At Brown University, it is part of our educational philosophy to treat our students as young adults who can and should make their own decisions. Most communication from Brown is directed to our students with respect to academic, health, and advising matters, but we encourage the students themselves to share important information with parents or guardians. In extraordinary cases, or in an emergency when health and safety issues require, University officials will contact parents, guardians, or others as necessary. Consistent with applicable laws, Brown University has adopted the following policies regarding parental notification:
- Generally when a student is working with a dean at Brown on a serious matter (academic or non-academic), we encourage students to consult their parents and will assist in making contact with parents even if we are not mandating the contact or initiating it ourselves.
- A student whose parents or guardians are to be notified by the University will be informed and given an opportunity to initiate the contact with parents.
- In cases involving serious injury and in emergency situations, the University may notify the parents or guardians of a student; in cases of life-threatening injury or emergency, the University will notify parents or guardians.
- University administrators may disclose to the parents or legal guardians of a student under 21 information regarding the student’s violation of the University policy governing alcohol or drugs when the following circumstances are present: a) the student has previous alcohol/drug violations, b) the student has committed a violation accompanied by other serious misconduct.
- In an emergency situation in which a sexual assault has been committed, the victim will be asked whether notification of others should occur. Sexual assault cases are handled according to procedures developed by the Department of Public Safety and the Title IX Office.
- In other emergency situations, University administrators will make a decision about notifying parents or guardians. Examples of other situations that may warrant parental notification include medical leaves of absence, emotional difficulties, missing persons, criminal conduct, and other serious disciplinary situations that may result in separation from the University.
The intent of our approach is to balance students' privacy and developing adulthood with the reasonable interest of parents and families to help and support their students.