The John Hay Says No to H2O


As you may have heard and/or seen on Instagram, the John Hay Library is back and better than ever. Having undergone a transformation a la Kim Kardashian from ratchet sex tape to classy Kanye, the John Hay is now a library you’d truly want to take home to your parents. If anyone has ever dreamt of attending Hogwarts, this may be the closest you’ll get to the magical university without having to leave campus. There’s an awesome collection of Brown memorabilia (crappy iPhone picture below) and a few cozy study rooms, but the main attraction is the first-floor reading room. The majestic layout includes beautiful new tables, chic-yet-timeless desk lamps, and busts so detailed and stern they’ll intimidate you into actually getting your work done.


But there’s a catch.

Naturally, one can assume that there is no food or beverage allowed inside of the reading room. Unfortunately, this includes water – THE ESSENCE OF BEAUTY. As an avid waterdrinker and someone who likes to spend long hours studying in the same location, this is extremely problematic. During my first Hay visit, I had to resort to hiding my bottle in my bag like a drunk hobo and taking secret sips every time I thought the coast was clear. You may think this is a touch dramatic, but those security guards are really, really good at their jobs.


So, if you’re like me and want to enjoy the beauty and quietude of the reading room without turning into a human raisin, try one of these (not-yet-tested) tricks:

  • Wear a Camelback (just make sure you face the rear wall when sneaking sips).
  • Additionally, consider wearing that flask bra that is typically reserved for Spring Weekend.
  • Craft an extra long straw out of several smaller straws and leave one end in your H2O container of choice, hidden in your bag, of course.
  • Hide a water bottle behind the bust of John Hay and pretend to be studying the intricacies of his face, if caught.
  • Carve out the middle of a thick book, insert a flask and straw, and feign near-sightedness.
  • Make water shots by filling up empty film canisters or test tubes, and knock ’em back under the desk (especially believable if you’re a RISD student or chemistry concentrator).
  • Replace your reading glasses with these.
  • Relocate to one of the study rooms and quietly sulk about the fact that you’re not a camel.

For those of you who are brave enough to attempt these tactics, we’re looking forward to your feedback.

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