Paxson’s latest email gives insight on GHB case

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In her most recent “Letter to the Brown Community,” President Christina Paxson reflected on the three-pronged student conduct issue that has dominated campus this semester: the case involving the fraternity Phi Kappa Psi, the individual student charged with use of the date rape drug GHB, and the sexual assault charge, all of which occurred on one night last fall.

Paxson detailed some of the difficulties facing the University and particularly cited her frustration in keeping confidentiality when there is so much misinformation circulating in the media. Apparently, the administration is unable to set the record straight while maintaining mandatory privacy measures for the parties involves.

In a marked change in tone, President Paxson fired back at those who suggested that corporation money played a role in the GHB case:

“Recent suggestions of a ‘thumb on the scale’ of justice because one student, whose name has been circulated on campus although not in the press, is the son of a trustee are completely false. There is no evidence whatsoever that anyone improperly influenced the investigation or adjudication process. I would not allow that to occur. The members of Brown’s governing body are aware of this and know that it would not be tolerated. Our administrators also understand it, and firewalls are in place to protect the integrity of the system.”

President Paxson went on to say that the University is making the necessary changes for the drug testing in these instances to be more reliable in the future. Brown will also continue to work towards fair processes, and a safer campus. The Sexual Assault Task Force is still hard at work, and students should expect a survey sometime after spring break on “campus climate and their experiences with sexual assault, harassment, and gender-based violence.” In addition, Brown will soon have a “new Title IX program officer [that] will oversee sexual assault cases as well as enhanced training and education programs for students, faculty, and staff, with the primary goal of preventing sexual assault.”

The email ends with an assurance that the administration is dedicated to this cause:

“We clearly have work to do and it will take a great deal of caring, wisdom, and willingness to get it right. I ask for your support in doing so.”

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Not quite viral: President Paxson’s online office hours

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Yesterday, The Brown Undergraduate Council of Students set up their own version of a Reddit-style AMA for President Christina Paxson. From 2:30-3:30pm they opened up a comment thread on their Facebook page and invited students to ask the president questions which she could respond to in real time.

There were 33 questions asked. Here are some things we learned:

Classes of ’16 and ’17 will not see a renovated Ratty.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 4.14.11 PMStill, the new Ratty may not feel all that new.

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Paxson will go anywhere with Margeurite.

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BlogDH(Panel) Explains Orientation

Ah, orientation—that week before your freshman year when you can attend an array events all built around the copious opportunities to awkwardly introduce yourself to hundreds of people and hope a few become your best friends. But those events are not all created equal. Here’s BlogDH’s preview of the Orientation calendar’s greatest hits.

Paxson’s Welcome
It might feel like you’ve already been welcomed by the entire Brown community, but the official welcome from President Christina Paxson is a must. The class of 2018 is only the second one to be treated to the Pax’s wisdom, so consider yourselves Paxsoneers. Get to the Main Green early to save seats in the shade for yourself, your parents, and maybe even your first-day-friends if you’re feeling the welcoming spirit. Cheers of “Pax on Pax on Pax!” are encouraged as the Prez steps up to the podium. Try to contain the excitement of being surrounded by your 1500 classmates for the first time and actually listen to the president’s words. Having just completed her own “freshman” year, she’s sure to give some valuable frosh advice. After the speech, don’t miss out on a photo-op behind the podium on the Faunce steps: it makes for a great (if slightly pretentious) first Brown mupload.
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Did you really read the Ray Kelly Committee summary?

This afternoon, President Paxson sent out a brief email with a long attachment that detailed the findings of the committee created in November to examine the protest and eventual cancellation of the Ray Kelly lecture last October. The committee, formally known as the “Committee on the Events of October 29, 2013,” is led by B. Anthony Bogues, professor of Africana Studies, and consists of five faculty members, two undergraduates, and one graduate student.

Paxson had two primary goals for the committee: first, to investigate the details of the event and the discussions leading up to it, and second to come “to make recommendations that will establish Brown as a leader in supporting an inclusive environment for members of our community while upholding our deep commitment to the free exchange of ideas.” Again, today’s attachment is only the report of the committee’s findings after gathering materials relating to the event, talking to event organizers, students in attendance, administrators, and activists (the completion of goal number one).

We at Blog understand if you had a tl;dr reaction to the attachment and are hoping to provide you with a roundup of what you may have missed: Continue Reading


Brown’s big birthday

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If you didn’t already know, Brown is celebrating its 250th birthday this year – and you’re all invited!  This past Tuesday, President Paxson sent a school-wide email outlining the March launch of 15 months of events and activities in honor of Brown’s semiquincentenary (say that five times fast).  The festivities will begin on March 7-8 with the Opening Celebration on College Hill, which will include “distinguished alumni speakers and panels, gallery openings and performances and a very large birthday cake.”  A VERY LARGE BIRTHDAY CAKE.

Friday’s event will give 250 middle school students from all over Rhode Island an opportunity to participate in an academic exploration and dine at our finest eating establishment, the Sharpe Refectory.  Friday’s and Saturday’s keynote speakers will be World Bank President and 1982 grad, Dr. Jim Yong Kim M.D., Ph.D., who served as president of Dartmouth from 2009-2012, and US Secretary of Labor and ’83 grad, Thomas Perez, respectively.  Registration is required for all Opening Celebration events, so do that here.

If you’re interested in more details about the Opening Celebration or Brown’s semiquincentenary in general, you can find an anniversary events calendar on this beautiful site.  You’re also encouraged to tag your Facebook, Twitter, You-Tube, or Instagram content with #brown250, so that your posts, photos, and videos may be reposted on the website.

Again, Brown’s birthday bash begins on March 7th, and I repeat: there will be a very large birthday cake.  Show your school some love and don’t miss out!

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The Fourth Annual State of Brown Address with President Paxson

199042_10151341338263870_390082502_nToday, at 4 p.m. in Salomon DeCiccio Auditorium, the Undergraduate Council of Students will present President Paxson’s first  State of Brown Address. She will discuss current issues on campus and strategic planning for Brown’s future.

The address is open only to undergraduate students and President Paxson will answer questions from the audience following her speech. In addition, UCS will draw the names of 20 students who will have breakfast with President Paxson this Friday.

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