Dorm info for Freshmen

<p>Packing and Furbishing Info:
I get lots of requests, and lots of this info is scattered throughout other posts, so thought it would be more useful moved to its own thread. I'm not a current student, but (unfortunately) not much has changed about the dorms most freshman live in over the past 30+ years. (I could swear they still have some of the same hall carpeting!) and I'm back in the dorms often with reunions, and my student. So I thought I would try to compile this list. (and I know it's often the Moms who really want to know). Current students, please copy, paste, edit and add to this as you see fit. (my student has way too much stuff, so take some of this info in that light.) Most items do not need to come from home necessarily, although they are cheaper away from campus.</p>

<p>Freshman dorm/outfitting info list:</p>

<p>Bedding: all beds are extra long twins. the mattresses are so/so, and often "springs" are worse. A bed "topper" is nice: Foam or whatever and a mattress cover. Some may want a bedboard.
2 sets of sheet is fine. If you are quick with laundry, one set might be enough. The ones sold via Brown are just a national service, and NOT great texture (low thread count). Unless you really don't care, definitely bring/get your own pillow. Depending on the dorm, a comforter, light blanket may be enough. (very few dorms get very cold).
Pillow to prop up in bed if you tend to do that.</p>

<p>Storage: rooms come with smallish 3 drawer dresser, bookcase (good size built in in Keeney) adequate size freestanding in most other dorms. EmWooleyMoChamp have small over desk hutches. You likely do not need an extra bookcase. If you have lots to store: bed risers are very helpful to get bed high enough for suitcases, underbed storage boxes etc. esp in rooms with smaller freestanding closets. (Ikea has the best!)
If you have free standing closet, an extra laundry basket will fit on top of it in most rooms and is a good way to store stuff.
Some kind of small tote thing to carry your toiletries back and forth to shower. (it will get wet).
Over the door hook. Wide bracket (thicker fire doors) preferable to have 3-4 hooks (share with roomie) Doors are not magnet useful. You are not supposed to use any sticky things that cannot come off. (Command hooks do work on more surfaces and some walls.)
Laundry basket. (or drawstring bag, or just pillow case) Likely you will need to lug at least 2 loads of laundry at a time plus detergent and dryer sheets up and down some stairs, and maybe set it down on not the cleanest surface. plan according to your tolerance for this.
Command removable hooks are very useful.</p>

<p>Dorm "decor":
chair: not necessary for the most part, unless you are super picky re desk chair. (and then what do you do with the Brown one? I think you can put in basement storage in most dorms, but have to make sure you have one at end of year.) Most rooms may not have room for extra furniture (bean bags etc)
Curtains: nice, not necessary. (rooms come with roller shades) unless you need black out around the edges in a east/south facing room. Most rooms you cannot hang curtains except with spring tension rods inside window. Keeney has some rooms that students have put one big rod across both windows. a few of rooms that were lounges have curtain rods.
Study/reading light: room lighting not adequate for this. May or may not be able to have something to clamp to(don't count on it). Best to have something can move/direct and that might not keep roommate awake. Floor lamps usually don't fit. Might wait to see how your furniture fits to decide on this. (or be handy, or have a dad who is, lol) Halogen not "legal" due to fire hazard (I think still?)
Fan: most students consider this a must have for about the first and last 2 weeks of the year. Something pretty strong but small. (If parents are coming by van etc, this is really nice extra to bring a big window box one and then take it home, for the heat of move in. (or sometimes there is space to store in room.))
rug: floors are pretty dreary tile. the few that are carpeted I think are worse. There are dealers with trucks selling on campus at move in time. pretty decent prices, but also works to bring and maybe better selection if you can get your room dimensions and work out with roomie. 2 good size throw rugs can work, but room size is nice. If you tend to bring lots of dirt in on your cleats, then maybe you want the tile! Vacuum: going to be hard to find space to store, (unless you have the EWMC storage closets). Would wait and find if someone has one you can share? Ideally there would be one per hall, but Brown does not provide.
Fridge: considered by most to be a necessity. One per room works best space wise. can rent from BSA. About 2 years use =buying on sale at home. (not including storage cost)
Microwave: even cheaper to buy. get a small one, unlikely to need a big one. (kitchens also have them, so not absolutely necessary.)</p>

<p>Extras:
mirror: cheap full length one (esp for gals) Most rooms have no or poor mirrors.
Good big sturdy door stop (the old rubber kind) Nice for being sociable. doors close automatically.
extra dry erase markers for door memo board. (Brown supplies the board).
at least 2 good extension cords (Brown wants you to have the kind with surge suppressor/ fuse. I would get at least one with a flat flush plug end).
printer: you can live without one, using the brown ones etc, but it is nice to have a small one. (again only one per room if you can share).
noise cancelling head phones if noise bothers you for studying etc. (just a suggestion that many students I know end up buying sometime in the first semester. )
All freshman rooms have small safes (supposed to be big enough for a laptop) (usually in the closet) one per student, usually working, (and rarely used except for storage or over holiday times).</p>

<p>This is great information for incoming freshman parents! Thank you. About the micro/fridge? Does Brown have restrictions on buying your own? Older son at Lehigh could only buy/rent one kind from specific company. Daughter wants to rent and split cost, roommate wants to buy and split cost which could be tricky if they decide not to room together in future years, Suggestions?</p>

<p>I think there is now a restriction that they have to be the 4 ft tall or less kind (not much of a restriction, but I put a small apt sized one in my single many yrs ago). Otherwise no restriction. Buying is better. How about they have an agreement that agree on minimum that has to be at least as big /nice as Brown ones (which are kind of beat up), and you /she pays roomie either half of cost or up to Brown rental price, which ever is cheaper to "rent" half use. (costs her same or less than rental, so not out anything extra.) Then the fridge is roommates at end of year, if they don't room together, or even if they do. (actually not as common as you would think.) (and roommate deals with storage). If they do stay together, then daughter might pay the difference of the rest of the half cost for the second year? (or just stays belonging to roommate and she doesn't pay any "rent", they could work it out. My daughter just let her new roommate use hers "for free" sophomore year, it's just nice to do.)
We got the more expensive kind with separate little freezer. They can also deal with the microwave this way (maybe daughter gets the microwave if it is separate). Some of this negotiation depends on who has to come from where, in what etc. Give her suggestions, but let her work it out with roommate. (of course if you are paying with budget guidelines) And remember that the first goal is to try to start out with a good cooperative, friendly roommate situation!</p>

<p>Great stuff, Brownalumparent!</p>

<p>I just said this on the other thread, but it's a really good idea to hold off on buying lots of stuff until you've seen your room. For example, Perkins beds are already really high, so bed risers are probably not needed. How many hooks and over-the-door stuff you need really depends on your room. You don't know what size rug or curtains to get until you are there, arrange the furniture and do the measurements.</p>

<p>On the refrigerator front: Not every kid needs a refrigerator. My daughter survived without one freshmen year. Look at the prices -- I think renting one is expensive enough that it almost makes sense to buy one. Also, I believe one of the frats sells used refrigerators during the first week. </p>

<p>c'smom: I don't think Brown has rules on refrigerators (at least, I don't recall reading anything like that). I agree that splitting the cost could be tricky. Maybe suggest that the roommate buy the fridge and your daughter buy something else?</p>

<p>Some other thoughts:</p>

<p>Doorstop: Yes this can be helpful, but not all doors close automatically (don't the Keeney ones stay open? They used to).</p>

<p>Safes: yes, all freshmen rooms have them, and they are despised by many because they take up very valuable closet/surface space. And -- they are NOT free. There is a private company that you pay to get the key (this was the way it was a few years ago -- has that changed?). Most kids don't spend the money. </p>

<p>My daughter had a floor lamp all four years -- found it much more useful than a desk lamp. But I agree, you definitely need a lamp.</p>

<p>My advice for the printer: Don't buy a color ink jet like everyone else on the planet. They are cheap, but the ink cartridges run out quickly and cost a ton of money. My advice is to buy an inexpensive black-and-white laser printer. You can find them on sale for around $100 (sometimes much less), and the toner cartridges last for 1,500 pages, and the replacement for 2000. My daughter went through less than 2 cartridges in four years. I don't think she ever needed a color printer, and if she did, she used a school one.</p>

<p>Many students literally fill their walls with small pieces of "art" -- photos and postcards. </p>

<p>Don't forget to pack duct tape. Bring a toolkit (while my daughter rolled her eyes when we got her one, she said it came in handy every year). </p>

<p>If you have a car, there are tons of the big box stores about 10 minutes away in Seekonk, Mass. Target, Wal-mart, BBB, Best Buy, etc. There is an Ikea that's in Stoughton, Mass., about an hour away. Outlet mall is in Wrentham, Mass., about 30 minutes away.</p>

<p>Fireandrain, some corrections:</p>

<ul>
<li><p>Keeney doors are one of the only doors that don't stay open. I know Hope, Littlefield, Wayland, and some Pembroke doors stay open, but Keeney autolocks unless you change the setting on the doorknob. But when you show up on day 1 they're autolocked.</p></li>
<li><p>the fridge rule is pretty simple, just needs a UL seal</p></li>
<li><p>the safes are definitely free. You need to go online and authorize your safe for usage. Then they email you the lock combo...but you don't have to pay for anything. The website advertises it to seem like it would cost money, but when you specify that you attend Brown the costs are dropped.</p></li>
</ul>

<p>Shopping: as above. The Target and Walmart in Seekonk (closest) have actually run out of some stuff during the end of Freshman move in weekend. (Command hooks, XL mattress covers). Seekonk also has nice big grocery store near Target to stock up on some stuff if wanted. Warwick stores are now back open (flooded out 2 years ago)
there is also a Walmart hidden down North Main street, and a Home Depot in Warwick and I think in Seekonk. (good for bedboard if needed, and if you ask they will cut the ply wood for you to your specs, just FYI) </p>

<p>If you arrive without car access, put the word out: often other parents would be very happy to have you come along on a shopping trip! (Finally an Ikea closer than New Haven! I know I'll be there in my van Labor day weekend!)
Book store has some basics but marked up. Also an Urban Outfitters on Thayer street. There is a BedBath and Beyond in the mall downtown. (seems to be a bit pricier than the one in my town. Don't forget to save their 10-15% off coupons that are in newspapers, mail to give to students, most will honor them even if expired). (good reason to figure out the free bus pass when you are lugging a bed spread up the hill!)
You likely will end up doing some shopping once at Brown, but you can coordinate a bunch of stuff ahead with roommate, and save money on sales ahead. And it's nice to have some of the day(s) of move in for Frosh parents to have time instead to explore the campus a bit, have dinner on their own (students will want to be with their peers, etc.)
I don't know if the Facebook group for class of 15 has found or posted links to the dorm room blue prints. (since it is a closed group this year, not even upper class are accessed) They usually take them off line after the lottery is done, but maybe Brown is actually giving them access? this will give dimensions for the room etc. Sometimes students who lived in the same dorm previously will have a saved copy. </p>

<p>the doors don't auto lock in most dorms (except Keeney and I think Andrews,) but they do autoclose. So if you want to have the "Open door, I'm in, come and hang out" friendliness, a door stop is nice to encourage socializing. (some students rig coat hangers to something, I've noticed a lot of "engineered" things in rooms I've stayed in for reunions etc!)
they added the not over half tall (3or 4 foot rule) for fridges, but they don't enforce most of the dorm "rules".</p>

<p>Most dorm rules are only enforced by an announced inspection once a year at the beginning of the year. The inspector is a student who walks in and does a 360 turn so anything not allowed just needs to be out of plain sight.</p>

<p>Lapras, thanks for the update on safes. There was definitely a charge a few years ago. I assume enough people complained that Brown now has a deal with the company.</p>

<p>I'm a rising sophomore at Brown and thought I would throw in my two cents on housing. </p>

<p>About splitting costs with roommates: I would highly advise against this. While some people end up living with their roommate again, very few people do. Its not because they hate each other, but its more that you make a lot of other friends as well. Also, in the worst case, if you and your roommate don't get along it will be hard to split up the shared items later. I'd recommend saying something like roommate A will get the fridge and roommate B will get a microwave and a rug. That way at the end of the year there is no question about who owns what. </p>

<p>Printers: While there still may be benefits to getting a laser printer in the long run, the differences are much smaller these days. I just got a printer for $20 (on sale with PC purchase) and the ink for it is about $13 per cartridge or $34 for a 4-cartridge page. Last year I only had to buy one replacement black cartridge for my printer and no color replacements. Something to take note of as well is that the bookstore started refilling cartridges which saves a lot of money.</p>

<p>Floorplans: They are avaliable year round, but you need to log in. Go to Brown</a> University Office of Residential Life and click Current Students>Housing Lottery>Residence Hall Floorplans or click Residence Halls>3D Room Renderings for really cool computer designed pictures of many of the dorm rooms.</p>

<p>Lighting: The in-room lights in Keeney are not enough--especially in the winter when it gets dark before 6. I brought a floor lamp that I put next to my desk, and I had a smaller lamp near my bed for a reading lamp. My roommate had a smaller lamp on her desk as well. </p>

<p>Fan: From my experience last year, this was necessary during the first two weeks I was on campus (it was in the 90s) and I rarely used it after that. I'd wait and see what the weather is like when you get to providence because if you don't need a fan the first week, there's a good chance you won't need it that year. </p>

<p>Rugs: I was really glad I had a rug, but don't get a really fluffy carpet. I'm not sure how to describe mine but it was more like a large doormat. I have friends who had soft, fluffy carpets, but they became a pain to clean very quickly. People would much rather sit on a not as soft but clean carpet, then a very dirty soft carpet.</p>

<p>BUMPING up for class of 2016. Happy shopping!</p>

<p>Thanks so much!</p>

<p>Some additional info from my Brown student:</p>

<p>When you arrive for orientation you will be given a free 10 ft ethernet cable. Try to get 2!</p>

<p>White electrical tape (looks better than black) is almost a necessity for helping to secure plugs and ethernet plugs into loose outlets/jacks, and for securing cables /cords along the electrical "chair rails". </p>

<p>Halogen lamps are only banned for floor lamps. desk lamps are okay.</p>

<p>2 of the frats sell furniture and fridges the first week of school for very good prices with proceeds often marked for charity. AEPi has a lot of used furniture, some rugs, and some fridges, and ADPhi sells used and cleaned fridges. </p>

<p>While there are "rehydration stations" through out campus (bring a water bottle that fits in your back pack), the dorms don't have them and tap water is awful. Most students also have parents do a run to the store at move in to get a Brita filter and 2-3 extra filters (one of the worst marked up items at the bookstore) as well as a case of a favorite beverage.</p>

<p>Don't forget to coordinate with your roommate(s). It's a bummer for parents to have to haul back bulky items such as rugs, etc. In past years we have gotten BSA to take back a rental fridge that was found to not be needed the first day in, but I don't know if they will still do that.</p>

<p>
[quote]
When you arrive for orientation you will be given a free 10 ft ethernet cable. Try to get 2!

[/quote]
</p>

<p>There's no Ethernet port on my son's new computer. Surely the dorms have wi-fi?</p>

<p>Yes, but it's (slightly) slower, and the Brown-Secure connection sometimes has issues over wireless. Brown-EZ is unencrypted and requires you to log-in with your ID, so that's not ideal as well. </p>

<p>I think CIS recommends that you use the wired connection in the dorms. Also (most importantly in my opinion), you only get IPTV on a wired connection. With regards to the computer, you could always get an external ethernet adapter.</p>

<p>Also there are some rooms (esp in Andrews) which are built with so much solid steel etc in the walls that reception can be very spotty both for wi-fi and for cell phone reception. Not so much a big deal for cell-phones (my student had to almost go out on the fire-escape, but kitchen also seemed to work) but it's a real pain to be doing computer work when it blips out.</p>

<p>Lots of good advice...I just wanted to note that with respect to the Brita system and filters, they had that at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I recommend using their system of ordering at your local BBB and then picking up stuff when you get to school. You don't have to buy everything you order, so over-order. I didn't originally order the bed bug protector (we don't think of that as much in CA). Got nervous when I saw everyone else getting them so I had to really scramble to find one. Made me vow to order anything ahead of time that I could possibly want and then just not buy it if we decided against it. Good news is that he never had bedbugs. Also, the BBB in Providence will take all your coupons. I had four years worth of expired coupons and they didn't blink an eye.</p>

<p>With respect to rugs...they have people selling them in Wriston quad during move-in. We bought a cheap one that he dumped after frosh year.</p>

<p>Anyone from the biking Brown recent /current students know which dorms have bike rooms? I know that Keaney did. Perkins? Andrews? Young Orchard?</p>

<p>That time of year to bump this up for new students, and to get updates from current students (esp class of 2016).</p>

<p>Freshman dorms open for next year:
Keeney quad (Archibald, Bronson, Everett, Jameson, Mead, Poland)
Wayland (1st and 2nd floors)
MoChampEmWool (Morris, Champlin, Emery, Wooley)
Andrews (East/West Andrews, Miller, Metcalf)</p>

<p>Useful information:
General information: [url=<a href="http://reslife.brown.edu/new_students/residence_halls/firstyears.html%5DResidential"&gt;http://reslife.brown.edu/new_students/residence_halls/firstyears.html]Residential&lt;/a> Life: First Year Residence Halls<a href="a%20bit%20outdated,%20since%20it%20still%20lists%20Perkins%20as%20an%20option">/url</a>
New gender-neutral housing option: [url=<a href="http://reslife.brown.edu/policy/FYGenderNeutral.html%5DResidential"&gt;http://reslife.brown.edu/policy/FYGenderNeutral.html]Residential&lt;/a> Life: Policy - Knives<a href="no%20idea%20why%20it%20says%20knives%20there...">/url</a></p>

<p>bruno,</p>

<p>for wayland, do you mean 2nd and 3rd floors or did they move all the offices and stuff out of the 1st floor?</p>