Sexual Assault: Policy, Resources, and Prevention, Summer 2014 Updates

Brown University is committed to strengthening our policies, practices, and procedures designed to prevent and address incidents of sexual assault.  For more information about our comprehensive review, please see President Paxson’s May 2, 2014 letter to the community.  The following information will be updated periodically to report on work underway this summer.


  • A comprehensive Title IX website has aggregated sexual assault policy and resources.  Liza Cariaga-Lo, associate provost for diversity, has led that effort.
  • Feedback forms have been developed to allow students to submit feedback on meetings with deans and administrators.  Those forms are now available on the Campus Life, Student Life, and Dean of the College websites.
  • The three students hired for the summer have reviewed the sexual assault section of the Health Education website and provided edits and new content. 


  • Three students have been hired to assist with summer efforts. They are working with offices responsible for health education, student/campus life, diversity, and planning and policy.
  • We are pleased to announce that Marc Peters joined Brown in the new position of Men's Health Coordinator. Marc is currently the Global Communications and Campaigns Manager at MenEngage.  He is also a co-founder of MasculinityU, a web-based violence prevention organization that offers a national speaker's bureau, consulting, and curriculum and program development services. Marc has a Bachelor's degree in Policy Studies and Journalism from Syracuse University and a Master's degree in Public Service from the University of Arkansas-Clinton School of Public Service.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services conducted several searches this summer, expanding expertise in sexual assault and multicultural identity
  • Justice Gaines ’16, Adam Kererer ’15, and Yvonne Yu 14.5 worked with offices responsible for health education, student/campus life, diversity, and planning and policy.
  • Administrators completed the job description for a full-time university-wide Title IX  Coordinator at Brown. The job is posted and a national search is underway.  

Information Gathering

  • Vice President Russell Carey, who co-chairs the Sexual Assault Task Force with Dr. Michelle Cyr, hired external consultants to conduct a “paper review” of University practices and resources this summer. The consultants will also hold some meetings on campus with students, faculty, and administrators. Their assessment will inform the work of the task force.
  • The Law Firm of Pepper Hamilton was selected to serve as the external consultant for Brown's review.
  • Campus Life administrators attended conferences on sexual assault this summer at Yale (Ivy Sexual Assault Group), Duke (Student Conduct), and Dartmouth (Summit on Sexual Assault). 
  • Brown University worked throughout the month of July with local area colleges to gather Title IX resources and assist one another in training and education activities.  As part of this work, a group of Brown administrators participated in a Title IX Investigator Training Workshop at Connecticut College to be held on September 11-12, 2014.
  • Brown's Office of Institutional Diversity and the Human Resources AA/EEO Office have begun discussions with the leadership of the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) to develop a comprehensive Title IX Administrator Training Workshop to be held at Brown.
  • Administrators completed information gathering across peer institutions related to Title IX organizational structures.
  • Student workers gathered information on policies and programs at peer institutions and have met with administrators to discuss Brown's current policies in the context of best practices. 

Orientation and Training

  • Planning for graduate and undergraduate student orientation is complete.  Bita Shooshani, coordinator of sexual assault prevention and advocacy, was part of the graduate student orientation. 
  • The tutorial for incoming undergraduate students has new content on policies and resources and more information on consent and bystander intervention. 
  • New orientation program content has been made available for department chairs and directors of graduate studies. Brian Walton, associate dean of the Graduate School, and Liza Cariaga-Lo led the development of that material. 
  • All undergraduate residential peer leaders were trained to facilitate a discussion in the residential units after the orientation class meeting on sexual assault.
  • All educational programs and materials reflect the diversity of our student population
  • All staffers in the Brown Center for Students of Color (formerly Third World Center) will receive ongoing training on sexual assault resources this year. 
  • The Sexual Harassment Prevention Resource Guide for graduate students has been updated and was distributed to all incoming graduate students this fall.
  • A new brochure for faculty entitled "Sexual Misconduct:  What You Need to Know" has been developed and distributed to all academic departments at the start of the academic year.


  • Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services, and Bita Shooshani have been engaging alumni to explore opportunities to include them in our campus efforts and the task force process.  Under consideration: a fall event for current students to discuss sexual assault issues with alumni.