Policies

Principles of the Brown University Community We, as members of the Brown University community – faculty, students, and staff – are dedicated to supporting and maintaining a scholarly community in which all share together in the common enterprise of learning. As a central aim, Brown University promotes intellectual inquiry through vigorous discourse, both oral and written. The fundamental principles that must necessarily undergird this aim include:

  • respect for the integrity of the academic process;
  • individual integrity and self-respect;
  • respect for the freedoms and privileges of others; and
  • respect for University resources.

In becoming a part of Brown University, we accept the rights and responsibilities of membership in the University’s academic and social community, and assume the responsibility to uphold the University’s principles.

Respect for the Integrity of the Academic Process

The rights and responsibilities that accompany academic freedom are at the heart of the intellectual purposes of the University. Our conduct as community members should protect and promote the University’s pursuit of its academic mission. We are all, therefore, expected to conduct ourselves with integrity in our learning, teaching and research, and in the ways in which we support those endeavors.

Individual Integrity

In order to ensure that the University can dedicate itself fully to its academic and educational vision, it is expected that an individual’s personal integrity will be reflected not only in honest and responsible actions but also in a willingness to offer direction to others whose actions may be harmful to themselves or the community. The University expects that members of the Brown community will be truthful and forthright. The University expects that community members will not engage in behavior that endangers their own sustained effectiveness or that has serious ramifications for their own safety, welfare, academic well-being or professional obligations, or for that of others.

Respect for the Freedoms and Privileges of Others

We strive for a sense of community in which the individual growth of all members is advanced through the cultivation of mutual respect, tolerance, and understanding. Brown University values and encourages individuality while also affirming the community dimensions of academic life. A socially responsible community provides a structure within which individual freedoms may flourish without threatening the privileges or freedoms of other individuals or groups.

The University is committed to honest, open, and equitable engagement with racial, religious, gender, ethnic, sexual orientation and other differences. The University seeks to promote an environment that in its diversity is integral to the academic, educational and community purposes of the institution.

Respect for University Resources

All community members must respect the general resources and physical property of the University. Such resources are assets in which community members have a vested interest, as these resources specifically support the institutional mission.

To uphold the Principles of the University Community, members of Brown University are required to abide by the following expectations while participating in Brown-sponsored courses and events.

A.1. Act as good citizens by showing respect and courtesy to all members of the University community, including fellow students, staff, instructors, campus neighbors, and affiliates.

A.2. Be truthful in personal and academic engagements.

A.3. Use methods of expression that are appropriate for a healthy living-learning environment. Obscene, derogatory, and abusive language is prohibited.

A.4. Uphold high standards of academic integrity, including producing work that is one’s own creation, and meeting intellectual challenges through honest effort and hard work.

A.5. Abide by the University's Statement of Nondiscrimination that prohibits discrimination or the facilitation of discrimination of any kind including, but not limited, to discrimination based on sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, status as a veteran, or disability. Participants must also abide by the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship and Interpersonal Violence and Stalking policy which outlines prohibited conduct related to nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual misconduct, and gender-based harassment.

A.6. Respect University and other community members’ property, including equipment, furnishings, and facilities (including but not limited to, residence halls, classrooms, athletic facilities, dining halls, indoor and outdoor common areas), and private property.

A.7. Behave in ways that do not expose oneself or others to injury or endangerment, regardless of intent.

A.8. Not commit, or threaten to commit, acts of violence on people or property.

A.9. Not engage in any form of harassment, bribery, or bullying. Harassment consists of any type of conduct (including but not limited to, cyber, written, verbal, graphic, physical, stalking, or sexual) which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance, or which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning or residential environment.

A.10. Adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

A.11. Understand and abide by all aspects of the Code of Conduct, University policies, procedures, and rules, as well as those rules and guidelines presented by staff and instructors during the program.

A.12. Not assist or attempt to assist another individual in violating the Code or University policies, procedures, and rules.

Failure to abide by this Code, policies, and practices on the form each student attending must review and sign, Pre-College website, and applicable University policies, procedures, and rules may result in disciplinary action, which could include but is not limited to: a warning, restitution, consultation with parent/guardian, or in cases of serious or repeated incidences, dismissal from the program. More information about dismissals can be found below in this document.

If participants or parents/guardians have questions about the Code of Conduct, they should contact the Pre-College Program Office as soon as possible, ideally prior to beginning a program.

    B.1. Students are expected to respect others. Violence, threats of violence, intimidation, bullying, stalking behavior, dangerous conduct, belligerent behavior, and menacing behavior are prohibited. Any actual or attempted unauthorized use of electronic or other devices to make an audio or video recording of any person without prior knowledge or consent is prohibited.

    B.2. Students are expected to respect themselves by avoiding conduct that is potentially dangerous and/or detrimental to their physical, psychological, or emotional well-being.  

    B.2.1. Should a student exhibit behavior which causes the program staff to have a concern for the student’s health, that student may be required to see a healthcare professional for a consultation at Brown University's Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services on campus, or an appropriate non-Brown affiliated clinic off-campus prior to continued engagement with the program.

    B.2.2 If relevant staff determine that a student is unable to function independently and/or is having a significant impact on the community, the student may be asked to leave the program. Should this situation occur with a residential student, parents/guardians will be expected to pick-up their student within 48 hours.

    B.3. Students are expected to respect the community, including virtual communities and remote classrooms. Disruption and disorderly conduct are prohibited, as is unauthorized entry into buildings, spaces, or rooms, virtual or otherwise.

    B.4. Students are expected to respect property of the University and property of others. Vandalism, defacement of property, destruction of property, and moving or removal of property without permission of the owner or owners are prohibited.

    B.4.1 Students must comply with fire safety regulations posted in buildings when on campus. Students must evacuate buildings immediately when a fire alarm sounds. Tampering with fire equipment, including fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and alarm boxes is strictly prohibited. Students may not prop open or otherwise tamper with a locked exterior door or fire doors.

    B.4.3. Animals are not permitted in any University building, even on a temporary basis, except for pre-approved service and support animals.

    B.5. Students are expected to respect University officials and program administrators. Failure to identify one’s self, evasion of University officials, failure to comply with a reasonable request of a University official, failure to respond to questions from a University official, harassment and/or belittling of staff performing their duties, and disrupting Pre-College or University operations or authorized non-University activities occurring on campus are prohibited.

    B.6. When on Brown’s campus, students may not use, possess, or be in the presence of the following:

    • weapons, facsimile weapons, firearms, ammunition, projectile launchers, or BB guns/pistols; 
    • illegal knives, fireworks, or explosives;
    • candles (including tealights), incense, grills, flammable liquids, gas-operated stoves, hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, appliances with an exposed heating element, space heaters, air conditioners (unless medically authorized and registered with the University), torchiere halogen lamps, refrigerators in excess of 4 cubic feet, refrigerators in excess of 1.5 amps, and 100 watts;
    • motorcycles and vehicles (unless a Commuter student) and hoverboards;
    • alcohol, tobacco products, illegal drugs (including marijuana), or related paraphernalia. 

    B.7.1. Participants may use personal over-the-counter and prescription medication, but may not share with others or use others’ medications. 

    B.8. Online students may not use alcohol or illegal drugs (including marijuana) while on campus or while participating in any online live remote instruction or program-sponsored online meetings.

    B.8.1. Online students may not have alcohol, illegal drugs, or related paraphernalia visible while participating in online live remote instruction or program-sponsored online meetings.

    B.8. The operation of motor vehicles by residential students is prohibited. Commuter students may only use motor vehicles for transportation to and from the Brown campus. Students who must commute to campus by car are required to purchase a parking permit from the Transportation Office. Students are not permitted to transport other students in their motor vehicles.

    B.9. While on campus, pre-college students may visit other pre-college students’ residential spaces. They are required to comply with courtesy hours and quiet hours when in residential spaces. Pre-college students may not visit the residence halls of undergraduate students.

    Offenses Against the Academic Code may include

    Excerpted from Brown University's Academic Code

    C.1. Use of Sources

    In preparing assignments, students often need or require outside sources of information or opinion. All such sources should be listed in the bibliography.

    Citations and footnote references are required for all specific facts that are not common knowledge and about which there is not general agreement. New discoveries or debatable opinions must be credited to the source, with specific references to edition and page even when students restate the matter in their own words. Word-for-word inclusion of any part of someone else’s written or oral sentence, even if only a phrase or sentence, requires citation in quotation marks and use of the appropriate conventions for attribution. Citations should normally include author, title, edition, and page. (Quotations longer than one sentence are generally indented from the text of the essay, without quotation marks, and identified by author, title, edition, and page.) Paraphrasing or summarizing the contents of another’s work is not dishonest if the source or sources are clearly identified (author, title, edition, and page), but such paraphrasing does not constitute independent work and may be rejected by the instructor. Students who have questions about accurate and proper citation methods are expected to consult reference guides and speak with course instructors.

    C.2. Copyright Infringement

    Improper use of copyrighted materials can also constitute infringement of the Academic Code when it compromises the integrity of the academic process.

    C.3. Creative Work

    A piece of work presented as the individual creation of the student is assumed to involve no assistance other than incidental criticism from any other person. Students may not, with honesty, knowingly employ story material, wording, or dialogue taken from published work, including websites; film, video, and DVDs; radio and television programs; and lectures or other sources, without full acknowledgment.

    C.4. Examinations, Quizzes, and Tests

    In writing examinations and quizzes, students are required to respond entirely on the basis of their own memory and capacity, without any assistance whatsoever except such as is specifically authorized by the instructor.

    Cheating on examinations and quizzes can take the forms listed below. The list is not exhaustive.

    • Engaging in other actions that undermine equity and reduce the objectivity of evaluation of student work
    • Having another person take an examination in one’s own name
    • Using unauthorized materials from which one gains unfair assistance during an exam
    • Appropriating an exam or exam materials without authorization
    • Missing an exam in order to gain an advantage
    • Copying another students' work during an examination
    • Engaging in collaboration or unauthorized assistance on take-home examinations or assignments

    C.5. Laboratory Work and Assignments

    Notebooks, homework, reports of investigations or experiments, and computer code projects must meet the same standards as all other written work. If any of the work is done jointly or if any part of the experiment or analysis is made by anyone other than the writer, acknowledgment of this fact must be made in the report submitted. It is dishonest for students to falsify or invent data.

    C.6. Acceptable Use for Computing

    Brown has its own standards of behavior for users of its computing facilities and services (see Brown's Acceptable Use Policy for computing). All users of Brown's computing resources are expected to abide by the guidelines outlined in the document "Using Computer Resources at Brown," which students receive at Orientation. Brown does not actively monitor Internet activity, and takes no responsibility for the content students find while on the internet. Students will have access to all on-line materials. Printers located in the computing facilities may be used for course assignments only.

    In order to support students in their successful participation in the Pre-College Programs, all residential students must abide by the following guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines and established expectations for social and residential conduct as indicated in the Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action. Students are expected to act responsibly and autonomously at all times, but will be subject to guidance and direction from residential staff who are responsible for enforcing program policies and procedures. If inappropriate behavior occurs, residential staff will intervene and discourage such actions. Residential staff will forward relevant cases to the Pre-College Campus Life office for review and potential conduct proceedings (See E. Disciplinary Procedures).

    D.1. Residential students are expected to be in possession of their Brown issued identification card (Brown ID) whenever they leave the room and must immediately report any instance of lost or stolen ID Cards to a member of Brown Card Office or the Department of Public Safety (if after hours).

    D. 2. Residential students are expected to be in possession of their room key whenever they leave the room and must immediately report any instance of lost or stolen keys to residential staff. Students should use only their own key, and never lend the key to another student.

    D.4. Residential students are required to sleep in their assigned Brown University room and must adhere to nightly curfew restrictions (listed below). This includes a face-to-face check-in with their Resident Assistant every evening by the designated curfew time and remaining on their floor until 6:00AM the next morning. Students who are delayed in returning to their residence hall by curfew must contact a Resident Assistant by phone in advance of the curfew time, and may still be subject to disciplinary consequences for their tardiness.

    D.5. Residential students must maintain reasonable courtesy hours within and in the vicinity of the residence halls at all times. Students must comply with the requests of others to lessen or eliminate noise.

    D.6. Residential students must adhere to quiet hour restrictions (listed below) that are established to create an environment that is conducive to study and sleep. When Quiet Hours are in effect no noise should be heard from another room or area. Students may study in groups or socialize quietly during quiet hours in the lounges.

    Program

    Day(s)

    Quiet Hours

    Curfew Hours

    All Pre-College Programs

    Sunday – Thursday

    9:00 – 8:00 am

    10:00 – 6:00 am

    All Pre-College Programs (except STEM)

    Friday – Saturday

    1:00 – 9:00 am

    10:00 – 6:00 am

    STEM

    Friday – Saturday

    11:00 – 8:00 am

    10:00 – 6:00 am

    D.7.  Students must respect the rights of roommates, including but not limited to, the right to privacy and free use of the shared room. 

    D.8.  Students may only have other Brown University Pre-College Program participants as guests in the residence halls. All other visitors are not permitted in the residence halls, with the exception of parents/guardians for move in or move out.

    D.9. Pre-College students may not have overnight guests in the residence halls.

    D.10.  Students may not prop open or otherwise tamper with a locked exterior door or fire doors.

    D.11. Students must maintain the condition of their room and hallways and are responsible for disposing of their own trash in the designated areas within and around the residence halls. Students will be held liable, individually or jointly, for damaged or missing University property. Grade reports, course performance reports, or certificates of completion are withheld until any damage charges are paid.

    D.12. Students must adhere to all housing procedures - including proper check out and key return.

    E.1. Offenses

    If an instructor believes that a student in their course has acted questionably with regard to academic honesty, or fails to meet the academic requirements of the course, including attending the class, the matter should be brought to a Program Director in the Division of Pre-College and Summer Undergraduate Programs. A Program Director, after consultation with the instructor, student, and appropriate others (i.e. teaching assistants and/or Resident Advisor, the student, other instructors), will determine if a formal hearing is required. The Dean or Director will interview all concerned individuals and review relevant materials in order to determine whether a violation of the academic code has occurred. If so, the hearing officer will determine the appropriate penalty, which may include: reprimand; probation; loss of credit in the exercise; directed No Credit in the course; or dismissal from the program.

    In a case where a student, in the judgment of the residential staff, fails to meet the established expectations for social and/or residential conduct, or shows disregard for a member of the residential staff's directives, the case will be forwarded to Pre-College Student Life for review.

    E.2. Disciplinary Meetings

    The disciplinary system is not meant to mirror the legal system. Rather, the principles of the Pre-College programs and the goals of balancing student education with accountability provide a philosophical foundation distinct from the legal system. Students will receive a charge letter describing the alleged violation. Disciplinary meetings are conducted by a program staff member. In determining whether or not the Code of Conduct and/or policy has been violated, the staff member will review relevant documents, interview potential witnesses and other parties, and will collect evidence as available. The finding of responsibility will be based on the standard of the preponderance of evidence. Program administration has the authority to take interim action with respect to a student's status pending a final disciplinary action.

    In an effort to encourage students to take responsibility for their behavior and use the experience to make good decisions, parents may not be notified of a disciplinary meeting until the outcome has been determined. Parental notification may take place prior to the outcome of a disciplinary meeting depending on the severity of the incident or the severity of the potential sanction/consequence.

    E.3. Sanctions (may include one or more of the following outcomes not necessarily in this order):

    • Academic probation
    • Loss of credit for an assignment: this penalty only applies in cases where academic dishonesty occurs
    • Directed no credit: this penalty for academic dishonesty results in a student to receive no credit, grade, or supporting documents for a particular course
    • Written warning
    • Probation (Note: Students placed on probation are notified in writing that any misconduct while on probation is likely to result in dismissal from the program.)
    • Housing assignment relocation or removal from housing
    • Fines (for the repair or replacement of property)
    • Dismissal from the program
    • Educational accompanying terms (e.g. reflection paper, apology letter, policy review paper) may be included

    E.4. Program Dismissal

    Should a single serious violation occur or should a student endanger the well-being of themselves and/or others, a decision may be made to dismiss the student immediately and without prior probation. This includes serious infractions that occur during the final days of the student’s program. Such violations will result in withdrawal from the program without grades or record or certificate of program participation issued. In cases of serious violations that lead to dismissal, program administration may request the assistance of Brown University Department of Public.

    Students dismissed from the program, whether for academic or non-academic reasons, are notified in writing. A parent/guardian is notified immediately after the decision of dismissal has been made. Students dismissed from the program are required to notify their parents/guardians, make travel arrangements, and depart from campus or a location-based program within 48 hours of the dismissal notification. In cases of sexual and gender-based misconduct, the complainant will be notified of the finding, sanction, and any accompanying terms that impact them.

    Students dismissed from the program are responsible for checking out of their room under the supervision of a residential staff member. If a student or parent is not able to pack their belongings, a moving company will be contracted by the University to inventory, pack, and ship the student’s belongings at the student’s own expense. The University is not responsible for any lost or damaged items.

    Students who have been dismissed from any Brown Pre-College program for academic, social, or residential violations will receive no refunds of any deposits or fees. Grades, Course Performance Reports, or Certificates of Completion will not be issued to a student who has been dismissed.

    E.5. Appeals

    If interested in appealing the decision in a case, the student may appeal, setting out the reason(s) for the appeal, within 24 hours of notification of the hearing outcomes. Appeals shall be submitted to the Dean for Pre-College and Summer Undergraduate Programs.

    Appeals will only be considered on one or more of the following grounds:

    1. The student is presenting relevant new evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing.
    2. The student is able to demonstrate a substantial procedural error by the hearing body/officer.

    Students are typically notified of the outcome of the appeal within 24 hours from the time of submission. During the appeal process, the findings are in effect, (i.e. a student who is given probation is on probation, or if dismissed, the student will not be allowed to attend class, and may be temporarily moved out of their residence halls). The final decision of the Dean may not be appealed.

    Process for Addressing Complaints about Online/Blended Courses or Programs at Brown

    Brown University wants all of its students, including those who enroll in online courses, to have productive, challenging and useful learning experiences. Should students learning online need assistance to work through specific kinds of complaints, this page provides information about a process to resolve those matters.
     
    What Issues Are and Are Not Covered Through this Process

    This process covers complaints alleging consumer fraud, state licensing of postsecondary institutions and/or quality of education or accreditation requirements relating to a Brown University online or blended course/program, which fall under Brown’s participation in RI-SARA (see details below).
     
    Concerns regarding student grades, examination results and/or student conduct violations are governed entirely by Brown’s internal policies and therefore are not subject to resolution through the RI-SARA procedures described here.
     
    Students or other individuals with concerns involving an allegation of criminal activity will be referred to the Brown University Department of Public Safety, the Providence Police Department or the Rhode Island State Police.
     
    Complaint Process

    Students wishing to resolve a complaint should first attempt to resolve the matter directly with Brown University’s School of Professional Studies’ process described below:

    • Submit concern via email: [email protected]
    • Content for concern should include the following (similar information as is required for a submission to RI-SARA):
      • Complainant’s full name, address and contact information, including email address and telephone number
      • Complaints should specify enrollment status, i.e. whether the student is a current, former, or prospective student
      • Complaints should be specific in describing the nature of the complaint and relevant information: the name of the parties involved, including witnesses, dates, the policy or procedure violated (if known), and contact information. Any supporting material that substantiates the complaint also should be included.
    • The complainant will receive acknowledgment of receipt within 5 business days.
    • The complaint will be reviewed by the Dean of the relevant School, if applicable. In other cases, the Associate Dean of Master’s and Professional Programs will review. A  determination will be made within 90 days of receipt.
    • Appeal of the Associate Dean’s decision can be made to the Dean of the School of Professional Studies whose internal decision is final.

     
    In the event that the institutional processes do not result in a successful resolution of a RI-SARA complaint, the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (OPC) is responsible for final resolution of the complaint. With the exception of reporting fraud, waste, or abuse, the OPC does not review anonymous complaints or matters that are or have been in litigation, and does not conduct a judicial investigation or evidentiary hearing. The OPC may conduct a paper review, discuss the matter with the parties and take other steps as may be appropriate in an attempt to resolve the complaint.
     
    Complaint Submission Instructions


    Submit written complaints and supporting documentation alleging consumer fraud, state licensing of postsecondary institutions, and/or quality of education or accreditation requirements relating to a Brown University online or blended course/program to:

    Commissioner of Postsecondary Education
    Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner
    560 Jefferson Boulevard
    Warwick, RI 02886-1304
    401-736-1100
    www.riopc.edu
     
    Recommended Content of the RI-SARA Complaint

    Initial complaints should include the complainant’s full name, address and contact information, including email address and telephone number. Complaints should specify enrollment status, i.e. whether the student is a current, former or prospective student; and they should be specific in describing the nature of the complaint and relevant information: the name of the parties involved, including witnesses, dates, the name of the institution, the policy or procedure violated (if known) and contact information. Any supporting material that substantiates the complaint also should be included.

    After receiving a complaint, the OPC will review the submitted materials and contact the submitter for any required additional information or clarifications. The OPC will then send a copy of the complaint to Brown and ask for a response within three weeks.

    After receiving Brown’s response, the OPC will determine whether Brown's student complaint process has been followed and exhausted and what additional steps or follow-up may be taken. The OPC will inform both parties involved in the complaint.

    If a person bringing a complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the institutional process for handling complaints, the complaint (except for complaints about grades or student conduct violations) may be appealed to the OPC within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made. The resolution of the complaint by the OPC, through its RI-SARA complaint resolution process, will be final.

    If you have questions about the complaint process, or want to clarify that your individual complaint is reviewable by the OPC, please feel free to contact the OPC office by phone at 401-736-1100 or online at www.riopc.edu
     
    Complaints involving quality or accreditation requirements may also be filed directly with:

    New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
    3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
    Burlington Woods, MA 01803-4514
    781-425-7785

    Information for the Public: Comments and Complaints
     
    Brown University’s accreditation documents may be viewed at: https://www.brown.edu/about/administration/provost/accreditation/home
     
    PLEASE NOTE: Students residing in California, Florida, Massachusetts or the Mariana Islands who wish to file a complaint and supporting documentation alleging consumer fraud, state licensing of postsecondary institutions, and/or quality of education or accreditation requirements regarding a Brown University online or blended course/program should contact the office responsible for resolving complaints from residents of that state:

     
    About Brown’s Participation in RI-SARA

    Brown University is a Rhode Island institutional member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), an agreement among member US states, Washington D.C. and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offerings of postsecondary distance education courses and programs, including those offered online. SARA is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in a state other than their home state. SARA is overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and administered by four regional education compacts; the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) is the regional entity for Rhode Island.
     
    NC-SARA policies and standards, including those for consumer protection and the resolution of complaints, apply to interstate distance education offered by participating NC-SARA institutions to students in other NC-SARA states. Complaints about a RI-SARA institution’s operations are to be resolved under the RI-SARA provisions.
     
    The Rhode Island Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) and the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (OPC) administer NC-SARA for Rhode Island and have the authority and responsibility to resolve student and other complaints about Rhode Island’s SARA-approved institutions.