Section 7. Campus Protests and Demonstrations

Protests and Demonstrations — Time, Place, and Manner: The University community is one of inquiry and persuasion. The University has a responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it. A member of the University community may protest, rally, or demonstrate, provided such protests or demonstrations do not disrupt University operations or obstruct physical movement to, from, or within any place on the campus, including University property located off the main campus. Though the campus must be open to the free exchange of ideas, the University may limit the time, place, and manner of demonstrations. The DOSO encourages students to provide it with advance notice of any planned demonstrations. In encouraging groups and individuals to provide prior notice, the University’s goal is not to restrict free speech or peaceable assembly. Rather, it is so that the DOSO may help students navigate the guidelines for demonstration and give the University the opportunity to provide space that accommodates the reasonable needs of both the University community and those engaged in acts of speech or protest.

All members of the community are expected to conduct dialogues with dignity and courtesy. Students must allow other community members freedom of movement on campus, along with the freedom to engage in the performance of their duties and the pursuit of their educational activities (see Section 12.). Public Safety may review and address any safety concerns occurring during a protest or demonstration. Please review Appendix H. Principles of Free Speech and Freedom of Expression.

Academic Freedom: Brandeis University adheres to the principles and traditions of academic freedom, and recognizes that these freedoms must be in balance with the rights of others, including the right of individuals not to be subjected to discrimination or harassment. It is understood that the principles of academic freedom permit topics of all types to be part of courses, lectures, and other academic pursuits. Materials that are used or displayed in an educational setting should be related to educational purposes.

7.1. Interference with University Functions: A protest, rally, or demonstration must not interfere with the missions, processes, procedures, or functions of the University (see Section 2.3.). Therefore, protesters must allow the staff and faculty of the University to engage in the performance of their duties, and students to pursue their educational activities. Impeding or restricting these activities by making noise, by blocking entrances to or exits from University facilities, or by coercion, intimidation, or threats or use of violence is unacceptable (see Section 2.4.). Proper means of egress must be maintained at all times.

7.2. Use of Public Space for Demonstrations: An activity that is neither disruptive nor obstructive is permitted in public areas of campus buildings only during those hours when the building in question is normally open. An activity that is neither disruptive nor obstructive is permitted in outdoor areas of the campus. Placement on University property of structures or displays requires permission of the DOS.

7.3. Occupancy Limits: The number of persons who may be safely accommodated in any area where demonstrations occur shall be determined by the Waltham Deputy Chief for Fire Prevention. Occupancy information is available from the Department of Public Safety and Conference and Events Services.

7.4. Official Order to Vacate: Students are expected and required to vacate an area or facility of the University when directed to do so by an authorized official of the University (see Section 2.1.).

7.5. Disruption of scheduled speakers or events: 7.1. Brandeis maintains a high tolerance for protest, but disruptions that prevent a planned event from continuing are not permissible. Students who disrupt in a way that interferes with the ability of an event to continue as planned will be warned and then asked to leave. If such disruptions do not cease, Brandeis students who do not comply with requests to leave face disciplinary consequences.

Note: Some language in this policy was originally crafted and published by Princeton University.