How to get off the waitlist

waitlistInterests at Brown may vary, but for anyone who dabbles in electives, the desire to get into a class off a waitlist is nearly universal.

Maybe you’re an underclassmen, and your dream class was filled before you even got the chance to register. Maybe you’re a lazy senior who didn’t feel like waking up at 8 a.m. to solidify your shopping cart. While some have walked into a classroom they didn’t have a spot in, thought, “this syllabus is [insert fire emoji]”, and immediately started plotting on how to secure that override, others get immediately intimidated by that throng of people huddled by the door and decide to try their luck elsewhere. We’re here to help.

Sort of. We’re probably legally, and certainly morally obligated to suggest that you don’t try any of the methods listed below (although some of them are actually…good ideas?). But, for those of you that have more than a drop of Slytherin in their veins, here are some quasi-acceptable (read: not at all acceptable) ways to get off of those waitlists.

  • Fake an email to half of the registered class that the registrar has switched the room assignment. Reap the benefits of their naivety.
  • Legally change your name to whoever holds the first spot on the waitlist.

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What’s been happening at Brown (and in Providence!)

Welcome to the end of your vacation!

Whether you’re already relaxing in your dorm away from home, slogging your way through the snow to make it to good ol’ Prov or trying to cram your suitcase shut, we at BlogDH want to help usher in the spring (?!) semester vibes with an update on all things Brown and beyond.

The mailroom continues to pimp its own ride:

The lobby of J Walter Wilson will now be offering shipping services to students, on top of the usual package and letter deliveries. You can also buy shipping supplies and stamps on location. They also added some ergonomic benches, to add to the illusion that you’re just chilling with your friends, bopping to some sweet tunes, and not waiting to pick up junk mail.

Appointments:

University President Christina Paxson has been named a director of the Boston Federal Reserve–which apparently is an institution that is relevant to all of New England. Because CPax doesn’t have enough on her plate…

Oberlin’s Vice President/Dean of Students Eric Estes will be joining us in July of 2016 as the new Vice President for Campus Life. If you want to hear more about Estes’ life trajectory, or the details of the VP job, check this out. Estes boasts a great deal of experience in diversity issues and LGBTQ+ advocacy.

Brunonians on TV: 

Computer Science Professor Michael L. Littman will now do your taxes for you. More accurately, Professor Littman recently starred as himself in a Turbo Tax commercial with the tagline “It doesn’t take a genius to do your taxes.


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Where to Cry at Brown, Pt II

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Two years ago, we gave you a comprehensive list of places you could cry at Brown. They were the classics and while the compilation seemed timeless, times have changed and so has our campus. After recently coming across another school’s article on places to cry, we realized that it has been too long. Despite us not having any trademarks on tears, and considering the original post in question is apparently hardly original, we still felt jealous. In fact, we felt like we wanted to cry.

It is time to end the drought in your eyes, so here it is: more places where you can cry at Brown.

The construction site in front of Barus and Holley

Because buildings used to be there… and now it’s a pile of rubble that won’t be finished until after you graduate… and life is just changing so fast! Also, if you were an Urban Studies Major, feel free to cry because they legitimately knocked down your house.

BERT

Brown builds a new facility and expects you to not cry in it? Unlikely. Look at these beautiful hard wood floors! *sobs*

Main Green

Since it’s freakishly warm outside, treat yourself to crying outside. What to cry about? Your own mortality or maybe the beauty of those cherry blossoms that should definitely not be in bloom right now. Or, because climate change is really depressing and some people don’t believe it’s happening. Continue Reading


How Structural Racism Works: Inaugural Lecture

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Last Wednesday, the Martinos Auditorium of the Granoff Center was filled to capacity with students, professors and guests, all of whom were there to attend a lecture by Professor Tricia Rose, the director of the Brown University Center for the Study of Race + Ethnicity in America. In the lecture, Professor Rose described — with the characteristic wit for which she is beloved by colleagues and students — her research and plans for an upcoming public engagement project designed to disseminate academic findings regarding structural racism to the general public. After an introduction by Provost Richard M. Locke that discussed structural racism across the nation, on college campuses, and at Brown itself, Professor Rose took the stage to introduce and summarize the titular “How Structural Racism Works.”

Describing the work as a “visual, cultural, emotional project”, Professor Rose began by acknowledging that, for many, structural racism is difficult to talk about. She proceeded to summarize the post-Civil Rights-era ideological war that has persisted in the United States for the past 40 years, waged between the descriptive reality of structural racism and the prescriptive belief of colorblindness. Colorblindness, long the dominant ideology in America, relies on the idea that race no longer matters and thus that race-oriented programs “to level the playing field suddenly become seen as special privileges”. Professor Rose described the thought process behind the average proponent of this ideology as such: 1) I, and most people I know believe in racial equality. 2) Laws have been changed to end racial discrimination. 3) I don’t see color. 4) I can’t be racist. 5) I get no special treatment based on my whiteness. 6) Therefore, it must be the  behavior of those discriminated against that is to blame.

Other conclusions include that “it must be in their culture” or that “they lack discipline”, stock phrases of colorblindness that work hard to obscure the structural racism that occurs everyday. Such thinking is “at the heart of disbanding/curtailing programs created to redress structural racism”, and relies on the passage of laws – rather than their implementation – as a litmus test for progress. To debunk colorblind ideology, Professor Rose cited just a small array of sources from the “extensive body of scholarly work” that proves the existence of racial disparity (i.e. a 16% unemployment rate for black people in the U.S. in 2010 compared to a nation-wide 11% at the height of the Recession).

Professor Rose also pointed out that colorblind ideology is so fully saturated in the media that, in a recent poll, 61% of whites responded with the belief that racial equality in this country had already been achieved. Responding to the emotional appeal of colorblind ideology, one of the main goals of Professor Rose’s project is to “tell the story of structural racism with that same level of emotional attachment, and sense of urgency… in the efforts to build a large, anti-racist community.” She went on to outline 5 major areas where structural racism is at play:

1) Housing

2) Education

3) Mass Media

4) Wealth/Jobs

5) Criminal Justice

While not specifying all the forms via which the project would be accessible to the mainstream, Professor Rose did speak  of her intention to give a series of spring semester lectures on her project that will address each sphere with more attention and discuss the interplay between them – as well as an additional summary lecture of the sort on Wednesday. Looking forward, regardless of one’s specific feelings on structural racism and/or colorblindness, “How Structural Racism Works” promises to be a useful educational resource and catalyst for discussion and action on a number of racial issues affecting Brown, wider college campuses, and the nation as a whole.


Live Blog: UCS Open Forum on Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion Plan

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Tonight, UCS is hosting an open forum discussion on Brown’s Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion Plan. The working draft of the plan, which was released on November 19th in an community wide email from President Christina Paxson P’19, can be read in full here. Provost Richard Locke, Dean of the College Maud Mandel,Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Liza Cariago-Io, Dean Mary Grace Almandrez, and Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty Janet Blume will all be participating in the panel at 8:00 p.m. in Salomon 001. Free Flatbread pizza and cupcakes will be served. If you can’t attend, but want to follow what’s happening, Blog will be covering the event live on the feed below.

Online feedback on the plan may be submitted until December 4th.

Image via.


(Facebook) relationships are hard, and breakups are harder

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Facebook is testing a new feature, which supposedly allows you to “manage your interactions with your ex.” What does that mean? Among other things, you can control how often you see your old flame in your newsfeed, message bars and suggested tags, all without them knowing. 

An electronic way to get over your ex on FB may sound stupid and childish, but admit it: things were way easier before you were basically prompted to follow their every move. If you have been constantly searching for and interacting with, say Christina Paxson, and then things go sour when you find out she’s married, Facebook won’t know that. Internet suggestions function on algorithms, so for all the website thinks, CPax and you are still tight. It will keep on asking you to tag her in stuff even though it is breaking your heart! Eventually, the algorithms would take into account your lack of interaction with her, and she would stop flooding your interface.

Now, instead of waiting for time to heal all stalking habits, FB and you can finally have the dialogue where you say, “Mark Zuckerberg, you just don’t get it, I can’t look at them right now.”

Sounds pretty great, right? Unfortunately, there’s a catch. This development is only at its testing stage for US mobile users, so the relationship had to have been FB official before the feature can be applied. Oh gosh, who has heard of someone’s relationship being sanctified by the grace of Facebook post the tenth grade?

For the sake of journalism (a BlogDH way of saying “an excuse for all of our dumb antics”), we knew what we had to do. Two random bloggers would have to throw it back to their early teens, enter a fake relationship on Facebook, publicly break up, and then explore this feature in first person, on their phones.

 

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