What's new in Browns, response to questionnaire & building plant life.

First of all, we would like to thank everyone who took the time to let us know how they feel about Browns. In general, the respondents are now very satisfied with the space, which is a huge difference from past years.

We (PGR Reps) have reviewed all the suggestions and complaints, and tried to address them accordingly. This post provides an overview of the changes we want to implement or have already implemented, and answer some burning questions raised.

We would also like to remind you that the renovations in Browns were consulted with PGRs many times and are the result of several years of hard work of our previous PGR Reps. The form and style of the renovation was out of PGR hands as the university provided budget only for ‘default’ options, hence the generic carpet. We would like to Thank past PGRs for all the work they put into making this change happen.

Table of Contents

Ping Pong table

The ping pong table seems to still stir a drama amongst PGRs. According to our respondents 45% of you want to get rid of it and 55% of you want to keep it. Nevertheless, the main reasons for why you folks want to get rid of it is that it is not really used and just takes up space, and that it is broken and barely usable.

As your PGR Reps, and people who still remember people using the table, we decided to listen to the majority and keep the table in Browns. Moreover, we will put some extra effort into making the table levelled and fix the net to make it actually usable. We also organized a ping pong tournament in mid-March to restore your faith into the table. We will observe the table usage over the future and if future PGRs decide that it is still unused, it can be always scrapped later.

Plant life

Lots of you are keen on having some plants live in Browns and making the space livelier. There was several suggestions and people offering cuttings and so, but we think the best and the most sustainable idea is the creation of a Green Collective, a group of PGRs that would collectively establish plant life in Browns and take care of them.

Thus, we would like to establish a Green Collective group. The main purpose of the group will be;

  • Connect PGRs passionate about plants
  • The group will have the freedom to decide on what plants they want, how they want to source them and how they want to take care of them
  • The group will have access to a portion of the PGR social budget to use for the purchase of plants, soil, pots and even a shelving system if needed

As PGR Reps we love the idea, and are very happy to help out with budgeting, finances and delivery organization. Our only requirement for this group is to make the plant life and the group sustainable and efficient enough, so the plants survive long enough to bring lots of goodness to current and future PGRs.

If you want to be part of the Green Collective please send us your email and phone number through This Form. We will then create a WhatsApp group where you can communicate your ideas.

What we added to Browns

Based on your feedback and some of our ideas we have added some things to Browns we think you will like.

  • We added biscuits and salt and pepper grinders. Stock of biscuits, salt and pepper is available in the PGR Rep cabinet, on the left side of the fridge.
  • We added blankets for you to use if you get too cold. We also have two oil-heaters in Browns, if you need one, pop a message to our Geography postgrad WhatsApp chat.
  • We added sanitary products in the women’s bathroom. Again, stock is available in the PGR Rep cabinet, on the left side of the fridge.
  • We dug out all the board games that have been hiding around Browns and added a set of Chess.

Most of those items were purchased from the PGR Social budget and will be mostly managed by PGR Reps. Nevertheless, feel free to donate vegan biscuits, salt boxes or sanitary products to contribute to the community.

Curated library

You probably noticed that there is a half empty shelf in the common room. Based on your feedback, we intend to curate a library collection that will provide more attractive and useful read for you.

  • We saved some important books from the Browns clean-up that we think most of you can use such as ‘The Dictionary of Human Geography’. We would like to buy or find other books that could help PGRs with the directions such as ‘The Dictionary of Physical Geography’ , ‘The Dictionary of Geography’ or other books showing principles or concepts of the different geography fields. If you want to donate such books feel free to add them to the shelf, or if you know of such relevant pieces and want us to chase it, write an email to Lenka (lenka.hasova@bristol.ac.uk)
  • We added some easy-read magazines that you might like. There is a full year of Geographical magazines, which were kindly donated by Tom Statham, and two years worth of Vegan Food magazines donated by Lenka. You might find those very useful if you sign up for a Cake Rota and want to bake something vegan.
  • We would like to encourage finishing PGRs to provide copy of their thesis and add it to the library. We (PGR Reps) are happy to help with the printing and binding.

Accessibility to showers

Some of you wanted to know if there are any showers available close by. University indeed has a number of showers available, you can find the list HERE.

We have added the link as a tool card in the ‘Tools&Links’ on this website.


There were many PGRs in the office before the pandemic and all the fridges were used at the time. The Fridges in the kitchen are working and stay unplugged until there is enough people to justify the electricity usage.

It is our responsibility to keep the fridges clean, so if you see moulded food or things that are there for months, feel free to throw them out.


Milk is provided by the school. The milk is not delivered to Browns but will be available in the fridge in the geography common room. If we run out of milk, or if one of our Reps is not available on Monday to pick it up, feel free to grab the milk carrier from the kitchen and pick up the milk yourself.

The supply of milk has been inconsistent since the beginning of 2022 due to ‘work-from-home’ schedule. However, we hope this will be resolved soon.

Plumbing & heating

Your notes on toilet & heating functionality will be given to department on next SSLC meeting, as this is a facility issue. Feel free to also use maintenance tool to report such issues to the university.

If you have any other ideas, feel free to send one of us an email, or use the next SSLC questionnaire form to submit your comments.

Lenka Hasova
Lenka Hasova
Human Geography PhD student

My dissertation looks at the use of Spatial Interaction Models and their spatial structure. I love coding in Python and R, and in a spare time, I make my own clothes.

Isolde Glissenaar
Isolde Glissenaar
Physical Geography PhD student
Claude De Rijke-Thomas
Claude De Rijke-Thomas
Physical Geography PhD student

I am trying to measure snowdepths on Arctic sea ice, using aircraft and satellite radar data, with Dr Jack Landy. I enjoy climbing, foraging and playing the piano.

Sonia Pighini
Sonia Pighini
MScR student

I’m half Venezuelan and half Italian, love cooking, baking and anything that’s creative! If you can’t reach me, I’m either at the gym or watching bake-off. My research is about sustainable food systems transition in the lovely city of Bristol.

George Smith
George Smith
Human Geography PhD student

I am interested in human-environment relationships and will be working on the political ecology of conservation in Senegal.

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