Students organize Blackout at Brown and teach-in in solidarity with Mizzou

A few hundred students, dressed mostly in black, stood by the Van Wickle Gates at noon today to take a photo to show solidarity and support for Black students at the University of Missouri. Attendees remained huddled, some under umbrellas, to listen as several Black students, one by one, took to a megaphone to share their stories. They spoke about the institutional racism they had personally experienced, about the University’s refusal to value their existence and acknowledge their identities, and called for institutional changes to prevent future traumas and actualize equality on campus.

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Many students spoke about their own experiences with racism in the classroom. A first-year spoke about being in an MCM class in which the professor, after quoting a text, repeatedly used the n-word to refer to Black bodies. “It happened five times before I had to walk out,” he said. After tweeting about the incident, the student has met several times with school administrators, and said his professor sent out an email acknowledging her use of language. “But it wasn’t an apology. It was an excuse.”

Another student expressed frustration with having to continually meet with administrators about the perpetuation of institutional racism by faculty members. “I’m here because I’m tired,” they said. “I haven’t done schoolwork in months, but I’m meeting with administrators.” Others elaborated on the discomfort that many Black students feel in classrooms with professors that have made racially charged comments or have criticized the work of activists on campus. “Ken Miller, David Josephson, Ariella Azoulay, Glenn Loury — these people aren’t being punished, but we are.”

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In reference to the email sent by President Christina Paxson P’19 and Richard Locke, one student asked, “Why did they all of the sudden send out that e-mail after Mizzou and Yale?” The letter, titled “Promoting a Diverse, Inclusive Academic Community,” was sent this Tuesday to the community. “Are they scared [of losing their jobs]?” the student continued. “They should be. I’m very tired of institutional racism. If it doesn’t stop, if free speech isn’t removed from this discussion, she should be afraid.” Another student added, “I just want to say that our humanity is not up for debate.” One speaker pointed out that it took a year for the University to put a “Do not touch” sign in front of the only slavery memorial on campus, although “white children played on it the day after it was put up.”

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3 times the John Hay Library couldn’t handle finals

This is meant to be a humor post, and is in no ways intended to offend those who work to maintain the immaculacy of the John Hay Library. It’s personally one of my favorite places to work, and I love it dearly and have profound respect for its staff. 

Finals season is definitely not for the faint of heart. Between term papers, exams, and group projects, finals season is mentally and physically exhausting. The poor newly-renovated John Hay Library is a lowly first-year at Brown, and it’s definitely feeling the struggle. Here are three times the John Hay Library simply could not deal with finals season:

 

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1. That time it just needed to sleep. The John Hay Library has been caught sleeping on the job twice this week! Between a 10:30 p.m. bedtime on Tuesday and a 4:08 p.m. power nap today, this poor little first-year is definitely struggling to adapt to the finals season sleep cycle (or lack thereof).

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2. That time it forgot to drink Emergen-C and caught a cold. Poor John Hay Library hasn’t quite realized the importance of keeping its immune system strong during this tough time. It must have forgotten to take its daily dose of Vitamin C, because it started to get quite cold earlier this week. There was supposedly some sort of malfunction with the heater, but we all know that the John Hay Library was really just feeling a bit under the weather due to all of the stress and lack of sleep that comes with finals period!

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3. That time it was too exhausted to print out its term paper. The John Hay Library finally finished its term paper, just before the deadline! However, it was just so mentally and physically run-down from the many long hours of work  that it dedicated to the paper that it forgot to print it out! Poor thing.

Hang in there, John Hay Library! It’ll all be over before you know it!

Images via, via, and via Kevin Haggerty ’18.


Lights back on in the Hay after awkward blackout

The Hay around 10:30 tonight

The Hay around 10:30 tonight.

As you all (hopefully) know, library hours are extended during reading period and through final exams to better serve your studying needs. While these extensions go off seamlessly in the Rock and SciLi, old veteran libraries, the recently renovated John Hay Library is (understandably) still working out the kinks. Tonight at 10:30, the Hay’s giant Reading Room plunged into darkness. The twenty-five students dispersed across the room sat in full-on dark silence until about 10:42 p.m.

Apparently, the Hay has an auto-timer for the lights to switch off at 10:30 p.m., a reasonable time given its normal 10:00 p.m. closing time. Unfortunately, no one remembered to adjust the timer for the reading period closing time of 3:00 a.m., thus causing an awkward wait-for-DPS-to-save-the-day twelve minutes for the library’s silent patrons.

While I found out the above explanation by exiting the room and asking the security guard what was going on (great reporter over here), literally no one else reacted to the blackout. Honestly, it could have been a proper squirrel-situation blackout. But no one had time to worry about that: the lights all shut off, there was a minute of low whispers of confusion, and then nothing. People just went back to work, guided by the light of their laptops.

I’m kind of concerned by the student body’s clearly desperate state. Apparently, during reading period, nothing can deter us from working, not even for a minute, not even the absence of light. It’s objectively hilarious to sit in dark silence with strangers for twelve minutes, just typing. To be honest, I might not have gotten up either, but I was highlighting a printed document at the time–I know, so vintage–so I actually needed the lights.

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The end is near?

What will we do without our 8 PM Starbucks fix?

The power is out all the way up Thayer Street!  From the SciLi until (at least) Meeting Street, every storefront is completely dark, with one exception: the Brown bookstore still glows like the beacon of learning we all know and love.  Everything else is just downright eerie.