No More Closed Doors: A Keeney-ite movement

Back in the days when roaming the halls were a thing

Back in the days when the Keeney Crawl was a thing

“The Keeney Crawl doesn’t exist anymore,” Adam Alpert ’17 lamented. “We have been deprived of a Keeney tradition dating back more than half a century.”

Reviving this so-called Keeney crawl, where Keeneyites (and other first years!) wander through the three once-connected dorms, in hopes of stumbling upon new friends and partaking in the rite of passage that is Keeney freshman debauchery, is the goal of four intrepid first years.

Adam Alpert ’17, Dan Boulanger ’17, Oliver Hirt ’17, and Jacob Kirschenbaum ’17 have created a petition to reopen the doors giving any first year in Keeney inside access to all three buildings. The petition, which was written a week and a half ago by Kirschenbaum and Alpert and edited and finalized with the help of Hirt and Boulanger last night, was posted on the Brown University Class of 2017–Admitted Students Facebook group last night.

While some people were camped out in the basement of Faunce last night for their SPG tickets, the four set up base in Arnold Lounge last night and garnered over 220 signatures, a significant number but still well under the group’s 500-signature goal. The second round of signing will take place tonight from 8:00-midnight in Arnold Lounge. 

While convenience is obviously an important aspect, the four petitioners also believe that restricted access seriously inhibits fostering a strong Keeney-wide community.

“The lack of access is antithetical to ResLife’s goal–which is to have more interactions with a wider range of people,” said Alpert.

Boulanger also acknowledged the positives effects opening the doors would have on forging new friendships. “Most of my good friends here are from leaving my door open and people wandering in,” he said. Swipe access would exponentially increase the pool of potential wanderers and introduce you to people you are living 100 yards from but would maybe never meet otherwise, according to Boulanger.

Kirschenbaum added that you can’t easily get into a Keeney dorm besides your own unless you already know someone in that dorm and ask them to let you in. “It inhibits making friends in other dorms,” he said.

The petition also aims to aid handicapped students in accessing all areas of Keeney. Alpert noted that while one of the renovation’s purposes was to make Keeney more handicap accessible, lack of indoor access impairs handicapped students from navigating throughout the three dorms.

While this is an issue the four are passionate about, they were clear that the petition is not a demand, but rather a way to open a dialogue with ResLife about this issue. “The university closed the doors for a reason–theft, vandalism, creating smaller communities,” said Kirschenbaum. “It was a great idea and it worked beautifully but now it’s time to expand our social horizons.”

The four suggest that in the future the doors remain locked for the first month of school to facilitate an easier transition for first years, but that as newbies settle in, the doors are opened.

As for theft and vandalism, the petitioners argued that those are more student conduct issues. “While my RPLs have told me that theft and vandalism are significantly down this year, I don’t think that’s necessarily because of the closed doors. The exit signs have been reinforced and Keeney is a new space now so people are more respectful,” said Kirschenbaum.

And while their movement is entitled No More Closed Doors, they are open to the possibility of swipe access.

“Of course our goal is for the doors to be opened, but we are willing to compromise. Swipe access would also be great,” said Kirschenbaum.

So what’s next for these student crusaders? After tonight’s signing session, they plan on emailing the Director of Residential Life, Natalie Basil, attaching a copy of the petition and requesting a meeting.

Again, the four will be in Arnold Lounge (in between Archibald-Bronson and Everett-Poland) until midnight. All first years are welcome to sign, including students who live in Pembroke. After all, according to Kirschenbaum, “it’s a class of 2017 issue, not just a Keeney issue.”


  1. sigh

    Brown students “deprived”? Funniest thing I’ve heard all week. All you’ve been deprived of is the ability to smash 30 exit signs in 60 seconds. Not a bad thing.

  2. '14

    Ha, this is the goofiest thing I’ve read so far today. I do think it’s stupid to not have card access to all of Keeney, but those doors aren’t so bad. I hope the goal of community building has worked by making Keeney less chaotic, and a hallway community definitely did not exist 3 years ago.

  3. Keeney Resident

    We have been deprived of the ability to freely move between spaces designated for Freshmen. The lack of access to other Freshmen Dorms, which for the past 50 years have been open to other first years, has hindered our ability to meet new people and created three distinct closed communities in a university that has always prided itself on openness and social interaction. Don’t focus on the trivial, think about the ideals of Brown, and how this policy runs contrary to the stated mission of the university.

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