Vartan Gregorian Quad, New Dorm or Greg? It depends who you ask


Photo “Vartan Gregorian Quad B” by Filetime, licensed under CC 4.0

By Ethan Minkoff

Sophomores overwhelmingly call residence halls “Greg” while upperclassmen stick with “New Dorm”

More than 30 years after their construction in 1991, Brown students are newly divided over how to refer to the residence halls known officially as Vartan Gregorian Quad. According to the Brown Opinion Project’s March 2022 poll, nearly half of Brown students (49.08%) refer to the buildings as “New Dorm.” But over one-third of undergraduates (34.83%) call the dorms “Greg,” and another 10.82% responded that they were unsure of what to call them.


A number of students interviewed by BOP who took the poll said they thought that the division largely exists between classes. The poll confirmed their intuition: Members of the class of 2022 were most likely to call the buildings “New Dorm,” with 86.67% of seniors declaring their preference for the nickname. Juniors responded similarly, with 78.87% of the class of 2023 labeling the buildings “New Dorm.”


Until the completion of the Wellness Center & Residence Hall in summer 2021, the quad was the most recently completed dorm on campus.


But sophomores — who entered campus under virtual learning in spring 2021 isolated from older students who could hand down the nickname — overwhelmingly responded that they refer to the residence hall as “Greg,” with 89.12% indicating their preference for the name.


One anonymous first-year who took the poll said that they “think it is a close split between Greg and New Dorm” within their class.


According to the March poll, members of the class of 2025 are in fact split on the issue. Over one-third of first-years (36.03%) indicated that they call the dorms Greg, with one-quarter (23.53%) answering New Dorm, and a substantial 28.68% saying that they were unsure.


One first-year student who took the poll said that they got lost en route to a meeting at the residence hall because of the confusion between the two nicknames.


“The meeting was supposed to be held at New Dorm,” the first-year said. “I was like, ‘which dorm is new?’ And everyone said, ‘that’s Greg.’”


Some students who took the poll said the divide between Greg and New Dorm has become a point of contention between classes.


“‘Greg’ is a sign that (Brown’s) culture is breaking down,” said one senior who took the poll. “Does this school not value tradition anymore?”


A first-year student who took the poll agreed: They said they refuse to label it “Greg” because the name is “cringey.”


A sophomore who took the poll later retorted that “Greg is much easier to say than New Dorm. It just rolls off the tongue.”


One first-year said that the debate has even divided them and their older sibling, also enrolled at Brown. Their sibling, they said, got mad at them when they called the residence hall “Greg.”


Despite hostility from older classes, one pro-“Greg” first-year said they thought the nickname would prove dominant in the long-run.


“It’s going to be Greg,” the first-year said. “It’s just a matter of time.”


Note: All quoted poll-takers remain anonymous to maintain the integrity of Brown Opinion Project surveys. Brown Opinion Project conducted its March 2022 poll from March 2-4, collecting 591 total responses from Brown undergraduate students with a margin of error of 4.09% with 95% confidence.