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Sexual Misconduct Policy

Brown University desires to establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment for all members of the University community. The University, by providing resources for prevention, education, support, and a fair disciplinary process, seeks to address issues of sexual misconduct at Brown. The University, through designated offices collects information regarding incidents and makes available statistical and other appropriate information.

Sexual misconduct, of any kind, represents socially irresponsible behavior and violates the rights of other individuals. Brown expects all members of the University community to conduct themselves in accordance with the Principles of the Brown University Community and seeks, by this policy, both to advise them of its expectations and the possible consequences for violations.

Definition and Comment. Brown University prohibits sexual misconduct, defined as non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature. It encompasses a broad range of behaviors, including acts using force, threat, intimidation, or advantage gained by the offended student's mental or physical incapacity or impairment of which the offending student was aware or should have been aware. A charged student's use of any drug, including alcohol, judged to be related to an offense will be considered an exacerbating rather than a mitigating circumstance.

Prevention/Education. A variety of educational programs, provided by professional staff and peer educators, are provided to members of the student community. Some information is provided as an integral part of other programs, such as orientation for first year students. Other programs are available to graduate students, faculty, and staff.

Brown University makes available through designated offices statistical information regarding the incidence of sexual assault and other matters. Further, the Vice President for Campus Life & Student Services determines the manner in which the University community is to be informed of the outcome of disciplinary matters.

Support. As appropriate, Brown University offers outreach and support to faculty, students, and staff. Regardless of whether the need for outreach or support is related to a particular incident, those who believe they may benefit from such programs or assistance are encouraged to utilize these services.

Discipline. Incidents reported to the appropriate departments (i.e., Office of Student Life, Department of Public Safety) will be addressed promptly and treated confidentially to the extent possible. The decision to file a complaint against a student is an extremely personal one. If assistance is needed, a designated Advocate will be available for advice and support. The disciplinary process includes the investigation of allegations, which may result in a hearing in accordance with University procedures.

University Sanctions. Sanctions will be imposed in accordance with appropriate University processes upon persons in violation of the sexual misconduct policy. Just as there are a range of behaviors which violate this policy, there are a range of sanctions which may be imposed. Sanctions that can be imposed through a Student Conduct Board or Administrative Hearing include reprimand, probation, deferred suspension, suspension, or expulsion. Sanctions that can be imposed through a dean's hearing include reprimand, probation, or deferred suspension. Sanctions that can be imposed through a Peer Community Standards Board hearing include reprimand, or probation. (For more specific information regarding the imposition of sanctions, please refer to the Student Conduct Procedures online at

Criminal Prosecution. In addition to the University disciplinary process, rape and other forms of sexual assault may be prosecuted criminally by the Attorney General of the State of Rhode Island. Use of the University procedures, or a lack thereof, does not preclude a complainant from filing charges under state criminal statutes. The Attorney General of the State of Rhode Island is located at 72 Pine Street, Providence, RI.