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.


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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New Dorm Debacle: Goodbye Lounges

Vartian Gregorian B 352

If this looks familiar, it’s because it was your lounge last semester -Vartian Gregorian B 352

A little before 5 p.m. EST on January 13th, the majority of students returning from semesters abroad were assigned rooms via ResLife. They received everything from singles in Grad Center to doubles, triples, and quads in various buildings with randos roommates they were not previously acquainted with. A select number of students were assigned to *triples* in Vartan Gregorian Quad (New Dorm A and B): rooms that were previously lounges.

The unfortunate souls placed in these *triples* were told by ResLife that the situation is “temporary.” However, the email relaying that information read:

Please note this space is a temporary room, as permanent space becomes available over the remaining weeks of August the office of Residential Life will work with you to relocate.”

August? It seems like that was copy + pasted from previous summer assignment emails.

New Dorm B 352:

B352 3

In contrast to buildings like Wayland and Hope College (which frequently have their lounges occupied), in New Dorm, each floor’s lounge also doubles as the floor’s kitchen. As of now, only the fourth floor kitchens in buildings A and B remain unoccupied, and available for cooking. Sans meal plan residents are naturally concerned about preparing food next semester.

New Dorm A 355:

A355 3        A355 4 Continue Reading

Hey ResLife, it’s everyone who studied abroad last semester

You don't know what you got 'til it's gone.

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

Hey ResLife,

It’s us – the students that went abroad in the fall semester. Unfortunately, we need to talk.

While we’ve been away, we’ve traveled around the world, and we can’t pretend it’s not bittersweet to be going back to Brown. On the upside, at least we’re going back to stability: no more living out of suitcases, or wondering what conditions tomorrow’s hostel will bring. No, we are returning to a campus where we know we have a place – where we know that we’re wanted back.

Oh wait, never mind.

Actually, we still don’t know where we will be living in approximately five days time. After months of transit, it doesn’t seem like we’re so welcome home after all. In fact, the Storage Center of Providence is skeptical that we’re even returning, because we haven’t told them where to deliver our boxes (Matt Degulis, if you’re reading this, we’re truly sorry for the inconvenience).

Not only has this been a worse state of limbo than where Leo DiCaprio found himself in Inception (wait – if we jump out of window, will we wake up in a dorm in Providence?), but according to your email this morning, we should be exploring our off-campus options in the next 24 hours. This is rather absurd, considering Brown policy states that no student who went abroad in the fall can live off-campus in the following spring. But, hey, thanks for the 24-hour heads up to start calling landlords, and we really appreciate that we will still get charged an off-campus fee!

Email received January 12th

Email received January 12th

It sounds like at the moment, we may not even have rooms at Brown. *If you need creative suggestions for housing next term, see this post.*

Now sweetheart, we know that things have been stressful for you in Grad Center E. This isn’t meant to be a flog, but we filled out our housing preference forms in late November, and you haven’t even called since? If you don’t want us back, grow up and say it to our faces (and pay for our respective plane tickets for another semester abroad). Or, realistically, send us an email to let us know that things are running behind schedule, but we shouldn’t stress.

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(Campus)Lifehacker: Hiding your prohibited items before room inspections

If you’re living on campus, there’s a good chance you recently received a “HEALTH AND SAFETY INSPECTIONS” email. These room inspections start this week and, depending on the dorm, continue until Thanksgiving. There’s no reason to panic – ResLife has no intention of snooping through your stuff. However, in case you’re feeling a little more creative than just putting whatever-that-“illegal”-thing-is in a drawer, here are some alternative hiding places you can utilize in order to avoid the fine.

(Note: All of the listed bold items have been taken directly from ResLife’s webpage.)

Appliances and cooking devices: Easy. Hide these in the communal kitchen.

Barbeque grill: If we’re talking George Forman here, your best bet is to hide it in the Gate where they’ll blend in with all the forgotten panini makers. If we’re talking BeerBQ equipment, donate it to a frat who will give it a loving home.

Candles: With a hefty fine of $100 per candle, you’re going to want to hide these somewhere confusing enough that no one will ever find them. I’d suggest somewhere in the stacks of the Rock, especially because they tend to get very dark (and creepy) late at night.

Canopies/tapestries: Lay these out on your bed, and boom! “Is that a hazard?” “Nope, definitely just a trendy blanket.”


Extension cords: Turns out there is a whole “chord management” page on Pinterest to help solve this problem. Some of their suggestions are helpful, others… maybe not so much Continue Reading

The Housing Games 2014 – Lottery Info


*Cue accent from the Capitol* Let the games begin!

In case you didn’t already know, the Housing Lottery has moved to a completely online process. ResCouncil has started giving info sessions for how to approach the housing games. Luckily for everyone who didn’t make it, BlogDH was there to record some essential facts.

You have until March 20 to enter the lottery with your group. If you are looking for other people to enter the lottery with, be sure to check out ResCouncil’s Facebook event “Roommate Connecting.” It’s guaranteed to be at least slightly less anxiety-inducing than a Blind Bears date!

When you pick your group leader, you are picking the person that will select all of the rooms for your housing group. You want to pick someone that is responsible and generally available from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., as those are the times that the lottery will be taking place (April 7 through April 10). If there is an emergency or a serious conflict and the selected person cannot get online to choose your rooms, you can contact Reslife and change your group leader.

Your group should receive a lottery number AND a lottery time slot. Your lottery number will just give you a sense of your ranking in the student body participating in the process. Your lottery time slot is much more important, as it will tell you what specific time your group leader needs to be on the lottery website to select rooms. Each group will get a specific 3 minute time slot. After three minutes, you can still select a room, but the group that has the next slot will also be allowed onto the system. Be aware that unless you have the first time slot, it is possible that you will log on to a system that already has the previous time slot’s group leader on it. That being said, there is no priority for time slots once you are selecting a room in those minutes; it is entirely about who clicks first. It is in your best interest to act as quickly as possible. Continue Reading

Blog Odds: Online Housing Lottery

ResLife announced yesterday via email that starting this year, the housing lottery will be held online. Get ready for this year’s Housing Games: The Quarter Quell. We applaud ResLife’s move into the 21st century, but we’re also skeptical about their ability to use the internet. How will the new system work? Here are the Blog Odds:

The lottery site will crash – 1:1
After the BSA Spring Weekend tickets debacle, we don’t have much faith.

Brown-Secure will implode once and for all – 2:1

The housing lottery will be a giant game of FarmVille – 75:1
Alternatively, lottery numbers are awarded based on Neopoints.

Housing itself is moving online, and we will all live in cyberspace – 200:1

This is a scheme by last year’s lottery loser so no one shows up to Sayles and she gets first pick – 8:1

The CS concentrators will get all the good housing lottery numbers – 3:1
A.K.A. The Housing Hackathon.

This is a precursor to the next “Hunger Games” book, in which the games are held online and whomever clicks on the Cornucopia fastest wins – 150:1
Obviously, Katniss will win because her Mockingjay pin doubles as a WiFi hotspot.

Beyoncé releases another surprise album at the same time as the lottery and everyone is too conflicted to do anything – 40:1

The online lottery will go smoothly and everyone will live happily ever after – 999:1

As always, may the (Blog) odds be ever in your favor.