration stations.  And you may think no one noticed that time you threw one out on the Main Green instead of recycling it, but Ruth knows.  Ruth always knows.

2. Not paying for the condoms you took off of your RC’s door.  I applaud you for being safe (and if you just wanted to make balloon animals, I guess that’s pretty cool, too), but come on – fifteen cents is pretty much the best price you’re going to get for those things outside of the free ones handed out at Sex Week and on Spring Weekend.  Your RC’s going to be there for you when your attempt at hallcest fails miserably, so the least you can do is hand over your spare change.

3. Stealing food from dining halls.  This has gotten considerably more difficult over the years as BUDS has upped the number of policemen guarding the take-out containers (and now the V-Dub has a separate line for to-go? WTF?), but everyone’s been guilty of it at least once.  A backpack full of apples, an entire carton of soymilk, a tray to use for sledding… the rule-breaking possibilities have always been endless.  And yes, we can all tell that that’s actually a (stolen) banana in your pants.

4. Being “that kid” who always asks lots of questions.  It’s great to be curious, and it’s understandable to be confused about material.  But there’s a fine line between probing for deeper understanding and playing Stump The Professor (which would probably be hosted by Alex Trebek if it were a real game show).  There’s no way you’re so unaware of your surroundings that you don’t notice the entire class of your peers rolling their eyes every time you speak, so take a hint and spend class playing the Quiet Game every now and then.

Oh, and one more thing to keep in mind this weekend – I get it, fasting is supposed to be hard.  But please avoid everyone’s favorite Yom Kippur question, “Are you hungry?”  Yes, of course I’m hungry.  Thank you for being the 17th person to ask.  Now kindly get the hell away from me before I do something for which I might have to atone.


  1. Athiest

    Or you could stop worrying about pleasing nonexistant authorities and live your life the way that makes you happy.

  2. Audrey

    I love the tag – “nom kippur”!

  3. Dear above,
    If you are an atheist, you should be able to spell atheist.

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