Brown community continues to show solidarity with Ferguson and New York

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In the weeks since the non-indictments of the police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, we have seen all kinds of protests against a justice system that is rarely applied equally to all Americans. In Providence alone, there have been die-ins, marches, and a massive petition to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse demanding reform.

Though finals period often takes our attention away from just about everything outside of our looming exams, many members of the Brown community have continued to stand up and demand a more equitable justice system–one in which black lives matter. You can see as much on your news feed every day: our classmates are traveling to New York to join the Millions March, sharing posts about how best to be an ally at a time like this, and expressing their rage and sorrow at the events of the past month. Some have led their own protests, lending a hand in the best way they know how.

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Students Who Do Cool Things: Jared Rothenberg ’15 and Ivy Sokol ’15, founders of Moving Mountains

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We often take our time in nature for granted. Some of us may have gone to summer camps that taught us how to kayak or build a campfire; others may have lived just minutes away from a beautiful national park. Experiences like these, or even an outdoor activity as simple as a run up Blackstone Boulevard, are out of the reach of many children who grow up in Providence. Jared Rothenberg ’15 and Ivy Sokol ’15 have partnered in order to provide a greater level of access to the outdoors and, in doing so, are joining a growing outdoor education movement. Their new organization is called Moving Mountains.

In their words, Moving Mountains is “an environmental education program for high school students in Providence,” but it can be so much more. The website for the organization lays out a persuasive case for the value of outdoor education programs like this. Not only do they “empower participants to achieve academically, embrace civic engagement, and practice lifelong environmental stewardship,” but they also provide physiological benefits that range from lower blood pressure to improved mental health.

For Sokol, the setting of outdoor education is essential to improving outcomes for kids: “the wilderness is sort of a simplified classroom in which behaviors can be enforced really easily.” Outside the walls of a typical high school, students can “become more self-aware” while — as Rothenberg later added — still thinking about “their local environments, whether that’s local parks or local issues… that might influence their lack of access” to the outdoors. In this way, Moving Mountains’ programming promotes both “leadership development” and “a sense of environmental stewardship.”

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Students who do cool things: Dolapo Akinkugbe ’16 (DAP)

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DAP–that’s pronounced ‘D-A-P’–is a junior at Brown; he’s also a student who does cool things. A producer first and a rapper second, DAP has established himself as a force to be reckoned with, and is rising in his renown on campus and off. After studying for two semesters at the Berklee College of Music during his gap year, Dolapo came to Brown. An enthusiastic piano player since he was a child, DAP has a natural predilection for bringing different sounds into his production style. He matches this with his flexible lyrical delivery (“flow”) and many ideas about the world and his place in it.

A couple of Fridays back, DAP rocked a crowd at Aurora in downtown Providence. The following Monday he dropped his fourth mixtape, GoodBye For Never, which demonstrates his versatility as a musician (he casually produced every track on the album, by the way!) and great ability as a lyricist and thinker.

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with DAP and asking a few questions about his music and plans for the future.

Who are your main influences?

Kanye West immediately comes to mind, simply because he’s a complete artist. I also think he’s the best performer of all time, alongside Michael Jackson, and maybe James Brown, Beyonce. My favorite songwriter is Drake, the best rapper and lyricist in my mind is Kendrick Lamar. And I’d say Ab-Soul is the most intelligent rapper. I can tell that he’s both book smart and street smart.

And then I’m influenced by anything immediately around me, like A$AP and Gucci Mane, and I’ve taken influence from The Beatles and Motown, Stevie Wonder. For example, I’m going to a Stevie Wonder concert in a couple of weeks, but in a few days I’m going to Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Bibby and Jeezy concert. And I’m also going to YG and A$AP Ferg. So anywhere I get inspiration from I take it.

What are you studying at Brown?

Classics and I’m hoping to double concentrate with Music.

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Students who do cool things: Independent Concentrators

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Strong, independent Brown students who don’t need no defined concentration.

“Doesn’t everyone at Brown, like, make up their own major?” You might laugh off questions like this from naïve relatives, but if you wish their imagined version of Brown were actually the real one, an independent concentration is for you. Contrary to popular belief, there are only about 20 independent concentrators per class, but they each have a passion that drove them to design their own focus of study from scratch.

Last week, I attended an Independent Concentration info session to learn about the process of applying for an IC and all of the awesome concentrations that students have already put together. If you’re reading this is and thinking, “Damn, an independent concentration sounds so cool, but I’m already a junior,” it’s not too late: you can apply for an IC through your sixth semester.

But be warned: an independent concentration isn’t for the faint of heart simply looking to get out of other concentration requirements. In fact, an independent concentration takes much more thought and effort than a traditional one, and requires you to have a passion for something completely outside the realm of a current concentration. Students who pursue ICs work closely with a faculty advisor to create a cohesive course trajectory, and round off their concentrations with a capstone project or thesis.

To apply to be an independent concentrator, interested students fill out an online application that includes their intended course selection and a personal statement, and applications are reviewed three times per semester. A subcommittee of student ICers and faculty members read applications and give one of three decisions: accepted, tentative approval pending some changes, or encouraged to resubmit.

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Hello Brown Instagrammers – Blog is calling!

Do you find yourself unable to resist taking pictures of the beauty around Brown’s campus to share with your Instagram followers? Or documenting what(ever) the fuck is happening on the Main Green? Or even just capturing the most “Brown” moments in your day to immortalize on social media?

Us too.

@BlogDailyHerald wants to see what you’re snapping! Tag all of your Instagram photos with these various #’s – #BlogDH #Brunonia #StudentsWhoDoCoolThings #WTFisHappeningontheMainGreen. Each week, we’ll feature the best of your pics on our own Instagram account in order to help you achieve an even higher status of Insta-stardom.

What are you waiting for? Spread your love for Brown AND be Insta-famous. #RaRaBrunonia

P.S. Follow @BlogDailyHerald on Instagram if you haven’t already!


Meet Mama Duck: Emily Wilkins ’14.5

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In case you’ve been living under a rock that doesn’t have Internet access or anything that brings happiness, you probably have heard that the roped off piece of Scili Desert was in fact housing a duck and her eleven baby ducklings (see above for cuteness overload). You also might have happened upon a Facebook page purportedly run by the Scili Duck herself. It has over 2,200 likes, and its updates have been quite something:

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The Scili Duck Facebook page — along with its subjects — has been a welcome respite from a tough finals period. The page and BlogDailyHerald has had some online interaction in the days leading up to the ducklings’ birth, and we wanted to discover which social media genius was behind it.

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