“At a meeting of the corporation of Brown University to-day two new scholarships were announced. . . . Vacancies in the Board of Fellows were filled. . . . Plans for a new library building were adopted.”
Once upon a time, Corporation meetings got the attention of the New York Times. The events of this June 1875 meeting were small beans compared to what Corporation members decided Saturday, but it seems here was no mention of this weekend’s meeting in the Times. (Though a March 1 article helpfully informs us that President Simmons will be leaving the board of Goldman Sachs. Hm, we thought we’d read about that somewhere.)
It’s Corporation weekend! What’s the Corporation, you say? Don’t worry Brunonia. Take a quick survey of the Ratty and you’ll find out that nobody else knows either. After the jump, four students step up to tell the The Herald what they think when they hear “the Corporation.”
We had some great answers, but our favorite is still the guy who declared, “I just want the Corporation to put a Chipotle on Thayer Street.” Have you no allegiance to Bagel Gourmet Ole?
Thomas Tisch ’76, chancellor of the Corporation
We’ve already told you about two groups going by the name Brown Corporation that aren’t the Corporation. Helpful, we know, but who are the ladies and gents who will actually descend on campus this weekend?
The Corporation, Brown’s highest governing body, comprises two groups, the trustees and fellows. It meets three times a year, and at the February meeting (this one!) it sets the budget and tuition for the upcoming year.
At this weekend’s convention, there will be fancy dinners, but the Corporation has more than filet mignon on its plate. The group will hear the recommendations of President Ruth Simmons to balance the University’s budget. Simmons received recommendations earlier this month from the Organizational Review Committee, charged with finding ways to cut expenditures and increase revenue. Its recommendations included such possible methods for cost-cutting as layoffs and cutting some varsity sports, but everything depends on what actions the Corporation takes this week. See Friday’s Herald for a full preview of this weekend’s meeting.
Pictured: Grad Center, the site of famous weed-and-fireworks parties. Kim Perley / Herald
The Corporation convening on College Hill this weekend is not, for better or for worse, the same as the “Corporation” with 400 customers which sold pot, hashish and acid on campus in the early 1970s.
Details of this Corporation’s operations were printed in a disdainful-quotation-mark-filled May 1971 Providence Journal article based on an interview with a student who identified himself as the group’s president. The prez told tales of wild “pot parties” with 400 people and fireworks on the Grad Center terrace, chemistry PhDs inspecting their supplies, and marijuana sold at $15 an ounce — yeah, right, and hamburgers for a nickel!
The unabashed leader of the University’s “highest” governing body told the Journal his merry band was dissolving after two years because they were all graduating. “I’ve even vacuumed my room several times,” he said. Still, he had no regrets about his enterprise or his middling profits due to giving away free samples: “We should have made more than $20,000, but it was more fun this way,” the anonymous dealer said.
Whether you sensed a disturbance in the force, have had it marked on your calendar for weeks or are just wondering where all these old people came from and when they’ll leave, you may be aware that this weekend is Corporation weekend. If you have no idea what the corporation does and don’t have a ladder ready to find out, don’t worry, we’re on the case.
For now, just know: it’s not these guys. Oops.