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First Year Housing Assignments

Your Unit

Every first-year student lives in a "unit," a community that includes 40 to 60 first-year students and several peer counselors who interact with faculty and deans to create a living and learning environment. A unit may be two adjacent hallways or the whole building, depending on size. Community Directors provide direct supervision and guidance to the peer counselors of several units. Some freshman areas may also include upperclass students living in singles or suites. Every unit has a different character, according to the interests of the people who live there, but hallway hackeysack, music, cookie baking, hanging out, and late-night discussions are fairly universal. In the beginning it is not uncommon for units to migrate en masse to dinner. Later in the year, you may still step into the hall after class, yell "I'm home! Who's going to dinner?," and expect an answer.

Your Roommate

The New Student Housing Questionnaire should be submitted online via our forms page. The deadline for sumbission is June 15th. Roommate assignments are made through a computerized process based on your responses to this questionnaire (e.g., sleep and study habits). Your residence-hall, room, and roommate assignments are made without regard to race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or nation origin. Rooms are assigned at random. No room changes will be allowed from the beginning of classes to the first of October. You will receive notification of you roommate and residence-hall assignment by early August.

Your Room

The residence halls include 49 buildings that total approximately 1.6 million square feet. The oldest was built in 1822 and the newest in 2012. The main Green is no more than a five to ten-minute walk from any first-year residence hall. All residence halls are smoke-free. Residence halls at Brown are coed, which means that men and women are housed on the same floor in most instances.

First-year housing offers a variety of settings and room sizes, with an assortment of features unique to individual buildings. When you know where you will be living, you and your roommate can coordinate what to bring.

Each student is provided a bed with a 36" by 80" (twin extra long) mattress, pillow, desk and chair, dresser, trash can, recycling bucket, bookcase, and closet. The walls are usually painted white or off-white. Most windows have pull shades; curtain rods are not provided. The University supplies general room lighting, but not desk lamps. Each room has a phone jack, computer networking (one tap per resident), and access to Brown's cable TV system. For further information on phones, cable service, and the computer network, see the relevant policy pages. Elevator service is available in only a few buildings.

What to bring

  • Desk lamp or floor lamp (no halogen torchieres)
  • Hangers
  • Laundry basket, detergent, quarters
  • Linens: sheets (twin extra long), blankets, comforter, towels
  • Posters and "fun tac," not tape, to hang stuff on the painted walls
  • Refrigerators and/or microwaves are permitted, must bear the UL approved seal. Fridge may not exceed 4 cubic feet, 1.5 amps, and 100 watts.
  • Rug, curtains
  • Surge protector: grounded, 15-ampere rated is the only type of extension cord allowed in the residence halls
  • Telephone (touch tone)

What not to bring

  • Air conditioner
  • Candles: a fire hazard. Fine is $100 per candle
  • Car: due to shortages of parking, Brown does not allow first-year students to park on University lots
  • Extension cords
  • Halogen torchiere lamps: illegal and will be confiscated
  • Halogen desk lamps
  • Hot plate or electric coil
  • Pets: prohibition strictly enforced
  • Portable space heaters
  • Toasters or toaster ovens

Residential Life Policy: Weapons, Explosives, and Firearms

Possession, use and/or distribution of firearms, ammunition, explosives, or other weapons are prohibited.

Prohibited items include the following:

Firearms (defined as any projectile-firing device), guns (all types), ammunition, fireworks of all kinds, incendiary devices, explosives, flare guns, air rifles (including paint ball rifles), guns using BBs or pellets or darts, any slingshot device, all knives (including martial arts devices and ceremonial swords) except those that are designed and used for food preparation.

A note about clothing: Don't bring too much, because you can always get more once you're here. Especially don't overload on warm-weather shorts and tank tops. In Providence the weather ranges from cool to cold between mid-October and mid-April; most of your wardrobe should reflect the chilly reality of the New England and coastal climate.