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Winter Storm Juno came, saw and conquered Brown this week, leaving behind more than a foot of snow and a canceled day of classes in its wake. Luckily for Brown students who hadn’t seen a snow day in two years, while most buildings closed down for the day, the Ratty stayed open, supplying students with snack packs and meals all day long. Dining workers coined a new “Ratty Challenge” when they were forced to spend the night in the Ratty after Gov. Gina Raimondo issued a travel ban.

The Ratty also made headlines for its scheduled renovation as part of President Christina Paxson’s strategic plan. The Ratty was last renovated more than 50 years ago and has since been strained in its food and seating capacities. Students have been vocal about suggestions, with some desiring fresher ingredients and more varied food offerings.

While students on meal plan can look forward to these changes, off-meal plan students might be more excited by the new openings on Thayer. Skewers and Mighty Sharp Barber Shop are slotted to replace the closed-down Juniper Frozen Yogurt and Shades Plus, while the restaurant that will replace beloved karaoke spot Spats has yet to be determined.

Students’ last chance to grab a drink with Sheila Blumstein, professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences, is coming to a close as well. Blumstein, who has been at Brown since she was 26, will enter phased retirement effective July 1. She has served in a number of administrative roles, including interim president and chair of the CLPS department. She plans on maintaining post-retirement ties to Brown, saying, “Brown’s been my life. I certainly don’t see it not being a part of it.”

Meanwhile, the Undergraduate Council of Students met Wednesday night to discuss what students are referring to as Brown Prohibition: the alcohol policy change that rocked campus with a single paragraph in an email from administrators. The Jan. 19 email from Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn and Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06 banned parties with alcohol service in residential areas, including Greek and program houses. UCS members voiced the concerns of many on campus in their meeting, discussing possible implications of relating sexual assault policy to alcohol consumption.  “Alcohol isn’t a cause for sexual assault, and when we talk about it we can’t ever frame it like that,” said UCS President Maahika Srinivasan ’15.


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