Code of Student Conduct

The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards website has links to all portions of the Code of Student Conduct contained within it. To view the Code of Student Conduct in its entirety, please click on the pdf link to the right.
Code of Student Conduct (pdf)

POLICIES

All members of the Brown University Community are entitled to the following rights:  the rights of peaceful assembly; free exchange of ideas and orderly protest; and to attend, make use of, or enjoy the facilities and functions of the University subject to prescribed rules.  All members of the Brown University community are also entitled to live in an environment free from harassment on the basis of such characteristics as race, color, religion, sex, gender, disability, age, economic status, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or status as a veteran.  (See also “Principles of the Brown University Community”)

Comment : These rights may from time to time come into conflict, and it might be difficult to draw a clear and precise line between the reasonable exercise of and the abuse of such rights. The circumstances in each case will vary, but the objective must always be to assure a fair and reasonable balance whenever there is a conflict among the rights mentioned above.

  1. Occasionally, the rules of the University and the law will overlap, but the University does not attempt to duplicate the law. The University reserves the right to pursue matters through its student conduct procedures that may also be addressed in the legal system.

  2. Serious or persistent minor violations of University rules or regulations may result in suspension or expulsion.

  3. In their off-campus lives students are also expected to conform to the standards of community behavior as expressed in the Principles of the Brown University Community and in this Code of Student Conduct.

Offenses

I. Behavior that disrupts or materially interferes with the educational functions of the University including, but not limited to, halting a lecture, debate, or any public forum, obstructing the passage of others, or creating an imminent threat of such disruption or obstruction.

Comment: Protests or demonstrations that infringe upon the rights of others to peaceful assembly, orderly protest, the free exchange of ideas, or that interfere with the rights of others to make use of or enjoy the facilities or attend the functions of the University cannot be tolerated.  [See “University Guidelines on Protests and Demonstrations”] Demonstrations or protests which exceed these limits will result in disciplinary action which may include temporary or permanent separation from the University.

Moreover, expression that is dehumanizing, degrading, or grossly offensive on matters such as race, religion, sex/gender, disability, age, economic status, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression is inappropriate in a university community and the University will act as it deems appropriate to address/educate students violating this principle.

II. Actions that are unreasonably disruptive of the University community and/or its neighborhoods.

III. Violation of operational rules governing various offices, departments and facilities of the University (e.g., Residential Life, Student Activities Office, Dining Services, Computing and Information Services, the Libraries).

IV. Misrepresentation:

 a. Lying or materially misrepresenting information to an official University body or officer, including a member of the Department of Public Safety.

 b. Lying in the course of a student conduct hearing.

Comment: Offense IV(a) includes the fraudulent use of University identification cards. Lying or misrepresentation that inhibits or interferes with an official University investigation or hearing will be considered a serious offense.

University procedures allow a student involved in a student conduct matter to remain silent.

V. Failure to comply with the proper directive(s) of a University official, including refusing to identify oneself or refusing to present University identification to a University staff member, including members of the Department of Public Safety.

Comment: A University community depends upon the cooperation of all of its members to assure reasonable safety and security.  There are many occasions, including emergencies, and cases of suspected unlawful conduct, when it is especially important that authorized personnel be able to identify members of the Brown University community.

VI. Alcohol:

 a. Illegal or unauthorized possession or use of alcohol.

 b. Manufacture of alcohol.

 c. Sale or possession with intent to sell/provide alcohol to individualsunder 21 years of age.

 d. Possession of mass consumption paraphernalia on campus.

Comment: All students who are party to a student conduct matter involving alcohol and who, in the determination of a dean, misused alcohol or exercised poor judgment due to alcohol or about alcohol, will be required to undergo appropriate alcohol education, evaluation, and/or treatment as determined by appropriate officials.

Providence municipal ordinances prohibit the possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages on public ways.  Providence Police and, in the case of violations on the streets immediately adjacent to the campus, the Brown University Department of Public Safety, enforce these ordinances.  Violations of the open container policy on University property are enforced by the Department of Public Safety and through the University student conduct procedures.

VII. Drugs:

 a. Illegal possession or use of drugs.

 b. Manufacture of drugs.

 c. Sale, provision, or possession with intent to sell/provide drugs and/or paraphernalia.

 d. Possession of drug paraphernalia on campus.

Comment: The use of any drug, including alcohol, related to any offense will be considered an aggravating circumstance independently of whether the drug was used legally or illegally by the offending party.  This factor in a case may result in a more severe sanction and/or the imposition of terms requiring evaluation or treatment, as determined by appropriate professionals.  (See Brown Policy on Drugs.) .

Drug paraphernalia includes, but is not limited to, all items used for the purpose of preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise using illegal drugs, or in the illicit use of legal drugs.

VIII. Actions that result in or can be reasonably expected to result in damage to property.

IX. Theft or attempted theft of property and/or possession of stolen property.

X. Possession, use, or distribution of firearms, ammunition, explosives, or other weapons on campus.

Comment: The University defines firearms as any projectile-firing device, including conventional firearms (devices using gunpowder); all types of air rifles, guns using BBs, pellets, or darts; or any slingshot device.  All fireworks are prohibited.  Chemicals used or intended to cause harm to others will be considered weapons. Knives are prohibited, except those that are designed and used for food preparation. Possession, use or distribution of firearms or knives will result in more severe sanctions from the University, separation being the standard.

XI. Actions that result in or can be reasonably expected to result in harm to a person or persons.

Comment: Offense XI encompasses a wide range of behavior, including, but not limited to assault, and throwing, hurling or firing projectiles without regard for the safety of others. This offense also encompasses  behavior that is intended to or can reasonably be expected to result in significant emotional or psychological harm.

XII. Relationship or Dating Violence.

Comment: The University defines relationship or dating violence as any act of  violence or threatened act of violence against a person who is or has been involved in a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship with that person, or against a person with whom the respondent has sought to have such a relationship. Relationship or dating violence will be addressed under the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship and Interpersonal Violence and Stalking Policy except under circumstances when the allegations are ancillary to other allegations of violations of the Code of Student Conduct. In such cases, the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards may address allegations through the Code of Student Conduct, and students will be afforded all applicable rights required by law. 

XIII. Sexual Assault: For information about how the University addresses allegations of sexual assault, please refer to the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship and Interpersonal Violence and Stalking Policy.


XIV. Harassment:

 a. Subjecting another person or group to abusive, threatening, intimidating, harassing, or humiliating actions.

 b. Subjecting another person or group to abusive, threatening, intimidating, harassing, or humiliating actions, including, but not limited to, those based on race, religion, sex/gender, disability, age, economic status, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  (See "Civil Rights & Non-Discrimination")

Comment: Whether the alleged conduct constitutes prohibited harassment depends on the totality of the particular circumstances, including the nature, frequency, and duration of the conduct in question, the location and context in which it occurs, and the status of the individuals involved. For information specific to sexual or gender-based harassment, please refer to the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship and Interpersonal Violence and Stalking Policy. In some cases, gender-based harassment will be addressed by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards when ancillary to other allegations of violations of the Code of Student Conduct, and students will be afforded all applicable rights required by law.

XV. Stalking - Engaging in a course of conduct toward another person under circumstances that would cause a person to fear bodily injury or experience substantial emotional distress.

Comment: Course of conduct means two or more instances including, but not limited to, unwelcome acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish. Stalking includes the concept of cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used. Gender-based stalking will be addressed under the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship and Interpersonal Violence and Stalking Policy except under circumstances when the allegations are ancillary to other allegations of violations of the Code of Student Conduct. In such cases, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards may address the gender-based stalking through the Code of Student Conduct, and students will be afforded all applicable rights required by law. 

XVI. Hazing - Method of initiation into or conduct of any student organization or group, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person.

XVII. Retaliation - Engaging in conduct that may reasonably be perceived to:

 a. adversely affect a person’s educational, living, or work environment because of their participation in the reporting, investigation, and/or resolution of a report of a violation of University policy.

 b. discourage a person from making a report or participating in an investigation of a policy violation.

Comment: Retaliation is defined as any adverse action or threat taken or made against an individual, including through third parties and/or legal counsel, for making a report of a policy violation or participating in any investigation or proceeding related to any policy. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from seeking services, receiving protective measures and accommodations, and/or reporting policy violations. Retaliation also includes maliciously and purposefully interfering with, threatening, or damaging the academic and/or professional career of another individual before, during, or after the investigation and resolution of a report of a policy violation in response to and/or on account of the report of the policy violation. This provision applies to reports made or information provided in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report are determined not to be accurate.

XVIII. Violation of the terms of any student conduct hearing sanction.

The comments contained herein are offered as a guide to understanding the University’s policies, and are not to be confused with the policies themselves. As such these comments are not binding upon the University or its designated representatives.

Updated on October 10, 2017