Most campus demonstrations -- which include such activities as marches, picketing and rallies -- are peaceful and non-obstructive. They are a means by which people choose to invoke their First Amendment rights. As an academic institution, the university encourages the free expression of ideas, and in fact, thrives on intellectual discourse and debate. At the same time, the university is committed to protecting the safety and welfare of the campus community. As such, in those situations in which a demonstration becomes violent and/or disruptive, the university must act to keep the peace.
Individual and Group Safety Guidelines
The following are some useful guidelines to minimize problems:
- If you are concerned about your safety, remain at a distance from the demonstration.
- Do not provoke or interact with demonstrators; avoid all confrontations.
- Encourage others to remove themselves from the demonstration area.
- Notify the program manager responsible for animal safety precautions within any animal-based university research labs. The program manager is responsible for ensuring the continuity of this research and academic programming.
CSU Policy On Campus Freedom And Order
SCSU students and student organizations shall have the right to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them, to express opinion publicly and privately and to support causes by orderly means. They may organize public demonstrations and protest gatherings and utilize the right to petition. Students do not have the right to deprive others of the opportunity to speak or to be heard, to damage the property of others, to invade the privacy of others, to disrupt the regular and essential operation of the university, or to interfere with the rights of others.
Policy Resolution on Campus Freedom and Order by the Board of Trustees for the Connecticut State University
Be it Resolved: That the Board of Trustees:
- Affirms and supports for the university the concepts of freedom of thought, inquiry, speech, and lawful assembly;
- Affirms the right of individuals and groups in the university to assemble, to dissent, to picket and to demonstrate on the university campuses within the limits of administrative guidelines or regulations; and
- Affirms the right of all individuals and groups at all times to pursue their normal activities within the university and to be protected from physical injury or property damage.
Be it further Resolved: That the Board of Trustees for State Universities hereby declares that the following are forms of conduct contrary to the purposes and well being of the State Universities and are prohibited. Such conduct provides grounds for disciplinary proceedings leading to probation, suspension, or expulsion, and to resort to enforcement agencies when necessary.
- Interfering with the freedom of any person to express his or her views, including invited speakers;
- Disrupting the orderly conduct of instruction, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings, or other university activities;
- Interfering, in any manner whatsoever, with the access to or exit from any university campus or the buildings, classrooms, libraries, meeting rooms, offices, or other premises which are duly open to members of the campus community or to other persons;
- Occupying or utilizing without authorization any building or facility or portion thereof;
- Damaging or destroying property or removing or using such property without authorization;
- Possessing of firearms or detaining any person or removing such person from any place where he or she is authorized personnel;
- Physically restraining or detaining any person or removing such person from any place where he or she is authorized or otherwise free to remain; and
- Failing to comply with direction of SCSU officials acting in performance of their duties.