Brown University Relaxation Project (burp)

Brown University Relaxation Project

What is BURP?

The Brown University Relaxation Project, affectionately known as BURP, consists of a group of student volunteers dedicated to promoting stress relief and relaxation in the Brown community. Student volunteers are trained by a licensed massage therapist to give relaxing upper back, shoulder, and neck massages.

What BURP Is and Isn't

The goal of BURP is simple: to relieve stress and brighten students' days. We are helping students get a different perspective on their day, and perhaps make it better with music, chocolate, and a massage. We simply want you to NOT worry about your stress for a few minutes, and enjoy a peaceful environment. It is important to recognize that we are not there nor trained to solve problems, and we are not there to provide any type of physical therapy or counseling.

As a student group, BURP is more than happy to give free massages to students, but is unfortunately unable to provide back-rubs for faculty, staff, and/or non-Brown affiliated students.

Please check Today @ Brown for the time and location of our weekly sessions. No appointment is necessary. We use a first-come, first-served system organized via a sign-up sheet at the event, and each shoulder rub lasts between 6 to 8 minutes. BURP is also available by request for student group events. 

Contact BURP ([email protected]) for more information.

Interested in becoming a burper?

To learn about upcoming trainings (1-2 each semester!)email ([email protected]) to join our Listserv so that you receive updates on all of our events! Be sure to also watch out for BURP trainings and events in Today@Brown and on our Instagram page!

Would you like to request a BURP event for your program or student group?

If you are interested in collaborating with BURP, please fill out this form. Please ensure that all required fields are completed. If you have any questions, e-mail the BURP coordinator at [email protected]. Note that BURP does not hold events during semester breaks.

Requesting a BURP Event

To make a BURP event a positive experience for everyone involved, we ask that you abide by the following guidelines:

  • Each BURP request must be received a minimum of 2 weeks before the date of the event in order to be guaranteed consideration. Please note that BURP events are not held during reading period or semester breaks, including the summer.
  • BURP events are scheduled for 1 hour. If you would like to request more than 1 hour, please include it in the request form for special consideration.
  • To accommodate each request, we ask that you give an estimate of the number of people you expect to attend the BURP session. This will determine the number of BURPers we send to the event. If your numbers increase or decrease significantly, please notify the BURP coordinator via email at [email protected].
  • Please inform the students that will be attending the session what BURP is about and our policies. People have a range of different experiences with touch -- both positive and negative -- and we have found that it is important to give people the space to make the choice of whether or not they want a BURP session. Although a noble intention, please do not surprise your group with a BURP session.
  • You are responsible for promoting the event. We have generic posters you can print, fill in your event details, and use to advertise.  If you would like to use our posters, please let the BURP coordinator know when you request the event.
  • Please be on time. The BURPers are volunteering their time and we ask that you respect this and start and finish according to the times you requested. BURP sessions last about an hour in length.
  • Each burp shoulder rub lasts between 6 to 8 minutes. The BURPers will have a sign-in sheet for attendees to sign. Please make the environment as comfortable as possible. For example, do not have the session in a high-traffic or noisy area. We ask for at least 2 straight back desk chairs to be provided, and we will provide relaxing music. 
  • Please fill out an event evaluation form after the event! The BURP team leader will give you this form to fill out. We value all feedback - help us make burp even better! If you did not receive the evaluation form, please contact the BURP coordinator. Thanks!
  • If you need to cancel the event, notify the BURP coordinator as soon as possible, at least 1 business day before the scheduled event. 
  • We make every attempt to fulfill all event requests, but please remember that BURP is a group of student volunteers with busy lives and schedules. As a result, it is not always possible for us to staff events and we will sometimes not know if we will have enough volunteers until the day before the event.