A summary of today’s e-mail from President Paxson on sexual assault


This afternoon, President Paxson addressed all members of the Brown Community regarding the recent national and Brown-related conversation on sexual assault.

The White House Task  Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, formed in January 2014, just released “Not Alone.”  President Paxson announced that Brown will benefit from the report and its associated guidelines in the planned review of the University’s policies and procedures related to sexual assault. In an email sent last week on sexual assault at Brown, President Paxson announced that the review, which was already planned for the coming academic year, will be accelerated. In the most recent communication from President Paxson, she elaborated on the University’s plans and presented a timeline for addressing the issue the sexual assault on campus:

Step 1: External Consultation (Summer 2014) 

As the first step in the review, this summer Brown will bring in  consultants working nationally on campus sexual assault to assess “current policies, procedures, and programs and provide us with information on prevention, student support, and discipline, and alignment of our policies with recently issued federal guidelines.”

Step 2: Formation of the Brown University Task Force on Sexual Assault (Fall 2014)

The second step will begin in fall 2014 with the creation of the Brown University Task Force on Sexual Assault.  The Task Force will be composed of faculty, administrators, undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. It will be co-chaired by Dr. Michele Cyr, specialist in women’s health, professor of medicine, and associate dean for academic affairs at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine, and Russell Carey, currently executive vice president for policy and planning at Brown. Student representatives will be chosen by UCS, Graduate School Council, and the Medical Student Senate to be a part of the Task Force. They will be announced in September. Recommendations will be due no later than December 2014.

Immediate Plans:

However, the University does not intend to stall action until the arrival of external consultants and the appointment of the Task Force. Three suggestions, informed by the White House guidelines, will be accepted immediately: the hiring of a single full-time Title IX coordinator, providing additional resources to students through education around sexual assault, and creating a campus climate survey to measure the incidence of sexual violence and student perceptions about assault.

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  1. John Smith

    Gotta hit her head to get her ass to move. But sorry, this was just an announcement. Nothing real has happened. If Brown University leadership track record is any guide, nothing real will happen.

    Therefore, keep hitting. File complaint with OCR immediately, as Yale and Dartmouth students had done, and as Columbia and Harvard students are doing.

  2. Alum

    Any effort by the university to work with PPD SVU to try and come up with some way to increase the rate of student victims filing police reports/doing rape exams within the first 72 hours of victimization?

  3. Jeff Smith

    Paxson hopes to convince people of her sincerity by the verbiage of her email. She has always had trouble coping with verbiage. She needs to recognize that people will be convinced only if her immediate practice is effective in preventing rape, deferring cases for swift law enforcement, and protecting victims while legal due process takes its course. In other words, the only way to do this is to do it, not to talk about it. But Paxson does not understand this very obvious point. This weakness is the cause of her failure as a university leader. And, given that she has failed, we should do everything we can do to remove her.

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