• November 7, 2019 |

    campus hotspots

    places that will keep you warm this winter

    article by , illustrated by

    ‘Tis the season, folks!

    Okay, okay don’t yell at me for bringing up Christmas too early (is it really ever too early, though?)

    As you’ve probably noticed, it’s starting to get cold enough that you finally had to pull out your box of winter coats. You might have found yourself in dire need of some warmth. Don’t know where to go? It’s okay, I’ve got you covered. After extensive research, I have for you my list of campus “hot-spots”: the perfect places to go for a quick blast of warmth. Want to find the place that’s just right for your specific heating needs? 



    Page Robinson Entryway: Ever wanted to live in a glass box? Like a really warm, toasty glass box? Well, I’ve found you a new home. The glass doors at the entryway of Page-Robinson Hall are the perfect place to warm up before you lug your mail back home. The happiest mistake I’ve made was sitting on the heating unit. I stayed there for hours after. 

    Average Temperature Differential: 3℃ (oh-so cozy). 


    IBES Greenhouse: Ever wondered how the plants keep warm? Well, you can find out for yourself at the IBES (85 Waterman St.) Greenhouse. Yes, the greenhouse on the top of the building is open to all (7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., every day!). So come talk to the plants and experience the greenhouse effect in the least depressing way. 


    The Vents™: 

    Biomed Vents: So envision this: You live in Pembroke, it’s really freaking cold outside, but you can’t skip class…how do you avoid hypothermia? Well, Biomed has the perfect sauna for you! If we overlook the simple fact that the fumes may be slightly toxic, this is the perfect place to warm up before you take a nap during Orgo. 

    Freshman warming up under the vent, 2019—colorized.

    Average Temperature Differential: 4°C (toasty)


    Bar-Hol Vents: I know I should be at least slightly startled by the fact that there’s steam coming out of the manholes, but I don’t even question it because it’s next to Barus and Holley. Who knows what goes on inside those mysterious tunnels? 

    While the Biomed vents do offer more privacy, for a more intense, intriguing steaming experience, if you head over to the manholes around Barus and Holley/ERC, you can experience what it’s like to be a dumpling. 

    Bonus: Stare into the weird yellow room for additional warmth.


    Faunce Center Stairs: While we’re on the topic of odd crevices that disperse heat, I must mention the weirdest of them all. Simply walk up & down the steps of the Blue Room (the ones in all of those photos), and you will notice small bursts of heat coming out from in between the stairs! What the source of this radiation could possibly be is beyond me, but if this is where my tuition is going, count me in! 

    Average Temperature Differential: 2°C (just right)


    The Ratty Front Door: The Ratty and perfection are two things that clearly don’t go together. However, the Ratty does have one thing going for it. Its front entrance has mastered the intricate science of perfect insulation. All one needs on a cold day is a few bursts of the warm air that exits through the heavy doors of the Ratty. Of course, it’s all downhill from there… 

    The Ratty Hidden Door: If that last short burst of warm air didn’t do the trick, you can still go to what is possibly the warmest corner of campus ever. It’s also the perfect place to hide out because no one ever seems to use these side exit doors. 

    Directions: As you’re exiting The Ratty through the back doors, instead of walking straight out onto Wriston, take a left.


    Average Temperature Differential: 3°C (perfection)


    The Sunlab: One would think that a place so devoid of emotional warmth would be a cold, barren wasteland—but think again. My extensive reporting led me to the following comments by an undisclosed almost CS concentrator:  

    “[The Sunlab] is the closest thing to literal hell on the Brown campus. It is super hot, people are only there because they have to be (FastX is down again ;(  ), and it smells like shit because CS people forget to shower.”

    Average Temperature Differential: 5°C (uncomfortably hot)

    The Herald Back Office Room: Radiators should not be this powerful, please send me a bucket of ice. 

    Average Temperature Differential:  6°C (place is basically in flames)

    (The editors confirm this.)

    Minden/Perkins/Grad Center Radiators: Radiators and I don’t have a good track record. I get nightmares any time I hear a sound that remotely resembles hissing. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an uncomfortably hot environment, hit up your friends living in one of these locations.


    (Wish you had information about possible heating problems ahead of time? Never fear, post- is here! Be sure to check out our in-depth housing guide so you can stay prepared!)