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THE BROWN A cappella

An oversubscribed-to vocal and social activity. If you live near the Wayland or MorrissChamplin arches, you might want to invest in soundproofing your room.

Absolute Quiet Room Tucked on the bottom floor of the Rock, this room is just as serious about silence as its name suggests. Friendships and romances have ended after one party had the audacity to talk in there.

(See Rock)



The bachelor of arts degree most of you will leave with. Everyone else calls it a B.A.

A Day on College Hill. A lot of you probably came to this spring event right after acceptance letters went out. We eschew homework for a day, act cool, collegiate and cheerful and throw parties that are unusually large for Tuesday nights. This is not necessarily indicative of life at Brown.

A.B.-Sc.B. This five-year program will get you two — count ’em, two! — degrees before you leave.

Annmar y Brown Memorial


The creepy building next door to Health Services is an actual tomb, complete with bodies — the tomb closes at 5 p.m. so Annmary and her husband can consummate their love, even in death.

Banner The University’s computerized student record system. The interface makes AOL dial-up circa 1996 look like an iPhone. The system was upgraded recently to include a course scheduling tool, but the independently-created Mocha scheduler has prettier colors. (See Mocha)

BlogDailyHerald The online center of life on campus and the number one source for finding out which television shows have made fun of Brown recently.

(See Brown Daily Herald)

Binder, Dave A Spring Weekend tradition. He sings mediocre but endearing covers of bachelorette party favorites to hordes of drunken Brown students on Wriston Quad every year.

(See Spring Weekend, Wriston Quadrangle)

BDS Brown Dining Services tries to make itself beloved with corn husking competitions and dining hall theme days. Sometimes it even succeeds. The food isn’t as bad as people say, nor is it as good as you’ll want it to be. Also, inventors of the (in)famous Polynesian Ratatouille.

A-Z GUIDE Blue Room, the

Illustrations by Bridget Sauer, Phil Lai

Brown’s version of Starbucks. Newly renovated, it’s the Brown eatery the University wants visitors to see. Its muffins and focaccia sandwiches are favorites.

Brown Band Much like your high school marching band. Except without the emphasis on marching. Or music, for that matter. But the musicians use profanity, their uniforms have flair and the group is the only college band that does shows on ice skates during hockey season.

Brown Daily Herald, The The finest daily publication in this fair republic. Published since 1866, daily since 1891, The Herald is financially and editorially independent from the University, is available free all over campus and covers University and city news, opinion, arts, science and sports. Plus, Sudoku!


BOLT Brown Outdoor Leadership Training is a unique opportunity to learn how to tie a trucker’s hitch, avoid the sophomore slump and bury your poop with a trowel. Five days in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with nine strangers right before the start of sophomore year — it’s probably better than whatever you had planned for the last week of summer 2013.

BSR Brown Student Radio, WBRU-FM’s estranged hipster cousin, broadcasts in the evenings, seven days a week. The station is so underground that it can only be heard on its website, (See WBRU)

BTV Brown Television, home to studentproduced television shows, second-run movies and endless replays of the last big speaker to hit Salomon Hall.


Brown University Dining Services student employees’ ubiquitous red hats make them as adorable as their acronym. BuDS workers staff campus eateries — patiently taking sandwich orders, swiping meal cards and restocking shelves. Be nice, and you may not get charged extra for the fresh mozzarella on your Gate panini.


(See Gate)

Also known as the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, or just the Granny. It’s brand-new and fancy — garnering a rave architectural review in the New York Times. Forty million dollars will get you a basement movie theater, a recording studio and an avant-garde aesthetic straight out of “Minority Report.” So who needs financial aid anyway?

Bus tunnel, the Technically the “Rumford Bus Tunnel,” it goes through College Hill (literally), from Starbucks to the intersection of Waterman and North Main streets. Don’t try walking through the tunnel. Just don’t. You will never be heard from again.

Cover illustration by Phil Lai

Carberry, Josiah – Corporation, the


Cianci, Vincent a.k.a. “Buddy”

Chicken Finger Friday. Beloved weekly lunch at the VDub and one of the only reasons to stay on meal plan after your first year. Responsible for an estimated 13 of the Freshman 15. (See V-Dub)

CIT The Thomas J. Watson Center for Information Technology. If you don’t have a printer, you’ll be spending a lot of time here. But only $30 worth of time. (Computer Science concentrators, expect to spend closer to $200,000 worth of time here.)



The renowned, longest-serving former mayor of Providence, who got out of the slammer in 2007. First elected in 1974, he resigned in 1984 after pleading no contest to assaulting his wife’s lover with a fireplace log (!), proceeded to host a radio show for a few years and was then reelected in 1990 — until he was convicted of federal crimes in 2002. Legend has it Buddy used to ride up to Brown frat parties on a white horse during his first term. He could often be seen playing cymbals with the Brown Band at football games. In 2008, he made an appearance at The Herald’s annual — and equally notorious — November banquet.

(See Brown Daily Herald, ProJo)

Cicilline ’83, David

Rhode Island’s openly gay, Jewish, Italian, first district congressman and former Providence mayor, who’s also a Brown alum. As an undergrad, he co-founded the Brown Democrats with John F. Kennedy Jr. ’83. Soon after he left the mayor’s office for Washington in January 2011, it came to light that the city’s finances were in far worse shape than Providence’s citizens had been led to believe. Sucked for the next guy, Angel Taveras, who has taken some controversial steps including cutting a deal with Bruno to address the deficit.

(See Taveras, Angel and Kennedy, John Fitzgerald Jr. ’83)

Coffee Milk The official state drink of Rhode Island. It’s basically chocolate milk made with a sweet, coffee-flavored syrup. It’s fucking delicious and scarcely available outside of the state, so drink up while you still can.

College Hill Independent, the

Carberr y, Josiah Brown’s legendary professor of psychoceramics — the study of cracked pots. He does not exist. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. He also has Brown’s online library system and the only double chicken patty sandwich available at a Rhode Island fast food restaurant named after him.

(See Jo’s)

College Hill You’re standing on it. Or sitting. Whatever.


In the rest of the world, this is called a “major.”

(See New Curriculum)

Corporation, the

In October, February and May, the cabal of rich men and women who really run Brown meet in College Hill’s weekly news rag, but more importantly, The Her- Sayles Hall to decide our future. You likely don’t ald’s chief kickball competitor. Also the de facto headquarters of know who the members of the Brown CorporaBrown’s hipster population. tion are, and that’s probably just how they like it.


CPR – Federal Hill

CPR 1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. 2. Course Performance Report, a written evaluation of your performance in a class. You can request one of those from any professor, either in addition to a letter grade or to supplement an “S” in an S/NC class. (See New Curriculum, S/NC)

Credit / Meal credit Getting into Brown is only half the intellectual battle: Figuring out how to purchase food on campus most effectively in the face of Brown’s byzantine and utterly illogical meal plan setup makes organic chemistry look like a game of Go Fish. One meal credit will get you into the Ratty or the V-Dub or purchase $6.60 worth of food at Jo’s or the Gate. Some plans offer a lot of points with fewer meals, whereas others will give you a set number of meals per week and fewer points. (See Flex point, the Gate,

Jo’s, Ratty, V-Dub)


Cranston Rhode Island’s third-largest city, but you’ll probably never go there. Most notable for serving as the inspiration for the city of Quahog in “Family Guy.”

Dating If you live in Perkins, you might not date your unit-mates, but you are statistically doomed to marry one of them. The rest of you are just doomed.

Due date

(See Perkins)

It is always flexible. Even when the professor swears otherwise.

(See Extension)

The Department of Public Safety. As Brown is to the Ivy League, DPS is to a real police department. Technically they have full police powers, but they don’t really use them. Expect stern warnings for the most part. If they’re really grumpy, they’ll wait outside of Spiritus to accost underage drinkers. Don’t push them too far though: They have armored Segway scooters, and they’re not afraid to use them.

Endowment, small The reason behind most of the University’s financial problems — in bed. Prepare for many similar jokes over your next four years, especially after our endowment shrank by about $800 million in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.


(See Spiritus)

EMS EMS stands for Emergency Medical Services. It also stands for Eastern Mountain Sports. Call the wrong one, and instead of getting a stomach pump, you’ll be getting a thermos and a GPS system to help you stumble home.

Extension You will most likely ask for at least one of these in your time at Brown. Make up a good reason, and you’ll probably get it. Even when the professor says at the beginning of the year that he or she never gives extensions.

(See Due Date)

Federal Hill Providence’s “Little Italy,” they like to say. Since it’s only really one street (Atwells Avenue), you can get great pasta, delicious cannoli and vengeance for your brother’s murder all in one place.

Fall Weekend Pretty much everyone else calls this Columbus Day. We Brownies aren’t so keen on Christopher and his colonizing ways, so we have the terribly vague “Fall Weekend.” Spring Weekend it is not. But still, a day off from classes.

(See Spring Weekend)

Faunce House

Since its reopening in Fall 2010, it has housed the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center. Home to the Blue Room, study spaces, a printing cluster, the Underground and those famous stairs at the top of the Main Green where hipsters can see and be seen.

(See Blue Room, Main Green, Underground)


First-years – IPTV


Fish Co. The late, legendary South Water Street dive bar whose Wednesday Brown nights were the site of most of the bad decisions made by first-years past. The ’Co. went belly up in late 2010 and has since been replaced by a marginally classier bar. Everyone still calls it “Fish Co.” (or “Whis Co.”) and goes there to get trashed on Wednesdays.

Flex point

First-year seminars

(See Whiskey Republic)

These little beauties come as part of your meal plan or can be purchased from BDS for $1 per point. All on-campus eateries take them.

Front Green/Quiet Green A good place for reading or making out on pleasant days. Rumor has it the University has had a rule on the books since the 1960s that you can be naked here.


You. Everybody else calls them “freshmen.”

Take one while you can, you lucky bastards.


Unveiled in January 2007, the Friedman Study Center is a 24-hour haven for procrastinators. It’s housed in the basement of the SciLi and decorated in a sort of 1960s-futuristic style. In other words, lots of lime green and oddly-shaped furniture.

GCB The Graduate Center Bar, an actual bar buried in the basement of Grad Center. A good place to go on a weeknight to split a pitcher of beer and a game of pool. It’s $30 to become a member, but stay away if you’re under 21 — unlike most bars in Providence, they don’t take fake IDs.

(See SciLi)

Gate, the

The couch-infested rec room of Pembroke Campus. Simply decent pizza becomes stellar when you can buy it with meal credits instead of actual money.

(See Credit, Pembroke)

Graduate Center Grad Center has all the charm of a sterile, riot-proof bunker — but without the sterility. Home to many of Brown’s sophomores and juniors, this five-building abomination has been plaguing the campus aesthetic since it was constructed, or by some accounts, assembled from Lincoln Logs. The only valuable thing about this structure is the land it is currently devaluing.

(See Graduate Center)

IMP 1. International Mentoring Program to help first-year international students adjust to studying and living in the United States. 2. The wee folk who work long into the night in the bowels of the Ratty to make us delicious “magic bars.”

(See Magic Bars)

Hutchings-Votey Organ


Located in Sayles, it’s the largest one in the world! We suspect there aren’t many H-V organs in the world.

We can watch TV on our computers, but we still complain that there are too few channels.


Ivy Room, the A popular lunch spot for those lucky few with flex points to spare, the Ivy Room turns into an all-vegetarian eatery at night. The falafel may not be authentic, but whatever it is, it’s worth the long line. (See Flex points)

John Hay Librar y, the One of those very collegiate libraries in which you feel like you shouldn’t touch anything. Its Reading Room was expanded into a larger study center last year. The Hay has many rare collections and is home to the University Archives, for you soon-to-be Brown history buffs.

Ivy Room, the – Kennedy Jr.

J. Walter Wilson Houses the Mail Room, classrooms and lots of administrative offices. Everyone walks through it a few times a week, so student groups camp out in the lobby to pester passersby to sign petitions and buy baked goods.


Technically Josiah’s, the snack bar of choice for residents south of the Main Green. Located on the ground floor of New Dorm A, it’s the home of wraps, snacks and delicious fried foods — especially the Carberry. Save yourselves the embarrassment of being instantly labeled as first-years and order a spicy with. Just trust us.

(See Main Green, New Dorm and Carberry, Josiah)

Kennedy Jr. ’83, John Fitzgerald We’re glad he broke the family trend of Harvard attendance. Yes, he kept a pig in his dorm.


Loui’s – Orwig



A Brook Street restaurant you will inevitably discover at 5 a.m., and hopefully you’ll remember it, too. Try the grilled muffins.

The glass and steel behemoth between main campus and Pembroke campus, formally known as the Sidney E. Frank Hall for the Life Sciences. The logical extension of the Walk runs through it. Alternately, you could call it SiFHaLiS.

(See Frank ’42, Sidney E.)

Magaziner ’69 P’06 P’07 P’10, Ira


The New Curriculum was his brainchild while he was an undergraduate. Now he’s the mastermind behind the Clinton Foundation.

After the advent of Banner, the smarties over in Computer Science created their own, much more user-friendly scheduling site. Banner has since copied Mocha’s course scheduling interface, but Mocha still kicks its ass. Using it during registration (brown. will make your life infinitely easier.

(See New Curriculum)

Magic Bars One of the few delicious desserts at the Ratty. No, they don’t have weed in them. But they do have coconut, chocolate, graham cracker and probably enough trans fats to kill a small animal. Tasty. (See Ratty)

(See Banner, Shopping Period)



Pronounced like “nickel-john,” but with an “M.” Alexander Meiklejohn was a professor of philosophy. Meiklejohns are now the upper-class counselors who dish straight truth on anything you need to know about academics at Brown.

Minority Peer Counselor. The counselors who are specially trained to advise first-year students on minority issues.

Nelson Fitness Center

Main Green If you haven’t figured out what this is, go home.

Naked Donut Run On the last night of reading period, dedicated scholars in the Rock and the SciLi get a special treat: donuts! Made doubly delicious by the awkward nudes that hand them to you.

New Dorm


(See Rock, SciLi)

Not so new anymore (it opened in 1991), the former Thayer Street quad is officially called Vartan Gregorian Quad — but don’t call it that. The two buildings contain upperclassmen suites, often coveted living space for juniors. Building A is home to Jo’s, a campus snack bar. (See Jo’s)

9 a.m. Too early for class. Don’t even ask about AB hour.

Equipped with over 10,000 square feet of workout equipment and an Olympic-sized swimming pool, the new fitness center promises to transform our school into an athletic powerhouse within the decade. Our top sports? Competitive farm sharing, the 200-meter literary reference and trampling injustice.

New Curriculum This is what allows you take whatever classes you want and potentially graduate without having taken a single one of them for a grade. It’s 40 years old, but we still call it new. Go figure.

Orientation Enjoy this while it lasts — being overscheduled will never be this relaxing again.


Underused but beautiful music library; only open until 10 p.m.


Paxson, Christina – Queer Alliance

Paxson, Christina Brown’s 19th President, Christina Paxson hails from Princeton, where she was dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She’s starting at Brown the same year you guys are, but somehow she got the sweetest first-year housing option ever: a giant brick home with room enough for her and her husband, Ari. God, ResLife is so corrupt.

Pacifica House

Parking space

Brown’s one and only secret society. So secret, in fact, that you can visit its website.

Something you’ll never find in Providence, anywhere. And certainly not overnight or for more than two hours.


Patriot’s Court

A city bordering Providence — pronounced puhTUCKet, not PAWtucket. The locals tend to get rabid if you say it wrong. The movie “Outside Providence” takes place here.

An extension of Wriston Quad. A bit quieter, in theory. Otherwise unremarkable.

(See Wriston Quadrangle)

Perkins 1. A beloved pancake restaurant that has not yet made it east of New York. 2. A first-year dorm that is nearly as far away as the nearest Perkins Restaurant. We hope you brought mopeds.

PostA weekly magazine and The Herald’s rebellious kid sister. It comes out every Thursday and covers music, film, theater, food, politics and campus culture.

(See Brown Daily Herald)


Pembroke The northern part of Brown’s campus used to be Pembroke College, an all-female coordinate to Brown. The official merge occurred in 1971, though underthe-table sexiling had been going on for years. Legend has it that if you walk over the seal on the steps leading up to the college, your next sexual encounter will result in impregnation. Or you’ll meet the person you’re supposed to marry here at Brown. Or both. We can’t remember. (See Sexile)


Power Street Formerly, one of the few lots where students could park. Now, thanks to development, a place to gaze wistfully as a shuttle whisks you to your car in a new lot far, far away. (See Parking space)

Brown’s Program in Liberal Medical Education lets you go straight into the Medical School without ever taking the MCATs or second-semester organic chemistry. Pronounced phonetically, like “plee-me.”

Queer Alliance The LGBTQ umbrella organization. One of the most visible student groups on campus, it focuses on making Brown a more positive space for queer students by providing a variety of educational and social programming. Along with one or two huge, risque, highly publicized parties that are sometimes attended by Fox News producers. (See Sex Power God)

ProJo – S/NC




The Providence Journal, Rhode Island’s largest daily newspaper. Its reporters get very excited when big things happen in this tiny state. Remember that “Survivor” guy Richard? Yeah, the one from Newport. He was on the cover of the ProJo for four days straight. Oh, and they’ve won some Pulitzers.

1. The black sheep of the cola family. 2. Resident Counselor, the dedicated individual who will guide you through Orientation, help you adjust to college life and give you (almost) free condoms, then persuade you not to vomit on yourself (or your roommate) after your first trip to Wriston Quad.

Ratty The Sharpe Refectory. According to legend, the full name got shortened to “Rat Factory,” and lazy Brown students took it a step further to its current cognomen. It has road signs for easy navigation, but watch out for bottlenecks and congestion. Love it — it loves you.



The bus. You can ride it for free with your Brown ID.

Rhode Island Officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. A recent push from activists and lawmakers to rid the state of the second part of its name, and all the ugly connotations it carries, gained momentum but was defeated at the ballot box in 2010. So Lil’ Rhody is still the smallest state in the nation with the longest name — and now it’s your home.


(See Wriston Quadrangle, Orientation)

Providence Place Mall One of the crowning achievements of Buddy Cianci’s mayoral administration, this sprawling shopping center provides almost everything you need in a 15-minute walk from campus. As long as everything you need can be found at chain stores, a multiplex and a food court. (See Cianci, Vincent a.k.a. “Buddy”)

Reading Period Ten days off between when classes end and final exams begin. You’re supposed to finish up your work, but you’ll end up drinking a lot.

RISD Rhode Island School of Design. Brown students can, at least in theory, take advantage of classes at RISD, but the lack of storage space and its wildly different schedule hinder most Brown students from heading halfway down College Hill. But those who make it into classes at RISD find them to be well worth the trouble.

(See College Hill)

Rock, the The John D. Rockefeller Jr. 1898 Library. The main humanities library on campus where students spend more time hitting the books than they ever thought possible (probably more because they get lost in the cryptic, dimly lit stacks and less because they’re motivated). Be warned of the ear-piercing, closing-time bell — and remember, if you’re there to hear it, you’ve been working too long.

Satisfactory/No Credit. The option to take any class pass/fail. It’s one of the beauties of the New Curriculum.

(See New Curriculum)



SciLi – Simmons, Ruth

SciLi, the

The Queer Alliance’s annual, insane fall party. A producer from the O’Reilly Factor managed to get himself inside in 2005 to shoot footage and produced a segment during which Bill O’Reilly Ruth and other University leaders “pinheads.”

The Sciences Library. Fourteen stories, color-coded according to the pH system (“The books get more ‘basic’ as you go higher up”). Playboy once (See Queer Alliance and named the 13th floor one of the ‘most notorious make-out Simmons, Ruth) spots’ in America. (Ask an upperclassman about the SciLi challenge.) Also home to the Friedman Study Center. Everyone (See FriSC) else calls it a B.S.


Simmons Quad Formerly known as Lincoln Field, this is the green between Sayles Hall and Thayer Street. The upper section is perfect for studying, while the lower part is often the site of football and Frisbee games.

Sexile A merger of the words “exile” and “sex.” This is what happens if you have a roommate who wants to invite a new friend over to spend the night. You end up sleeping on the floor in the lounge — if you even have one.

(See Simmons, Ruth)

Simmons, Ruth

Brown’s 18th president and the first black president of an Ivy League school, Simmons ended her term after 11 years this past July. She had a near cult-like following among students and even had a quad named after her. Simmons enacted need-blind admissions, and her Plan for Academic Enrichment reshaped the Brown academic experience. Gone, but not forgotten, she handed over the reins to Christina Paxson this year. (See Paxson,


Senior Week Seniors’ last week of college — a packed schedule of social events, parties and goodbyes in the days between finals and Commencement.


Shopping Period Two-week-long period at the beginning of each semester during which you can try out any class that catches your eye and freely change your class registration. Try to finish up your shopping within a week, because professors will launch right into their courses. Everyone will tell you to shop as many classes as possible. You won’t believe them, but you should. Also, everyone will tell you to shop classes that interest you and ignore concentration requirements and career considerations. You won’t believe them, but you should.


Smitty B – Underground, the

Smitty B


Otherwise known as Smith-Buonanno Hall. One of the main academic buildings on Pembroke. (See Pembroke)

Spiritus Fermenti. The closest liquor store to campus, located right next to Pembroke at the intersection of Thayer and Meeting streets. The prices are high, but you can’t beat the location.

Spring Weekend In a good year, Spring Weekend means big-name bands on our very own Main Green, couches on Wriston, lots of drinking and casual sex. In a bad year, expect lots of reverb inside the hockey arena.

(See Main Green, Wriston Quadrangle and Binder, Dave)

T.A. Teaching Assistant. They teach some intro-level language classes as well as some courses in math and other departments. Some are helpful. Some are useless. Some will end up dating your roommate.

(See Dating)


Thayer Street

Stadium It’s over a mile away. This would be a huge pain if anyone besides alums and the Brown Band went to football games. (See Brown Band)

SunLab Located on the first floor of the CIT, the SunLab is filled with high-powered workstations for computer science students. Good luck trying to get a computer on the night before a big CS project is due. Or on any Friday or Saturday night, for that matter.

(See CIT)

Taveras, Angel

Took office in January as Providence’s first Latino mayor. To help address with the city’s deficit, Taveras and the University eventually agreed to a deal in which the U. would contribute $31.5 million more to the city over the next decade. Unfortunately, Taveras went to Harvard.

Serving as the de-militarized zone between Brown and its real-world neighbors, this avenue was formerly home to a plethora of eclectic shops and a roving motorcycle gang. Now it’s a glorified food court.

Trolley, the A bus disguised to look like a trolley, run by RIPTA, which goes from Thayer Street to Kennedy Plaza and Federal Hill. There’s also one that goes to East Side Market, a huge grocery store. The other route goes, um, somewhere else.


Underground, the

UCS The Undergraduate Council of Students, which tries really, really hard to be an effective student governing body.

An on-campus club, located in Faunce House. It used to be easy for under-21s to get drinks here, but the newly refurbished Underground now has no liquor license, after an administrative crackdown and an unpleasant debacle involving local high school students. The only reason to go is to hear student bands perform.

(See Faunce House)


Unit – Wickenden Street

Unit Groupings of first-years who all share the same RC, MPC and WPC. Most units live within the same residence hall. Units are most important during orientation, when they face off in the relay races, games and cheering contests of Unit Wars. Also, seniors relive their first-year Unit Wars during Senior Week, but this time the inebriation is legal. (See MPC, RC, WPC, Orientation, Senior Week)

Unitcest A merger of the words “unit” and “incest.” It’s when you hook up with someone in your unit. This is why “It’s Complicated” exists on Facebook. (See Dating, Unit)

University Hall Come here to meet with deans or visit new president Christina Paxson during her office hours. The oldest building on campus, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

(See Paxson, Christina)

V-Dub The Verney-Woolley Dining Hall. The junior member of Brown’s dining halls, it’s smaller, more intimate, features a “Now That’s What I Call Music!” soundtrack and tends to draw mostly athletes and first-years.

Van Wickle Gates So important that they’re only open twice a year. (Well, and for most of this summer. But they’re still really important.)

Warwick Second-largest city in the state. The airport is here. Not much else.

Watson Institute


The Watson Institute for International Studies. Home of world-renowned research and the international relations, development studies, Middle East studies, South Asian studies and Latin American studies concentrations. In an attempt to emulate Hogwarts’ Defense Against the Dark Arts department, Watson has seen six directors in the past eight years.

95.5 FM, one of the largest radio stations in southern New England and the oldest college radio station in America. Purported to be “the original alt-rock.” We’re not arguing.

Whiskey Republic, the The new bar in the beloved spot where Fish Co. once stood. Nostalgic students call this “Whis Co.,” but modifying the name won’t bring back the stripper poles.

(See BSR)

Whispering Arch Behind the greenhouse, there’s a stone arch. Station a friend on one side of it, then go to the other side and whisper into it. They’ll be able to hear you as if you were blowing in their ear.

(See Fish Co.)

Wickenden Street and Wayland Square Two non-Brown related commercial districts within walking distance. Wickenden is famous for its head shops and pubs. Wayland is known for its bookstores. Pick your poison, or mix and match.


Williams, Roger – ZipCar

Wriston Quadrangle Home to the Ratty and most of Brown’s fraternities and sororities (which are housed in on-campus residence halls, to the surprise of your friends back home). The lawn in the center of the quad turns into a weekly farmer’s market in the warmer months and a slipand-slide during Spring Weekend. Center of on-campus partying — you’ll see lines out the doors any Friday or Saturday night.

(See Spring Weekend)

Writing Center A place you can go to get one-on-one help editing or writing papers, staffed by graduate students in a variety of disciplines. Make sure to book appointments two weeks in advance of finals.

ZipCar Short-term rental cars available at the Power Street Garage, as long as you’re over 18. Kind of lame-looking but actually pretty useful. (See Power Street Garage)

Williams, Roger Founder of this great state, proponent of religious freedom and now a giant statue in Prospect Park.


(See Rhode Island)

Women’s Peer Counselors, the third members of each first-year residence hall’s peer counseling trios (along with MPCs and RCs). WPCs focus on health, gender, sexuality and relationships, plus they provide condoms and dental dams. (See MPC, RC)

Writing Fellows Writing Fellows suck the pain out of throwing together a paper the night before it’s due by labeling said effort a “draft” and requiring that it be “edited” by a fellow student with “superior” writing talent.

Join The Herald’s business team! Are you a future business leader? The Brown Daily Herald Business Staff is looking for motivated, hard-working students to work in ad sales or financial management. No prior experience is needed — just a desire to learn real-world business skills and help produce Brown’s only daily newspaper. We’re financially independent from the University, so it’s up to you to keep the presses running! The Sales Staff is responsible for working with local businesses, University departments and student groups to sell ads in our daily newspapers and themed magazines. You’ll learn how to interact professionally with clients and see a sale through from initial negotiations to a closed deal. The Finance Staff is responsible for financial accounting and payment collection. You’ll learn to manage The Herald’s money using Quickbooks and reach out to clients to collect payment for their ads. We look for students with great communication skills, attention to detail and the motivation to go above and beyond in everything they do. Your hard work will pay off as you quickly gain responsibility and learn to manage other students. Plus, there’s free pizza on Fridays, the annual Herald banquet and the chance to meet an amazing group of people. Interested? Sign up at to find out about our Fall info sessions. (We promise we won’t spam you.)

The first-year dorm guide Background illustration by Ethan Zisson

You’ve got your first-year housing assignment, but what does it mean? You can scour the University website for campus maps and blueprints, but no amount of searching will tell you what life’s really like in each of these dorms. What about sunlight and gym access? Is it rowdy on weekends? Are the bathrooms clean?




Here is your unsanctioned Brown Daily Herald first-year dorm TAKEAWAY guide, with the inside scoop straight from reporters who lived, slept and — let’s face it — had a little too much fun in these buildings.

Archibald-Bronson House see Keeney Quadrangle Andrews Hall




When the weather’s nice, residents of Andrews Hall like to stand outside on the communal patio terrace and brag to each other about how much they are enjoying their convenient in-room sinks, which let you avoid the freshman rite of passage that is brushing your teeth in front of 10 other people. Also, there’s an elevator.

The positive facets of Andrews help take the edge off both the pain of Pembroke weekends — when the simultaneous closure of the V-Dub and the Gate necessitates a trek to main campus for meal plan food — and the harrowing confusion that besets those who attempt to navigate the opposite side of Andrews, a bizarre and mirror-reversed alternate universe.


Residents can look forward to comfortable living, at least relative to that of other first-years. Expect your Keeney friends to never want to visit you, but definitely bring an AeroBed, because your spacious room is well suited for guests. And Pembroke’s greens are an underappreciated luxury. But the locks on the bathrooms are, for whatever reason, much stronger than those in Keeney. Be prepared to do a major duct-taping job if you want to prop them open — otherwise, you’ll need to bring your key along every time nature calls. Finally, Andrews received some renovations this summer that combined adjacent single rooms into very spacious doubles and created some nice lounges. — Jamie Brew, Sam Levison

Champlin Hall

+ – =

Champlin is close to Thayer Street, an elevator ride away from the V-Dub and first-floor rooms come outfitted with showers. Painfully far from the Ratty, Jo’s and the libraries. Champlin is a high-risk, high-reward dorm. Some Champlin champions get stuck in a medium-size thirdfloor room with an awkward shower-and-tub room, while others luck out with first-floor palaces — some of the largest first-year rooms available. Champlin’s distance from most classrooms is a drag, but its easy access to the V-Dub partly makes up for its flaws. — Chip Lebovitz

The first-year dorm guide

Emery Hall

+ – =

Emery — as well as the connected Woolley, which is virtually the same — provides little reason to venture far from your room: Emery offers an elevator, semiprivate bathrooms, a gym and the V-Dub right downstairs and close proximity to Thayer Street, the Gate and the OMAC. Living in Pembroke leaves you a bit far from Wriston, the Main Green and the Ratty. While not terrible, the rooms have cinderblock walls and are nothing flashy. The gym lacks several machines, and the V-Dub closes on weekends. You can go to the gym every day, and with the V-Dub below you, you often stop going to the Ratty after the first three weeks. You may get a bit sequestered living in Pembroke, and you have to make an effort to venture out to Wriston, Grad Center or other dorms. But when you don’t feel like walking to the Ratty on the weekends, you can walk out your door to somewhere on Thayer and grab breakfast before the Gate opens. — Sam Rubinroit

Em-Wool see Emery Hall; Woolley Hall Everett-Poland House Jameson-Mead House

see Keeney Quadrangle see Keeney Quadrangle

Keeney Quadrangle


The largest first-year residence hall, Keeney has a reputation for fostering all-night debauchery and lifelong friendships. The enormous quadrangle-shaped building is arbitrarily divided into three “houses,” but Keeney is really divided horizontally, not vertically. The actual floor numbers change depending upon which house you’re in (yes, it’s super confusing, and no, we don’t know why). Keeney-ites are unified by their location and general enthusiasm, but residents bond over each floor’s idiosyncrasies.


Living in Keeney means being at the center of it all, as the building has the largest concentration of first-years on campus, meaning you can meet tons of people without even trying — and you can crash parties every weekend. The rooms are nicely sized. There’s a gym right in the building, though you have to go outside to access it. For those warm, sunny days, there are two courtyards where you can relax, eat lunch and play games. When you need to leave Keeney, you’re only steps away from the Main Green and Wriston Quad, meaning classes, food and fun are right nearby. To top it off, the dorm was partially renovated this summer. Being at the center of the action has its perks, but also its downsides: Expect to find crushed beer cans, broken exit signs and lots of noise on the weekends. If you’ve ever had any question about what weed smells like, you won’t after spending a week in Keeney. And since many non-Keeney residents — and some residents too — find the building’s layout to be somewhat of a maze, expect lots of drunk people asking you for directions to the other side of the building.

See next page for Keeney continued.

The first-year dorm guide

Keeney Quadrangle continued


While Keeney’s complete renovation will not be finished until next summer, you will still get many of the perks, including renovated rooms and fancy new top-floor lounges. Keeney has always been a great place to be — if somewhat of a zoo — but these improvements will make the “Keeney experience” much better. We’re jealous. Also, note that while Keeney supposedly has three “houses,” those houses do not mean much, and you will become closer with the people on your floor, regardless of house. Finally, explore the building! There are a few hidden hallways and rooms scattered about. And they say there’s a chamber of secrets under the building ... Search The Herald’s archives to find out more!

— Greg Jordan-Detamore

Mo-Champ see Morriss Hall; Champlin Hall Morriss Hall +

Like its neighbors Champlin, Emery and Woolley, Morriss has basement access to the V-Dub and gym (a blessing in the cold winter months) and semiprivate bathrooms. It is also located just seconds away from CVS and a variety of Thayer Street eateries.


The cinderblock walls are not aesthetically pleasing, and the heating sometimes doesn’t work very well.


Though it is farther from main campus than Keeney, Morriss is quieter, cleaner and located on the beautiful Pembroke campus. The network of interconnected dorm buildings allows you to socialize, eat and exercise without stepping outdoors once. Decently sized rooms and semiprivate bathrooms, which are cleaned at least twice a week, make for a very comfortable living experience.

— Aparna Bansal

New Pembroke #3 + – =

A quiet and cozy dorm on Pembroke campus, NP3 is well heated and close to Thayer Street (especially CVS), the Pembroke eateries and two gyms — the OMAC and the Emery satellite gym. The rooms are not big, and the hallways are dimly lit and narrow. Living at the north end of campus, much of your life is centered around Pembroke: eating in the V-Dub, late-night snacking in the Gate and working out in the Emery gym. The small hallways of NP3 make socializing with dorm-mates more difficult, but people tend to congregate in the kitchen. If all else fails, knock on a neighbor’s door.

New Pembroke #4 +

— Inkyu Kim

Thanks to an overhaul of the decor last summer, NP4 has a lot of newness to offer: lounges, kitchens, paint, bathrooms and furniture. The second floor especially has its perks, with skylights and balconies in a few rooms.

The first-year dorm guide

New Pembroke #4 continued

– =

NP4 isn’t very close to main campus — about 7 minutes sans snow and slush, though access to all Thayer Street has to offer more than makes up for it. And while new it may be, big it is not. Rooms are about 110 square feet — pack lightly! NP4 is a small dorm where you get to know not only your hallway, but also your whole floor and the floors above and below you. Typically a tight-knit unit, NP4-ers enjoy all of the Pembroke perks together, including delicious Gate sandwiches, quick shopping trips to Thayer and access to the Emery gym and the V-Dub. Since its makeover last year, the dorm has definitely improved, but the doubles are still tiny so make sure to leave the couches at home, and come prepared to get to know your roommate very, very well. — Kristina Fazzalaro

North Wayland see Wayland House Perkins Hall + – =

The residence hall closest to Thayer’s quirky stepsister Wickenden Street, Perkins is the perfect place for students who want a strong bond with their hall-mates or guaranteed exercise from daily walks to campus. The rooms do not make up in size or luxury for the remote setting — in fact, they’re some of the smallest on campus. Everyone seems to know it — the residents of Perkins Hall are a family. Though these bonds are strengthened more by long walks and snowy nights when no one wants to step foot outside than by anything else, friendships grown in Perkins can last a lifetime. Plus, it’s supposedly the best place on campus to find a future spouse: Unsubstantiated rumor has it that 60 percent of marriages between Brown alums occur between Perkins alums.


Wayland House + – =

+ – =

— Emma Wohl

Sitting atop Wriston Quad, Wayland House — divided into North and South Wayland — is close to most of the important buildings on campus. With the Ratty less than a minute away and the Main Green just across the street, students living here will have no excuses for being late to anything. Living in the only building other than the Ratty on Wriston Quad not associated with a fraternity or sorority can make life very noisy, both inside the dorm and out, especially on weekend nights. The location alone makes for a great dorm to have your first year. Because it’s small compared to other options (roughly 80 first-years), you can expect to get to know your floor-mates very well. There is no real difference between North and South Wayland, aside from the Jabberwocks (an all-male a cappella group) having a lounge in the North Wayland basement.

Woolley Hall

— Joseph Rosales

The V-Dub and a satellite gym are located on the ground floor. The dorm is right off Thayer Street and boasts semiprivate bathrooms, laundry machines on every floor and a shared elevator with Emery. Woolley is a bit of a walk from the Main Green and most academic buildings on campus. Though Woolley may be isolated from main campus, you can get food or work out without stepping outside, and the dorm has the advantage of relatively new furniture, bright lighting and semiprivate — David Chung bathrooms. The elevator in Emery will make move-in day a breeze.

The first-year dorm guide NP3







1 min





V-DUB Em-Wool

Map represents approximate walking times between first-year dorms and on-campus eateries.


5 mins

1 in ~ 100 yds



9 mins

8 mins


the Brown

15 mi ns

12 min

Blue Room



4 mins


RATTY Wayland s in Ivy 2 m Room 4m




4 mins



4 mins



Emily Gilbert / Herald Courtesy of Brown University

Officially sworn in, Paxson discusses plans for first year

Taveras, Simmons announce $31.5 million deal >>


How many sexual partners have you had this semester? Kyle McNamara / Herald

Herald poll: Students fall Money Matters Herald’s four-part series exploring the role of short of sex expectations The socioeconomic status on life before, during and >>

after Brown.

Check out to read the full stories!

Some of our most important stories from past semesters to get you caught up before you arrive on campus:


Contributions from Herald staff, Jon Millstein. Copy editing by Olivia Conetta. A special thanks to the 121st Editorial Board.


about the herald 26


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Guide to Brown 2012  

The Brown Daily Herald's unofficial guide to Brown for the class of 2016.

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