Disruptions of University Activities

No student shall obstruct, impede, or disrupt any educational, research, administrative, social, or recreational activity of the University; nor shall any student create a nuisance to members or guests of the University community.

Students may participate in peaceful demonstrations on campus as long as they comply with University policy.

In order to participate in a peaceful demonstration, please reach out to the Director of the Highsmith Student Union for details.

Rights and Responsibilities

    1. All students have a right to demonstrate on University premises. While University policies regarding demonstrations are content-neutral, the University necessarily reserves the right to limit, disallow, or disband an event which incites immediate, lawless action or represents a clear and present danger to the campus community; or if for any reason of time, place, or manner of behavior, the demonstration materially disrupts classwork or other University business; involves a substantial disorder; or invades the rights of others.
    2. University Policies and Regulations

      • Demonstrators entering campus buildings to conduct orderly and peaceful demonstrations may not enter or occupy rooms or offices; obstruct entry, exit, or restrict the free movement of persons; block hallways, doorways, stairs or doors of University facilities; materially interrupt or interfere with University business functions, or remain in buildings after the close of regular hours of operation.
      • For safety and security reasons, demonstrators are not allowed to enter residence halls; private offices; laboratories; research facilities; spaces where classes or private meetings are being held or immediately scheduled to be held; libraries; facilities or areas containing valuable or sensitive materials, collections, equipment, records protected by law or by existing University policy such as educational records, student-related or personnel-related records, or financial records; emergency facilities or any facilities housing communication systems, security, utilities, or other facilities or services vital to the business functions of the University.
      • Demonstrators can engage in legal activities that do not violate other’s constitutional rights or harm property. Any demonstration that violates any University policy may be discontinued, either at the direction of the administrator (or his/her designee) of the University unit administratively responsible for the space in which the demonstration is occurring or at the direction of the University Police. If a Dispersal Order is read by University Police, demonstrators must comply with instructions and leave the immediate area. Blocking entry to or free exit from buildings, impeding or obstructing others’ free movement, engaging in harassing behavior, or inciting immediate, violent action that represents a clear and present danger to the campus community is prohibited under the Code.
    3. Counter-Demonstrations

      • A demonstration or event on campus may invite the presence of opposing views. When these occasions arise, all parties have a right to expression that must not be obstructed. In the interest of community safety and protection of rights, the University may designate a separate demonstration area for counter-demonstrators.
      • As with demonstrations, counter-demonstrations must not infringe upon others’ rights to engage in peaceful assembly, the free exchange of ideas, or interfere with the rights of others to make use of campus facilities or attend University functions. This includes, but is not limited to, not damaging, defacing, marking, altering, or interfering with signs, tables or exhibits, or other items posted or displayed by others.
    4. Off-Campus Student Protests

      • The Code applies to students on and off campus. Accordingly, conduct such as threats to harm another person, inciting imminent violence, or destruction of property can lead to arrest and/or disciplinary action. The First Amendment also does not protect civil disobedience – nonviolent unlawful conduct undertaken intentionally as a form of protest (e.g. participating in a “die-in” that blocks traffic on a street). Protest actions that violate criminal law (e.g trespassing or disorderly conduct) and/or the Code can be disciplined under either or both systems.
    5. Ensuring a Productive Demonstration

      • Students planning demonstrations should consult with the Highsmith Student Union staff who will assist all students, student groups, and student organizations planning to host demonstrations or rallies. In addition, it is strongly encouraged to include University Police early in the planning process. This allows any potential safety issues to be addressed and for organizers to create safety and security procedures.
      • At times, University Police officers may be present at a demonstration to ensure the safety of all participants and provide a more immediate response in the event of an emergency.
      • Organizers are strongly encouraged to inform attendees of the Code and consequences for failure to adhere to its expectations. To support overall demonstration coordination and safety for participants, organizers should have at least one representative present throughout the demonstration. Be aware that some participants may have physical challenges that require assistance. The Office of Accessibility can provide advice on accommodating participants with disabilities or mobility challenges.
      • The role of University Police is to ensure the campus community’s safety. University Police supports community members to exercise guaranteed rights and is committed to working with students, student groups, and student organizations to provide education and consultation on University policies, applicable laws, and safety and security procedures. University Police are available to meet with students to discuss issues and concerns that may arise before or after a demonstration.