Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Paxson reaffirms “appropriate codes of conduct” as Brown’s response to encampment

Paxson also reiterated University support for freedom of expression

The email also stated that Brown’s responses would not involve law enforcement unless “actions that may create a violent, intimidating, hostile or otherwise unsafe environment” arise.
The email also stated that Brown’s responses would not involve law enforcement unless “actions that may create a violent, intimidating, hostile or otherwise unsafe environment” arise.

On Wednesday evening, President Christina Paxson P’19 P’MD’20 reaffirmed that the University’s response to the ongoing encampment would “rely on appropriate codes of conduct to address violations of policy” in a community-wide email.

The email also stated that Brown’s responses could involve law enforcement if “actions that may create a violent, intimidating, hostile or otherwise unsafe environment” arise.

Paxson emphasized “Brown’s unwavering commitment to supporting academic freedom and freedom of expression within an open and respectful learning community,” writing that the University would not pursue “insidious suggestions in some national debates” about dismissing faculty and students based on their viewpoints.

“Freedom of expression is a right that guarantees the ability of individual members of the community to express their views — Period,” she wrote. “The only long-standing exception is when speech or behavior crosses the line into harassment, discrimination or intimidation.”


“I have seen no evidence of protest participants harassing or intimidating anyone up to this point, but community members are encouraged to report any incidents of bias,” Paxson added.

She recognized protest as a long-standing “powerful form of expression at Brown,” but noted that it’s “unacceptable when it violates University policies that are intended to ensure the safety and security of members of the Brown community, or if it interferes with the rights of others to engage in the regular operations of the University.”

This is the second announcement issued by the University since student protestors at Columbia University began an encampment and the first since around 80 Brown students set up an encampment on the Main Green this morning.

Provost Francis Doyle sent an email Tuesday afternoon outlining student conduct policies amid increasing college campus protests calling for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas and on universities to divest from weapons manufacturers and companies affiliated with Israel, The Herald previously reported.

While an “encampment itself is not an arrestable offense, it is a violation of University policy” and may lead to disciplinary action “up to and including separation from the institution,” Doyle wrote in the email announcement.

Some students whose ID information was recorded by Department of Campus Safety officers at the encampment received an email the same afternoon from the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, notifying them of an ongoing conduct violation case, The Herald previously reported.

The Herald could not confirm the number of students who received this email at this time.

According to the email, students were alleged to be “involved in an unauthorized encampment on the Main Green that was disruptive to the community and University activities … When approached about this and told to leave, you did not comply,” the email stated.

The Brown Divest Coalition hosted an ‘emergency rally’ at around 2 p.m., during which speakers announced the recipient of the student conduct email and reiterated their demand for  the University “to divest its endowment from all companies … enabling and profiting from the genocide in Gaza and the broader Israeli occupation of Palestinians as outlined by the 2019 ACCRIP report and the 2024 critical edition of the ACCRIP report.”

“We have not experienced the troubling incidents that have been reported on some campuses, but we also recognize that external actors have participated in encampment and protest activities on other campuses across the country, presenting significant challenges,” Paxson wrote in her statement. 


The University is “closely monitoring the situation” and that “unaffiliated individuals who come onto the campus to protest or counter-protest will be asked to leave, and escorted from campus if they refuse,” she wrote.

Clarification: This article has been updated to accurately reflect conditions which may lead Brown's response to include law enforcement. 

Get The Herald delivered to your inbox daily.

Anisha Kumar

Anisha Kumar is a section editor covering University Hall. She is a sophomore from Menlo Park, California concentrating in English and Political Science who loves speed-crosswording and rewatching sitcoms.

Katie Jain

Katie Jain is a University News editor from New Jersey overseeing the graduate student life beat. She is a junior concentrating in International and Public Affairs and History.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Brown Daily Herald, Inc.