October 27, 2020
Vice President for Campus Life Eric Estes and Dean of the College Rashid Zia
Tags Undergraduates Grad and Medical Students

To Brown First Year Students: Information Needed by Nov.10


We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. As we shared earlier this month, Brown continues to plan for the arrival of first-year students in January to begin full-time studies. Provided the public health situation enables us to proceed as planned, we look forward to welcoming many of you to campus. Today, we write to share some important updates and to provide details on some essential actions required of every first-year student so the University can successfully prepare for your arrival. Please read this email carefully and note the various deadlines.

Pre-Registration for Classes

You will have an opportunity to pre-register for your Spring 2021 classes beginning Thursday, Nov. 19, at 12 p.m. EST. You can start adding spring course options now to your Primary Cart in [email protected], the system students use at Brown to search for and register for courses. When pre-registration opens, you will be able to initially register for up to four courses. Detailed instructions on how to register for courses in [email protected] are available in this tutorial.

In order to participate in pre-registration, you will need to meet (remotely) with your academic advisor to discuss your course selections for spring and receive your advising PIN. Your advisor will email you by Thursday, Nov. 5, with times they are available in the next few weeks to discuss your academic plan. To prepare for your advising meeting, we encourage you to review the Designing Your Brown Education guide, which you received electronically earlier this year. In addition, we encourage you to complete the first two modules of the [email protected] online workshop in Canvas. This workshop is designed to help you begin your academic journey through Brown’s Open Curriculum and includes some helpful tips on course selection. 

You can also use the filter option in [email protected] to search for courses of special interest, such as First-Year Seminars. Although participating in a First-Year Seminar is not required, many students appreciate the small class sizes, the unique topics offered and the opportunity to build relationships with seminar instructors. You will receive more information soon about the registration process for First-Year Seminars, which will take place after pre-registration.

Living on Campus

For students who will be studying in Providence this spring (and therefore, living on campus), you are required to submit your housing preferences in the Housing Questionnaire no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 10, to enable the Office of Residential Life to make a housing assignment for you. If you would like to request a reasonable housing accommodation due to a disability, you must register and submit a completed request with Student Accessibility Services no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13.

As part of Brown’s de-densified housing plan to help protect health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, first-year students will not have roommates in Spring 2021. Students assigned to suites will have suitemates, with whom they may share a bathroom, but first-year students will not share a bedroom. Students will have an opportunity on their Housing Questionnaire to indicate up to three preferred neighbors who you would like to live nearby. While this preference cannot be guaranteed, every effort will be made to accommodate these requests.

Brown’s residence halls are gender-inclusive by floor, meaning that most floors will have students of different gender identities. Students who prefer a single-sex living environment, where only students of their gender identity will live or share a bathroom, will have the opportunity to note this on the Housing Questionnaire. All students will be provided a microfridge (a combined mini-fridge and microwave) for their personal use.

The University will be hosting virtual meet-and-greets on the weekends of Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 in Bruno Beginnings for first-year students to connect with fellow classmates and perhaps identify potential neighbors (please register using this Bruno Bunches RSVP Form). After students arrive in January, Residential Peer Leaders (RPLs) and Bruno Leaders will work with students to create residential “pods” to promote community-building that supports shared public health practices.

 Pre-Orientation Programs

Regardless of whether you’ll study on campus or remotely this spring, we encourage you to consider participating in one of Brown’s pre-orientation programs in January. The International Mentoring Program (IMP) and International Orientation are devoted to easing the transition of international students to life on Brown's campus and in the United States. The IMP website contains more information about this program. The Third World Transition Program (TWTP) welcomes new students to Brown with workshops and community-building programs that center the student of color experience. The TWTP website contains additional details. Applications for these programs are due Tuesday, Nov. 24 and are linked within the Housing Questionnaire. On-campus participants in these programs will move in on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. 

Moving In 

Students will move into Brown’s residence halls between Jan. 9 and Jan. 12, 2021. When you receive your housing assignment in early December, you will be able to select your date and time of arrival from available time slots. Please note that students participating in the IMP or TWTP pre-orientation programs must arrive on Jan. 9, 2021. Most students not participating in TWTP or IMP will arrive between Jan. 10 and Jan. 12.

Your specific housing assignment for Spring 2021 is for one semester only, and all students should be prepared for the possibility of moving to a different campus housing assignment for the Summer 2021 term. Therefore, we urge you to pack only essential items for your time on campus.

During move-in, in compliance with Brown’s public health protocols, you may have up to two people accompany you to campus. You and the friends or family members accompanying you must wear face coverings at all times on campus, and all guests will need to limit their time in the residence halls to dropping off belongings.

You will receive more detailed information about arriving and moving in when you receive your housing assignment in early December. 

Quiet Period and Orientation

As we look forward to a successful spring semester, the health and safety of our community will remain our highest priority — and preventing the spread of COVID-19 will require the full participation and cooperation of all students, staff and faculty and strict adherence to public health protocols. As one of the primary prevention measures, students will be required to observe a 14-day “Quiet Period” upon arrival to the Brown campus. This includes a period of time when students will be expected to remain in their residence halls except to get COVID-19 tests, receive care from Health Services by appointment or to pick up grab-and-go dining hall meals. 

New Student Orientation exercises will take place from Jan. 13 to Jan. 20 during the Quiet Period. You will be part of a small group of fellow first-year students who will participate in programs and events designed to build community, introduce you to campus culture, promote health and wellness, and acquaint you with campus services and resources. Your group will be facilitated by a Bruno Leader. 

In Closing

Please be sure to take all of the following actions that apply to you: 

  • Complete your Housing Questionnaire no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 10, if you will be studying in Providence. This is a firm deadline.
  • Complete the first two modules of the [email protected] online workshop in Canvas.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your course selections and receive your advising PIN.
  • Pre-register for your Spring 2021 classes beginning Thursday, Nov. 19, at 12 p.m. EST.
  • Apply for IMP or TWTP pre-orientation program by Tuesday, Nov. 24 

As noted, students will receive their housing assignment in early December along with detailed move-in information. You will be able to select your move-in date and time slot at that time.

We look forward to your arrival on campus and the start of the academic year. You can continue to find information about the University’s plans on the Healthy Brown website and by reading FAQs on the Residential Life Spring 2021 Website

If you have questions about your Housing Questionnaire, you can contact [email protected] or [email protected]. If you have questions about the pre-registration process, you can contact [email protected].


Eric Estes
Vice President for Campus Life

Rashid Zia
Dean of the College