The Economista: Free On-Campus Events

Campus Dance 2015 Blog 10
Brown’s Campus Dance 2015

Welcome to The Economista! My name is Andy Pham and I will be giving you weekly tips and tricks on how to budget, save money, and have inexpensive fun at Brown!

Hello Future Bears! This week I wanted to write about some of the classic events that you could look forward to on campus. I’m going to focus on the free events, but I will try to talk about all of the big and popular events as well.

Get excited!

Class Board Events

As a member of Class Board 2019, I am going to start things off with a ~slightly shameless~ plug. If you don’t already know, the Class Coordinating Board (CCB) is basically Brown’s elected student group that aims to create fun, community-building events for each respective class. More specifically, CCB  uses money that the Student Activities Office (SAO) gives them to fund these events. Since CCB is meant to reach out to such a large population of students here at Brown, it gets a lot of funding from the SAO. Thus, the opportunities for event types are somewhat limitless.

Typically, most of the events that each grade’s Class Board creates are free of charge. During an average semester, each Board is responsible for creating and running two events for their class. For example, last semester our first-year Board held a study break event called Treat Yo Self where we offered hot chocolate, mac & cheese, cupcakes, massages from Brown University Relaxation Project (BURP), and a professional photo booth – all free of charge!

I’m going to list a few more examples of CCB events, just to give you an idea of the variety of event types:

  • 90’s Senior Prom: free; open to all Brown/RISD students; a fun dance that featured classic 90’s snacks (think gushers), a DJ, and a photo booth
  • Escape Providence: free, upcoming first-year event; centers around finding a tropical escape away from PVD’s cold weather with karaoke, beach balls, fruit kabobs, and selfie stations
  • Fall on the Quad: a sophomore event that was essentially a huge inflatable playground with zorb balls (think huge squishy hamster balls, but for people), a bouncy obstacle race, free Del’s lemonade, and free tricycle ice cream sandwiches


Gala is another CCB event, but this one is targeted at the entire student body. It’s one of those “it” dances of the year that a lot of people attend. This year’s theme is Alice in Wonderland and it’s going to be held at this beautiful venue off campus.

The only downside to this event is that it does cost $25. However, I believe that students can talk to financial aid if this price is a big obstacle, and they should be able to help with that.

Brown Lecture Board 

This group is another source of a lot of cool, FREE events on campus. The point of this student group is to reach out to speakers and pay for them to come speak at Brown. Last semester, Jane Goodall (well known for her work with chimps) was the speaker. This semester, Viola Davis (famous actress that made history as the first black woman to win an Emmy for Lead Actress) will be gracing Brown with her presence.

The way to go about getting tickets for these events is through a lottery system online. If you are one of the lucky few that are able to secure a ticket through this method, then you can simply show up to the lecture and get in. However, if you don’t get a ticket you will have to wait in the stand-by line outside of the venue. Usually, these students are able to get in though – whether it be the actual auditorium, or a separate room where the talk is streamed live.

There is one more way to get a seat in these lectures though: ushering. If you know someone on the Brown Lecture Board, you can reach out and express your interest in ushering. The time commitment is small: a 30 minute mandatory training and being at the event about 90 minutes early and staying behind afterwards for about 15 minutes. The big upside though is that not only do you have a seat for sure, this seat is reserved in the front row! I was lucky enough to have people reach out to me about ushering for the Viola Davis talk, so you’ll see me bug-eyed in the front row this upcoming Monday night.

Faunce Events

Faunce (otherwise known as the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center) often holds a lot of pretty cool, lowkey free events. They recently had a Super Bowl Viewing event in the Leung Gallery and an event where you could get cool print out letters to spell out your name or whatever you want. They also had this one event where you could make your own street sign. There’s also plenty of free food events that happen in Faunce as well!

MPC Workshops

Every year the new cohort of MPC’s (minority peer counselors) create and run numerous workshops on a huge amount of social issues. This includes racism, heterosexism, classism, exotification of women of color, labor exploitation, and so much more. These free events (which also usually offer free food) are a great way of becoming more educated about these issues.

Continuing along this note, if these workshops sound like something you’re interested in then considering applying to TWTP when you get into Brown! TWTP is a fantastic pre-orientation program that is basically three days of these amazing workshops and talks. This is a pretty big program too, so don’t worry about being scared of not getting in.

Blog 10 Faunce.jpg

These are just some of the big outlets of awesome free events that I can remember. There’s also a ton of student groups on campus that run events open to everyone as well! It’s easy to find something that interests you at Brown, and if you can’t find something then you can start a club yourself!

I hope this list got you excited about the social and fun aspect of college life at Brown! Thank you for reading, and until next time.


I am open to any and all ideas, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have! If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments you can e-mail me at . Thanks!


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