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Policy Concerning Student Enterprise (Student-Run Businesses)

Brown University enjoys certain tax exemptions as an educational institution which can be jeopardized when individuals in the campus community operate a business enterprise on University premises. Campus-based activity which can result in the distribution of profits to individuals is inconsistent with the University's tax exempt status.

The University has some basic expectations which form the foundation for the policy concerning student enterprise. First, student entrepreneurial initiatives must not jeopardize the University's tax exempt status. Second, entrepreneurs shall not use their student status to compete unfairly with local merchants or campus services. Third, students are not to harass others, including their fellow students, in their commercial endeavors, particularly in the residence halls.

Brown Student Agencies (BSA) was established to provide a structure within which student entrepreneurial efforts can occur. Those who wish to start or participate in a commercial venture should consult with BSA before implementing such ideas. For advice and guidance on interpretation of this policy, contact the Office of the General Counsel or the Faunce House & Student Activities Office. Entrepreneurial students must comply with at least the provisions following:

  1. Students who act as Commercial Agents, sell merchandise, or distribute goods or advertising on campus are prohibited from using University facilities or services, including residence hall rooms, campus telephone numbers, computing and/or network services or University postal facilities, for the purpose of commercial activities.
  2. Use of the Brown University name or insignia is an extremely delicate matter which must be cleared in advance of such use in all instances by the Vice President, Public Affairs and University Relations.
  3. Use of the Brown University name, insignia and trademarks on products and merchandise requires prior approval and vendor licensing by the University. Information regarding Brown University product licensing and Brown's code of conduct for licensees is available through the Director of Bookstore & Services.

Violators are subject to disciplinary action.