Summary: Sexual Assault “Community Notification”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn January 19th, Campus Life sent an email to all Brown students detailing the situations in the fall of 2014 that resulted in two campus fraternities’ suspensions. The email went on to discuss procedural changes on campus as a result of these incidents. The email is very long, and a bit confusing. Here is the backbone of it:

First, the paragraph that affects almost everyone.


Both the term “alcoholic service” and “residential area” are loosely defined. One RPL in Wayland commented that their the job description still does not include busting parties like DPS. However, there is notable confusion as to whether “residential areas” are confined to on-campus, and whether alcohol services translates to selling alcohol, or to serving it as the host of a small gathering.

Brown insists that these changes are in the effort to make campus safer, and “change the status quo” that allows for parties that seem to foster sexual assault and misconduct.

Second, the incidents that led up to this:

  • Phi Psi threw an unregistered party in October where “two students reported receiving an alcoholic drink that contained a date rape drug.” One of the students went on to report non-consensual sexual contact off site later that night (and not from a member of Phi Psi). The student attributed it to the drugging.
  • Since Phi Psi was responsible for beverage services in the space, they are considered accountable for the drugging, regardless of whether a brother was the singular perpetrator or not.
  • The hearing that followed the reports found Phi Psi guilty on several counts of legal violations, all of which are detailed in the email. As a consequence, Phi Psi has lost University recognition for the next four years, and no longer has fraternity specific housing. Many people have speculated that members of Phi Psi are actually being moved out this semester from Sears House.
  • Sigma Chi threw an unregistered basement party, also in October, which was broken up by DPS. A student reported non-consensual contact “of a sexual nature,” but due to the packed sardines nature of the event, could not identify the individual responsible.
  • Since Sigma Chi was holding an “unauthorized party,” which served alcohol to those underage, they were considered accountable for creating an unsafe environment.
  • Sigma Chi received probation, and suspension of “social and University privileges until Fall 2016.” Until then, no members of the fraternity can access their basement, chapter room, library or lounge. They also cannot throw any parties or conduct rush.
  • Both fraternities appealed their original hearings, and the decisions were upheld. Both national chapters associated with the fraternities were notified. Phi Psi is currently in the process of appealing one of the lab work results from the drug GHB.
  • The emailed ended with a summary of the services Brown provides to deal with sexual “misconduct,” including this link for reporting services.

Images via, and via Campus Life email.

1 Comment

  1. Greek '09

    Both the term “alcoholic service” and “residential area” are loosely defined.

    I’m sure that for non fraternity students, they will be the loosest possible definitions but for fraternity members they will be the strictest interpretations.

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