Distributed August 16, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mark Nickel

Campus Life Task Force recommends changes to residential system

A report issued by the Campus Life Task Force recommends that Brown University reconfigure its current residential system to create a system of residential clusters. Two pilot clusters, designed to enhance student-faculty interaction and support a sense of community and continuity, could be ready for the fall of 2001.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Campus Life Task Force, charged last January with reviewing and assessing campus life at Brown University, has issued a report calling for a pilot approach which would bring significant changes in the way Brown organizes residential living in specific residence halls. Among many specific recommendations, the report proposes the creation of “residential clusters,” which would function as neighborhoods, providing enhanced opportunities for social interaction, academic enrichment, improved faculty-student collaboration, greater diversity and better integration of academic and co-curricular programs.

The task force recommends that the University explore the residential clusters model by implementing two pilot projects – one in the Emery-Woolley and Morriss-Champlin residence halls and one in Wriston Quadrangle – in the fall of 2001.

Editors: The Campus Life Task Force Report is available at the Brown News Service Web site.

The 19-member task force of students, faculty and administrators met weekly, interviewing deans, department heads, University staff and students. It was chaired by Janina Montero, vice president for campus life and student services.

“The task force recognized that students do not separate their lives into purely academic and non-academic spheres,” Montero said. “One of the overriding themes of our deliberations was our search for a residential system that would more effectively integrate learning and living, a system that would embody Brown’s core values of choice, diversity, independence, personal responsibility and interdisciplinary studies.”

Among the report’s other recommendations:

  • The University should strengthen programming and support services that address the specific needs of graduate and medical students, including improvements to study and research spaces and computer access for graduate students whose needs are not met within their home departments, and improving the residential options for graduate and medical students;

  • Working from the Faculty Fellows Program as a base, the University should expand faculty-student interaction in a residential environment and in other programmatic contexts;

  • The University should consider seriously the proposal put forward by the University Library to create the Information Resources Center that is an expanded and reconfigured library;

  • The University should pursue additional locations for the creative and performing arts as a means to develop collaborative projects among students and faculty.