Drunk/Sober/High: Watching Star Wars for the first time

Drunk/Sober/High is a series started at New York University’s blog NYULocal. It sends a drunk person, a sober person, and a high person to all go enjoy (and endure) the same experience together. We love it, so we thought we’d give it a try. 

One staff member (High) had the brilliant idea to organize a Star Wars viewing party (not specific, we know) with other staff members who, like her, had never seen any of the Star Wars movies. High was inspired to organize this event due to the impending release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Drunk didn’t realize this key detail until the middle of the evening — more on this later). Here’s what went down:

Pre-Gaming the event

Drunk: After six episodes of Master of None and a 30-minute shower featuring exclusively Missy Elliot, I was ready to go. Nowhere. My friends were coming to my house. Sober rolled up first. In honor of a networking function we both attended last Friday (read: not a networking function) where we had way too much white wine, I brought out a bottle of Pinot Gris and prepared to get wine-drunk SWUG style. High showed up shortly after and we migrated outdoors to accompany her while she smoked. After chilling outside for 30ish minutes sans shoes, I learned that 1) my feet get cold very easily and 2) WE WERE WATCHING STAR WARS BECAUSE A NEW MOVIE WAS COMING OUT.

Sober: I was the first to arrive at Drunk’s house, so I ended up pre-gaming the movie by trying to figure out technology a.k.a. doing the most hyper-sobering thing I could possibly do. Drunk and I spent about 15 minutes trying to turn on the TV and set up Chromecast, both to varying degrees of success, while leaving somewhat unacknowledged the more serious issue of where to find a copy of Star Wars. Luckily, High showed up just in time to [smoke and] somehow get us set up. While this was all happening, a fan came by for a photo-op because apparently we’re famous? (Of course we’re famous. Bow down.) It was a lot to take in. Also notable: I brought myself some Pringles and a pack of Double-Stuf Oreos (shoutout to the Jo’s mini-mart in all of its grossly-overpriced beauty), so my movie munchie game was strong AF.

High: I reprised my role as High during a movie by smoking on Drunk’s porch. Shout out to Sober and Drunk for hanging out in the cold with me like true homies. At some point while contemplating how odd it is to smoke without partaking in the proverbial passing of the bowl, my BOLT leader appeared. We talked to her for too long before explaining our varying degrees of sobriety. When she found out we what we were doing, she was so excited to see D/S/H in action that she took our picture. I remember posing for that photo… I don’t remember what my pose was. I should really ask for that photo. After smoking and hacking into the mainframe to find the movie, we were off to the star-races.

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Vote for your next Lecture Board speaker preference!

Brown Lecture Board has given us a very fun responsibility: to present our campus with their amazing options of speakers for them to bring next to Brown. For the next week, we’ll be profiling one of the six options every day, in case you need a little help in deciding who to cast your vote for. Lecture Board will pursue speakers in the order of the results from this poll, which will be open via Google Form until November 29th. You need email to vote, and can only do so once, so pick carefully!

The options are:

  • Viola Davis, actress
  • Toni Morrison, writer
  • Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York creator
  • Skype Conversation with Edward Snowden
  • Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Fred Armisen, comedian/actor

You can access the poll here, and find our first profile on the site tomorrow!

Note: Lecture Board may not be able to host the speakers on this poll, given potential scheduling conflicts and availability issues.

Image via Albie Brown ’16.

Dessert Panini Thumb

Avec Meal Plan: Ratty Dessert Panini

Step aside soft-serve ice cream. There’s a new dessert game in town.

Inspired by the always iconic Ratty Gourmet, our video team swiped into the Ratty to tackle this week’s subject: the decadent and creative dessert panini.

Image via.


Visiting Latinx student reports assault by DPS officer; Paxson and Latinx community respond

Around 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning outside Machado House, a senior delegate for this weekend’s Latinx Ivy League Conference was reportedly verbally harassed by two Department of Public Safety officers and then physically assaulted by one of the officers. Geovanni Cuevas, the student in question, was visiting from Dartmouth University and was staying in Machado House with a friend.

As a result of Cuevas’ experience, the Latinx Conference attendees cancelled planned events and discussions, and instead arranged an open meeting with President Christina Paxson P’19 and Mark Porter, Chief of Police for the Department of Public Safety. Following this meeting, both Russell Carey and President Paxson sent emails to the Brown community last night acknowledging the incident. Today, the Latinx Council convened again to discuss Paxson’s written plan for the University’s repsonse.

The meeting Saturday afternoon began at 1 p.m, with Paxson, Porter and Latinx delegates and supporters gathered in a crowded classroom in Salomon. Delegates formally presented Paxson with a list of demands to create a safe campus for students of color.

Paxson began by stating, “This will mainly be a time for listening, at least on my part.” Cuevas then gave the room his account of the incident outside Machado, explaining that he was “outside of the Machado party when a drunk student, stumbled outside.” Cuevas explained that the student “was confronted with flashlights and inappropriate touching” by the two DPS officers securing the event, “to which I had a very visceral response and said, ‘Hey, that’s inappropriate, you shouldn’t touch him like that.'”

The two officers then approached Cuevas and “proceeded to tell me that I was trespassing, despite the fact that I was a guest, hosted in that very house. As the situation escalated, I saw that my friends were uncomfortable, so I removed myself, but they told me I couldn’t come back to the house where I was being hosted. Obviously, I said that’s not going to happen, I’m sleeping here.”

When Cuevas went back in to the party through the back door, and went downstairs to find his host, he recalls that he “caught the attention of the security guard who was there.”  “Before I could even utter a sentence, I was grabbed, thrown up against the wall, thrown to the floor, told I was resisting when I wasn’t, scrapped on my face, told I was going to get pepper-sprayed,” he explained. “I was handcuffed and taken outside Machado, and detained there, until Brown students could come and verify my identity.”

Delegates of the Latinx Ivy League Conference then explained that the goal of their conference is “to empower the Latino students who have overcome cultural and structural challenges to attend Ivy League institutions.” Every year, around 80 students from these universities congregate to discuss “difficult topics that include race, gender, and socioeconomic factors effecting the Latino community in the United States.” However, the delegates had suspended the discussion of this year’s theme, Unity through Generations: the Past, Present and Future of Latino Leadership, to instead draft a list of demands for President Paxson.

“One of our delegates suffered violence at the hands of law enforcement hired by Brown. This incident recalls a longer history of institutionalized violence against communities of color,” said one Latinx delegate. The demands for President Paxson included:

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Junot Díaz talk discusses social activism in academia

Presented by the Brown Center for Students of Color’s Heritage Series, Junot Díaz came to Salomon auditorium Saturday night for a conversation about social activism in academia. Open to the public, the lecture was the keynote talk for the 2015 Latinx Ivy League Conference at Brown. The event was organized by the Latino Heritage Series Programmers, Lehidy Frias ’17 and Kiki Tapiero ’17.

Junot Díaz is the author of DrownThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and This is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller. Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated with his family to New Jersey when he was six years old. Díaz currently teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is an outspoken voice for social activism and justice.

Ignoring the lectern set up for the event, Junot Díaz walked up to the lip of the stage. He explained, “I do have comments prepared, you don’t get as nerdy as me and not come ready to roll,” but that he wanted to switch the order of the lecture, given what has happened this week on campus. Díaz transformed the structure of his lecture into a discussion, having students’ questions direct the conversation. Here is what we talked about:

With people who don’t seem to care, you must approach a conversation with compassion.

Díaz explained that “nothing is more politicized than the status quo,” and that many of us grow up weaned on status quo mentality. “Back then, when someone resisted the status quo, we were troubled by it. Remember how uncomfortable we were, how quickly we wanted the conversation to change.” Díaz reminded the audience that “we are not born activists,” and that it’s easy to forget how “messed up we used to be.” As such, Díaz explained his baseline for these types of conversations “always starts with compassion,” and that you must remember that the person you are angry at might have been you once.

Graduating is an act of defiance. 

One student asked Díaz how one might deal with racist and oppressive professors, given a situation where the instructor and student are in such an imbalance of power, with the instructor in control of the student’s grades and view of the world. Díaz explained that we must wrestle with the idea that this has “never been a safe space for us.” Díaz continued, “Where is safe? Where you’re from? Your neighborhood? You’re bugging if you think you’re safe in your home. We fight to get to college, thinking it will be a safe space, only to find out it was a lie.” Díaz explained, “You must recognize that we are in an educational system of deep scarcity. A couple students of color get in, and the door is shut.”

Díaz addressed the students of color in the audience: “My goal is that as many of you will graduate. There’s a million at home holding down the fort. The bench is full. We don’t need one more of you home, holding home down. We need you to be here, and to graduate. You survived growing up black, brown, yellow, Indigenous, and survived. This shit is cake… There are two options, fight or kneel. Our ancestors spent a lot of time kneeling, so we would have a chance to fight.”

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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.


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.”



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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