Eight ways Brown can thrive in the twenty-first century

In the sink or swim world of 2015, you have to be both creative and willing to step on the throats of others competitive in order to succeed. This year, Brown has made notable steps into the future, from breaking ground on a new engineering building and renovating the mailroom, to providing Sriracha sauce to the Ratty. These are great first steps, but they fall far short of preparing Brown for the century ahead. Here are our additional recommendations:

Increase number of Brown-related website portals from seventeen to twenty-five



The corporation has talked about growing Brown’s student body by 1% each year to increase tuition revenue, but little has been said about the stagnant number of websites and internet services accessible to Brown students. We need to move beyond Banner, Canvas, GET, PawPrints, EchoCenter, Sapling, Res-Life, Philo, Josiah, Focal Point, Shibboleth, Go, Workday, B.U.S. tracker, IM leagues, Touch.net, JIB, and Brown Connect. Seventeen different portals to accomplish similar tasks is simply not enough. To be a top-tier university in the 21st century we need more websites. At least eight more.

The Blue Room-Mailroom Merger

Blue Room Mail Room

What do the Blue Room and Mailroom have in common? Lines. Why is it that if you want to both get a sandwich and retrieve a package, you have to wait in two separate areas? This merger would both cut costs, and give students one seamless and efficient mailroom-dining experience.

More iPads


More learning = more money.

I once saw a commercial with elementary schoolers using iPads to do math. Brown professors should take advantage of this twenty-first century invention and stop using antiquated phrases such as “turn to page 110” and start saying “look at your iPad” instead. Let’s get more of these neat things out to students.

Open concept dorms

Open concept dorm room.

You can practically feel the synergy.

How do ideas spread? Not through walls. Successful companies such as Zappos and Facebook have thrived through open-concept office spaces. Without the oppression of offices or cubicles, revolutionary ideas runs wild. Brown is currently wasting potential through its traditional closed-room dorm model. We need to tear down walls and turn residence halls into vibrant sixty-person sleeping and living areas.

Release all of Paxson’s and Russell Carry’s university updates via Vine.

Christina Paxson Ice Bucket Challenge

Christina Paxson’s email updates are too long for your ordinary time-strapped efficiency-hungry college student, who doesn’t have time to parse through long blocks of text. Email had its place in the 1990s, but in the fast-paced global economy of today, the administration should be able to simplify information concerning new hires, changes in policy, and campus safety alerts into six second videos. 

A for-profit Swearer Center

Swearer center's initial public offering.

The Swearer Center’s initial public offering.

The Swearer Center for Public Service has long been a source of service and social innovation to the greater Providence community. Every year over 500 students partner with dozens of local nonprofits to serve the common good. The only problem is that none of these projects have any direct financial benefit to Brown. There must be some way to monetize the center’s human potential.

Change the name of Brown to “Harvard but chill”harvardbutchill

If you want to succeed in 2015 you need good brand recognition. Unfortunately, in this area Brown lags far behind entities such as “Netflix” and “McDonald’s.” These days the only university names anyone knows about about are Harvard and Yale. Brown can capitalize on this fact by using Harvard’s brand and improving upon it. “Harvard and chill” would both better describe Brown’s atmosphere and would be a more appetizing title to prospective investors.

Turn the Sci-Li into Chipotle

The Brown sciences library Chipotle Thayer street: the largest Chipotle in the world.

In the digital age, books are a horrendous waste of space and productivity. With current technology, we can easily download the entire of the Sci-Li onto a large iPad. The new space could then be converted into fourteen floors of the trendy and profitable fast-casual chain, Chipotle.

Images created by Jokichi Matsubara and Jackson Cantrell, and via, via, via, and via. Video of Christina Paxson via.

1 Comment

  1. jukalia

    GOOD CONTENT! LOL! laughed out loud, no really, i did

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