Dorms Declassified: Where da parties at?


Hello! My name is Alejandra (Ali) Gatas Johnson and I am your Dorms Declassified: Brown Survival Guide blogger. Living in a dorm with a roommate was one of the things that I was most excited but also nervous about for college. This blog is to help ease the concern and provide insight on residential life at Brown.

College Parties. From those words, you probably think of a HUGE party thrown by a fraternity house with hundreds of people and lots of alcohol with music blaring in the background. The media and movies like “American Pie,” “Neighbors,” and “Sydney White”perpetuate this college party stereotype. So what are the parties at Brown really like?

Before I begin, I want to reiterate that parties do not have to be a part of your college story. I have never felt peer pressured to drink or go to a party here at Brown. Whether to party or not, it is up to you. This post is to shed some light on how parties generally are at Brown to debunk the college stereotype. At the end of the day, college is what you make of it.

So where are the parties at really? Yes, the stereotype has some true to it, there are parties at Greek or program houses, but no more than any other dorm or organization. Greek programs are housed in Brown dorms on Wriston Quad. As such, they are not disconnected from the campus or campus regulations. The parties do not get out of hand or get completely crazy. Of course, they are fun and high energy, but not like the media portrays them.

Sport houses are also painted as party scenes. Depending on the sport, sport houses do host parties. Each sport is different in their frequency of parties, but overall they do not get extremely crazy or are that frequent. The houses are often not directly on campus, but only a short (5-10 minute) walk away.

Ok, so what about what isn’t shown in movies? Student organizations and clubs also host parties. Theses parties tend to be closed and not open to the public (usually, not always). They are more intimate. Some parties have a cover charge to enter (often when they are Brown recognized and do not have alcohol).

So why is this in the Dorms Declassified column? Many students host pre-games in their dorm rooms. For those that don’t know, pre-games are more intimate gatherings where people drink and get ready to go to a party or an event. Some pre-games then turn into parties when there are enough people.

Depending on the dorm room and the size, hosting a party in your room is completely doable. I have even been to a party where an entire floor of dorm rooms hosted one huge party. Each dorm room was playing a different genre and had a different theme and guests would just go from one room to the next.

Partying is not a college requirement. You don’t have to and frankly, many don’t. You have the power to make it a part of your life or stay away from it. As discussed in the post, there are multiple places to find a party and they aren’t as wild has they are depicted. Every party is different and every organization is different. You decide for yourself if there is a party you want to go to or not.

TL; DR (But I hope you did!)

  • Don’t believe everything you see in the movies
  • Parties are held in many different ways by many different organizations
  • Parties are not uniformal
  • Go to parties or don’t it is up to you
  • Make college what you want it to be

If you have comments or questions about this column or anything related to Brown, please email me at


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