Brown University has an Invited Speakers and Guests Policy that articulates the principles, policies and associated responsibilities when Brown community members engage external invited speakers and guests to participate in public events or programs sponsored by Brown community members. The policy calls for the host department and the guest to sign an agreement mutually agreeing to the terms of the Brown speaking engagement, as well as attesting to the terms of the policy. The Brown University Guest Speaker Agreement can be used in most cases, as outlined in the policy.


Consider your audience. If your event is open to the public, be sure to utilize a space that is accessible to attendees with mobility concerns. For more information, visit the Disability Support Services website.


“Brown First” is a University-wide initiative that began in July 2002. Under this policy, Brown Dining has the first opportunity to provide food and catering services to the Brown community. As Brown Dining and other auxiliary departments must contribute a significant portion of their annual earnings to the University’s operating budget, this policy enables the University to retain funds that had previously been spent with external vendors.  Read more about Brown Catering.


Complete a Fire Safety checklist if you are expecting more than 50 people. This ensures compliance with Rhode Island Uniform Fire Code requirements. If you expect more than 300 guests, have your event reviewed by the Fire Safety Office. State law requires that any event of 300 or more be reviewed for potential assignment of a Fire Marshal.

Larger events and high profile speakers may require additional security.  Have your event reviewed by the Department of Public Safety if your event is likely to draw a large crowd.

Brown University requires proof of general liability insurance to cover non-university events held in our facilities for meetings, conferences, sports camps/clinics, weddings or other special functions or events.  In some cases, insurance may be required for University events.  For more information visit the web page for the Office of Insurance and Purchasing Services


In keeping with Brown’s commitment to academic freedom and a spirit of free inquiry, all members of the Brown University campus community are free to advance and debate ideas, hold forums for discussion, and invite speakers of their choice to campus. These rights extend equally to all members of the campus community. This policy outlines the required protocol for events that have the potential for disruption (and therefore the potential for infringement on Brown’s commitment to academic freedom and free inquiry and/or threats to personal safety). Please be sure to also review the Checklist for Brown Event Sponsors. 


University-owned facilities are critical resources dedicated to advancing the University’s mission and are primarily reserved for use by students, faculty and staff to support teaching, research and campus life. Ownership of all Brown University space/facilities belongs to the University, rather than individuals, units or departments and is assigned for specific functions that support the educational mission and strategic goals set by the University. Under specific circumstances and conditions, events, conferences, seminars, and talks by external third-party users may be accommodated if appropriate on-campus space is available.

An external third-party event, program or activity hosted by an external third-party organization is defined as one that is promoted and executed by an unaffiliated external organization or association that requests use of University facilities, housing accommodations or other amenities for its program.  Learn more about Brown's policy for the use of campus space by external third parties


“Brown University does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex, except where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification.”

More information about Brown's statement of nondiscrimination and other related policies can be found on the  Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion website.  


Any speakers or guest whose photos will be taken and publicized must sign Brown’s Image Release Form.  Brown’s Image Usage Policy establishes standards for use of still or motion images in Brown communications that include recognizable individuals in these images.