What’s been happening at Brown (and in Providence!)

Summer got you feeling a little homesick for good ol’ Providence? Curious about what has been going on since you left? BlogDH is here to help. Keep reading for the low down on recent happenings on and around Brown’s campus.

Brown and RISD students compete at Solar Decathlon Europe 2014

A group of Brown, RISD and University of Applied Sciences in Germany created a house that produces more energy than it consumes.

The designers describe the structure, named the “Techstyle Haus,” as rural architecture that “not only preserves but reconstructs its natural environment.” The house utilizes solar cells embedded in a textile roof. Gone are the days of solar-paneled roofs; the 800-square-foot house has wedded form, function and style, integrating modern style elements and innovative design.

Brilliant architecture isn’t cheap. Materials needed to make the house cost $500,000. But if revolutionizing environmentally friendly design and gaining international acclaim isn’t enough of a payoff, Techstyle Haus was also featured in the New York Times earlier this month.

It is one of 25 projects on display through July 14 at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 in Versailles, France.

Wings and Things closed

:'( (Ed: Did anyone ever actually eat there?)

Kennedy Plaza construction


The blueprint for the new Kennedy Plaza.

Beginning today (Saturday, July 12), bus stops will be moved away from Kennedy Plaza to make way for a six-month construction project aimed to transform the plaza into an efficient and functional public space in the heart of downtown Providence. The renovation is in conjunction with improvements in RIPTA service, which will include devices with screens showing real-time arrival updates.

The project, which will cost about $2.4 million, is paid partially by the city and partially by RIPTA. The center of Kennedy Plaza, which is now home to bus terminals, will be replaced by a tree-lined space. Bus stops will be located on the perimeter of the plaza.

This is the beginning of RIPTA’s even more ambitious plan to expand mass transit in Providence. Due to the construction, there is a new bus schedule, available here.

Brown and Naval War College sign agreement

Brown and the Naval War College signed an agreement on June 6 to promote collaborate research and teaching between the two institutions.

The Naval War College in Newport, RI is the staff college and “Home of Thought” for the United States Navy. Paired with the Watson Institute and their own research teams, they hope to address challenges to international security, including cyber security, nonproliferation and environmental change.

The agreement includes an annual distinguished lecture series and visiting status at each institution.

Mailroom Operations

The administration made a controversial decision to outsource mailroom operations to office technology company Ricoh USA in May. The choice was made in light of an internal review of Mail Services last semester, following complaints regarding the Mailroom’s inefficiency, the Herald reported. Administrators contend that Ricoh’s model will help enhance the performance of the mailroom.

Most of the student body didn’t catch wind of the plan until over the summer, and some had ethical issues with it.

Students for the Mailroom is a group of Brown students advocating for and working in solidarity with Brown’s Mail Services employees. By July 31, all Brown Mail Services employees’ contracts will be terminated, except for two unionized employees.

The group created an online petition imploring the administration to retain the current employees, some of whom have been working at Brown for as long as 35 years. The petition has garnered 1,222 signatures thus far. Additionally, a rally on the Main Green is planned for July 16.

Miss Rhode Island, Ivy DePew.

Miss Rhode Island, Ivy DePew.

Brown student won Miss RI

Ivy DePew, 23, a 2014 graduate of Brown’s masters program in public affairs, was named Miss Rhode Island on June 14.

The Memphis native, who completed a bachelor’s degree in sociology at the University of Memphis in 2012, will compete in the Miss America pageant in September.

Morone named director of Taubman Center 

James Morone, a professor of political science and urban studies at Brown since 1982, was named the director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions on June 24.

Morone, famous at Brown in part for his legendary City Politics class, inherited the position from Marion Orr.

Buddy Cianci



Looks like we may be getting some snapshots of Buddy’s breakfast from the mayor’s office.

Buddy Cianci, Rhode Island’s most interesting man and one who needs no introduction, is running for mayor for the seventh time. Cianci, 73, announced his candidacy on his radio show just hours before the deadline, a full six months after most candidates announced their intention to run.

Despite him needing no introduction, I’ll give you one.

Cianci held the mayoral position of Providence from 1975 to 1984 and again from 1991 to 2002, making him the longest serving mayor of Providence. His mayorship was interrupted the first time when he pled guilty to assault. (He assaulted a Bristol, RI contractor with a lit cigarette, an ashtray and a fireplace log because he believed the man had an affair with Cianci’s ex-wife, Sheila.)

In 2002, he was forced to resign because of a racketeering conspiracy. He served four years in federal prison, but returned to Providence unscathed. In fact, he got a radio show out of it.

To be fair, Rhodies aren’t crazy. Cianci is accredited with revitalizing Providence’s economy and image. And he’s the reason for WaterFire, so there’s that.

The election will take place on November 4.

Woody Allen in RI

Woody Allen is in the midst of shooting his newest movie in Rhode Island, much of it in Providence. Details regarding the movie are scarce, but what is known is enough to keep us hooked. The unnamed movie will star Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone and Parker Posey.

Images via, via, via



  1. And they’re actually fixing the streets around Thayer!

  2. Joe de Vum

    “Morone named director of Taubman Center.”

    Moron has been president of Brown University for quite some time now.

  3. John Doe

    Woody Allen? hide your children!

  4. Jacob Frantz

    Hey now “Ed”, I ate at wings n things all the time.

Leave a Reply