Dear Brown Students,

You received an email on Wednesday from the University’s Department of Public Safety including safety tips about “spiked” drinks. We are following up on that notice to alert you that the Office of Student Life and the Department of Public Safety have received reports from two students that on Friday, October 17, 2014 they suspect that they were given alcoholic punch containing a date rape drug at a party at a fraternity in Sears House.  One of the complainants also reported that she was sexually assaulted later that same night after having been given the date rape drug.

The two students who consumed the punch reported symptoms consistent with consumption of date rape drugs:  a rapid onset of intoxication out of proportion to what they may have had to drink, and reported memory loss for a significant period of time.  If you have any information about either the suspected use of a date rape drug or the sexual assault, please contact Sergeant John Carvalho at the Department of Public Safety, 401-863-3322 as the incidents are under active investigation.

Sexual assault and the use of date rape drugs are criminal and predatory behaviors that will be sanctioned under the University’s Code of Student Conduct and Rhode Island law.  Any student found responsible for sexual assault or for placing a date rape drug in a drink will be separated from the University.  These offenses also violate Rhode Island law and can result in criminal prosecution.    

 While our investigation is ongoing, we have taken some immediate steps to protect the community.  The organization that hosted the event last Friday night has been suspended.  As a result of our concern about these incidents, we are also reviewing our policies for alcohol service at campus events.  We will be in touch with organizations about any interim steps we might take and about any permanent changes in policy.  Any violation of alcohol service policy will result in immediate suspension of an organization.

Members of the Brown community should be alert to the possibility that date rape drugs are being placed in drinks at social gatherings and should take steps to protect themselves and other students.  Date rape drugs, commonly Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine, can be slipped into an unsuspecting person's drink. Rapid and severe intoxication follows, along with dramatically reduced inhibitions and memory loss. In this condition, anyone can be extremely vulnerable to sexual assault.  It should also be noted that alcohol is the most common date rape drug.  

We are committed to cultivating a community of mutual care and respect.  For information about prevention efforts including bystander intervention, please see the Department of Health Promotion website which also includes a full listing of support resources and links to our policies. 

Sincerely,

Margaret Klawunn, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services
Russell Carey, Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy