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A guide to voting at Brown

Tryna have your voice heard in the Rhode Island elections this year, but are far too lazy to seek out any of the information needed to do so? Look no further. Here are a few things you might want to know about voting in Rhode Island this fall.

1. Rhode Island Primary Elections are this Tuesday, September 9th. That means that if you were eligible to vote in Rhode Island on or before August 9th, 2014, and are registered as either a Republican or Democrat, you are able to vote in the primary. If you are not registered as a member of either party, but are still registered to vote in Rhode Island, you are able to show up to your voting station and affiliate yourself with either party, and you will able to vote (Beware: you will then be affiliated with whatever party you choose on primary day).


I'm Turbo and I ruv Democracy! RUFF!

I’m Turbo and I ruv Democracy! RUFF!

2. Voter Registration. Thanks to UCS, we now have access to TurboVote, an awesome online App that hooks you up with all of the info that you’ll need to register in Rhode Island or to request an absentee ballot if you’re registered to vote elsewhere. To vote in Rhode Island on Election Day this year, you’ll have to register on TurboVote by October 5th. If you already are registered to vote in Rhode Island, or in any other state,  you can also sign up to use TurboVote and receive text message and email reminders to vote from the state in which you are registered. TurboVote will also send you reminders about absentee ballot deadlines for your voting state. Also, that puppy though.

3. Voting Locations. If your registered address is 69 Brown Street, you can vote at Salomon Hall on September 9th and November 4th. If you’re registered at an off-campus address, or accidentally put your address down elsewhere in Rhode Island, check here to see where you should go and vote.

Happy voting, ya’ll!

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Frosh-cessities: Stretching your comfort zone


You’re all moved in, you’ve met your roommates, you may have even gone to a few parties where you felt like a fish out of water. Now what?

We’ve all been there. The beginning of college can be exhilarating, awkward, and confusing all at the same time. It’s easy to get bogged down by how your experiences are matching up to your expectations.  You may meet people with whom you click right away and with whom you may not. You even may change friend groups six times in the next month – and that is more than okay. What you’re soon going to learn is that a lot is going to be thrown at you in the coming weeks and a lot may feel unfamiliar or even uncomfortable. The best way you can adjust to college is by embracing this discomfort with open arms.

Before I got to college, I did everything to plan how my entire experience would pan out. I took it upon myself to map out every detail of my Brown experience so that when I got there, all of my ducks would be in a row – I’d be completely comfortable and ready to have the best time. Before receiving my roommate assignment, I had already put classes in my Banner shopping cart for first and second semester,  I had planned out what clubs to join, and had even memorized the campus map so that I wouldn’t look like a doofus stumbling across campus. Fortunately, I knew that I couldn’t also expect to find my friends on Banner, so that saved me one step in my planning.

Besides memorizing the map, which I later learned can be found on the Brown University App, none of my planning really helped me. I took vastly different classes, I threw myself into student organizations I hadn’t dreamt of joining (sup, Blog), and I met people who I could not have anticipated meeting. I hadn’t considered all of the variables that extended beyond my control and became increasingly overwhelmed during my first  few weeks at Brown. Although you can certainly plan ahead certain aspects of your academic life at Brown, the passionate, vibrant, thoughtful, and bizarre people at this school truly paint the Brown experience and make this unbelievably special place what it is.

The most helpful piece of advice I received about getting settled in at college was to find the perfect balance of comfort and discomfort in your academic and social life. Seek out things that feel comfortable to you so that you can establish a foundation for yourself among the chaos that is orientation, shopping period, and a large part of first semester. Whether that be writing in a journal, finding the time to go for a run in Providence, or choosing your favorite place on campus to get breakfast, having some sense of a routine in your new home will allow you to feel increasingly comfortable in your own skin.

While creating familiarity with the things that you know is crucial, one of the most special things about Brown is the culture that supports its students to explore the less familiar. Allow your routine to provide you with the comfort to try new things and be open to new experiences. Shop everything and leave the class that you thought you were going to love but bores you to sleep in the middle of the lecture. Go to that club orientation that starts in ten minutes because your friend is going there after your Ratty dinner. Join the beard appreciation society if that’s what you’re feeling! The more you begin to stretch what is in your comfort zone, the more you’ll see how many other people are also doing the same.

What I’m trying to say is that the best way to get settled here is to stop planning the things that you think you were meant to do here, and experiment with the things you think you may want to do here. You are the only person who knows your boundaries, while also recognizing your incredible potential. Don’t take yourself too seriously — you know never what you’re going to stumble upon during your four years here.

Alums Who Do Cool Things: Remy Fernandez-O’Brien ’12

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Bonnaroo is on a mission to find Bonnaroo’s Funkiest Dancer. The winner of this competition will have the opportunity to perform their funky moves live at the music festival. Brown alum Remy Fernandez-O’Brien ’12 has made his way to the top ten contestants. Remy F’s entry shows him rocking out to Robert DeLong’s “Global Concepts.”

According to his contestant description on the contest website, “Remy started dancing when he saw the gecko do the robot in a GEICO commercial. In his life as a performer, he’s been a life-sized puppeteer, a stilt dancer, a clown in a haunted house, and a Michael Jackson impersonator.” Check out Remy’s submission and the all of the top ten contestants’ submissions. Voting closes in two days so be sure to watch Remy, and some other funky dancers, break it down while you get the chance!

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Student Group Spotlight: Brown University Beard Appreciation Society



Those of you who frequent Morning Mail may have caught the announcements for the Brown University Beard Appreciation Society (BUBAS). Needless to say, we were intrigued by their announcements and wanted to learn more. Past messages have included promises of discussing President Lincoln’s beard to appreciating beards in film. We reached out to Elliot Grossman ’17, the Morning Mail contact, to find out some more details about this club. Here is a Q&A with Elliot telling you everything you need to know about the Brown University Beard Appreciation Society:

BlogDH: So, how did this idea to create a beard appreciation society come about? Who was involved in starting it?

Elliot: One night, the idea to form this club came to mind, so I looked around for bearded people and polled whether or not they would be interested in participating in a beard-related club at Brown. The response was unanimously in favor of creating such a club, so I set to work. I completed the paperwork and requirements of creating the Beard Appreciation Society with help from my co-founder, Mike Petro ’17. He was instrumental in planning what the club would actually do.

BlogDH: And now that you’re a club, what does a typical meeting look like?

Elliot: Meetings take place every other Sunday at 5:00 pm for about 45 minutes to an hour, so we call them “5 o’clock shadow meetings.” We begin by critiquing a famous beard, whether it be historical or contemporary; then we move on to the topic of the day [e.g. beard styles, shaving techniques, beard theory (possible future styles), beard stigma, etc.]; followed by current events that relate to the club; and finally plans for the future of the club, either possible events or in general.

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What to do this week: April 28 – May 2


Ongoing events:

Event: Phone Banking For Climate Change
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Location: Urban Environmental Lab

The RI Student Climate Coalition will be phone banking for their Climate Action in Rhode Island Rally this Saturday.

Monday, April 28: 

Event: Israel/Palestine on Campus: A Conversation
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Location: The Underground

A community discussion on the relationship between “American universities, on-campus, activism, and the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Director of Middle East Studies Beshara Doumani and Director of Judaic Studies Maud Mandel will both speak on the topic. There will then be an hour of facilitated discussion.

Event: Kula Flow with Benn Rasmussen
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Location: Brown RISD Hillel

Benn Rasmussen, a Brooklyn based yoga teacher, will be teaching a Kula Flow style yoga class at Brown RISD Hillel. The class is free and open to the public, but there is a suggested donation of $3.

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