Dorms Declassified: How Now Brown Cow

Photo Credit: Hailey Fulkerson

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.

Residents of Wriston Quad came out to a surprise visitor today. Serene, a beautiful, gentle cow, chilled on the quad in front of the Ratty for around 3 hours today. This kind cow lived up to her name, providing students with a calming presence and animal petting time. Serene leisurely chomped on some hay and delicious green grass as disbelieving students surrounded her with love.


Serene came to Brown as a part of Earth Week to help students understand the locality of the food that they consume. Serene and other cows from her farm produce the fresh milk that is served at the Ratty and the VDub (the two cafeterias). They acted as a means to restore people’s connection with the food they consume.

Having a cow in the middle of one of the main resident quads is unusual and different. However, having special (and borderline weird) things happening on campus is pretty common for the Brown community. This past weekend Ruth Simmons Quad was full of human hamster ball competitions, frozen lemonade, and more. Last week I had both my Contact Improv Dance class and my International Law class outside. Furthermore, today Brown Lecture Board announced that comedian and Daily Show host, Trevor Noah, was going to be coming to give a speech at Brown in a couple weeks. While not everything is outside all of the time (we do have winter), something new and exciting is always happening on Brown’s campus.

It is a joy to walk around campus and leave the dorms and see what is happening around campus. Student groups advertise and sell stuff in the student center. Brown Quidditch team practices on the Main Green. Each academic building hosts multiple different performances and organization meetings daily. Professors walk their dogs. Students soak up the sun. And so much more happens every single day.

Currently, Brown’s campus has been overrun with prospective students. Every day there are multiple tours with huge masses of people in each tour. I wonder if they think it is weird that we have a brown cow randomly on the quad, but I know that they are getting the “Brown experience” and a taste of the variety of events that happen all of the time at Brown.

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


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