Brown University complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which protects the privacy of a student’s education record. Once a student reaches 18 years of age or enrolls in a post-secondary school, FERPA permits parental notification without a student’s prior consent under certain circumstances, such as a health or safety emergency. Absent such circumstances, Student Support Services will make every effort to coordinate/communicate an intervention and resolution directly with our students.

With this framework in mind, Student Support Services is committed to partnering with our students, providing guidance and considering options as a situation unfolds. On a case-by-case basis, a student may be encouraged to contact a parent/guardian or family member; and together, we will review concerns and options about this communication. For instance, sometimes students have found it helpful to initiate the parent/guardian/family member conversation and then offer our office as a point of contact: to discuss resources and possible next steps; or to provide encouragement and to identify potential avenues for university support.   

We approach these conversations with the goal of being collaborative and transparent. Thus, in the case that a student prefers a parent/guardian/family member not be contacted, Student Support Services will endeavor to honor this decision. However, as discussed above, there may still be situations in which the University will notify a parent/guardian.