RIP Shades Plus, you will be missed

The rumors are true; today, Shades Plus will close its doors forever. No longer will $5.99 sunglasses be available to you on your walk home to/from Pembroke; no longer are we safe in the knowledge that a zebra mask, pink wig, or whoopee cushion are available to us at a moment’s notice.

I, for one, will really mourn the loss. Shades Plus is was a happy, super weird place that I have only visited under the most joyous of circumstances, i.e. spring weekend freshman year, when I needed cool/ironic sunglasses that I could step on and not feel stressed about. It was there every Halloweek, when all I needed to pull my outfit together was a colored hairspray or some fake blood, and in preparation for a friend’s birthday, when I knew a tacky, plastic, feathered crown would add a much needed finishing touch.

Shades Plus had all the things you need that you aren’t necessarily sure exist, like cupcake shaped erasers and syringe pens. As our more formal other half put it, “At Shades Plus, students would often purchase ‘random stuff, like fake mustaches,’ for fun or special holiday occasions.” There really is no other way to put it. Bye Shades Plus, we will miss you, especially on fun or special holiday occasions.

Ch-ch-changes: Brown Lecture Board

Amidst the excitement surrounding the spring lineup for Brown Lecture Board, you may have noticed that the organization is going through a lot (ch-ch-ch)changes this year. BlogDH sought out BLB President Kaivan Shroff ’15 to explain the recent alterations to the process. Here are the basics:

1. They’re increasing their use of social media as a way to further engage with the student population. Shroff described the shift as “a way for students to get more information, and for us to get input and feedback.” They have launched a Facebook page and an Instagram in the efforts to make the details of Lecture Board events more accessible. In the vein of getting input and feedback, Lecture Board has been hard at work on the internet to gauge campus’ reactions to their ticketing processes and events. This includes distributing a variety of surveys, as well as a Google moderator for the upcoming panel that has students submit questions and other students vote on those questions. Last semester, BlogDH hosted a vote for Fall Lecture Board speaker, which got over 1600 responses. Shroff explained, “There’s a trade-off between time and democracy. In the future, we are trying to get these polls up as soon as possible, so we can best represent what the students of Brown want.”

2. The ticketing system has moved online in a new lottery process. Shroff said that in the past “we would have the line circle around JWW, or a spiral in the Kasper Multipurpose room, but the spaces available at Brown for hundreds of people to line up are very limited.” The major goal of the lottery is to equalize the online ticketing process.” Bill Nye tickets literally sold out in 20 seconds… luckily, we could respond quickly to this and changed the distribution to a lottery system, accommodating people who could have slower Internet connectivity or a malfunctioning computer.” An important thing to note is that there will be a standby line for every Lecture Board event, although the number of people let in will vary depending on how close the venue is to capacity.

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