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 University Policy on Demonstrations

Cabrini University supports the right of students, faculty and staff to freedom of speech, the expression of diverse and divergent points of view and the right to peaceful demonstration.   In turn, members of the University community have a corresponding responsibility to promote these freedoms for all, even when the opinions and beliefs of others conflict with their own, and to help maintain a campus environment where members of the Cabrini community can safely pursue their endeavors free from disruption.  The following standards are in place to ensure that the appropriate balance between these freedoms and responsibilities is achieved.

Demonstrations: Definitions & Characteristics

For purposes of this policy, “demonstrations” are defined as the presence of one or more persons in a campus location with the intent to express a particular point of view in a manner that attracts attention, including but not limited to protests, rallies, sit-ins, vigils, marches, processions or similar forms of expression.  “Peaceful” and “non-disruptive” demonstrations are those conducted in compliance with University policies and procedures, which are not disruptive of academic and educational processes or the normal operations of the University, and do not create conditions which may jeopardize the safety of others and institutional property.   

A demonstration is “disruptive” or “unsafe” if it includes any activity or expression that: 

  • Denies or unreasonably interferes with the rights of other students, faculty or staff of the University, including the rights of others to demonstrate
  • Occurs in a way that blocks entrances, exits or passageways from or to any University building or vehicle traffic on or to the campus
  • Interferes with the daily business of or scheduled events in campus facilities 
  • Violates any ordinance or law
  • Creates a volume of noise that prevents members of the University community from carrying on their normal activities
  • Places the health or safety of any member of the University, visitors and/or invited guests at risk
  • Employs force or violence or threatens force or violence against any persons or property
  • Occupies rooms or offices without permission
  • Occurs outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Fails to comply with any other University policy or any other lawful directive, including a directive to cease the event
  • Demeans or degrades individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status or any other characteristics protected by federal, state or local law.  

Sponsors

The right to demonstrate on University property is limited to Cabrini students, faculty, staff and alumni.  As Cabrini is a private institution, demonstrations by non-employee associates, subcontractors or individuals/groups unaffiliated with the University may not occur on campus.   

Campus demonstrations and/or protests must be sponsored by a recognized University group or organization, or by groups of internal constituents who share a common interest. 

Notifications & Approvals

Constituents wishing to demonstrate on-campus must notify and receive approval from the senior level administrator appropriate for their group as follows: 

  • Student groups must notify the Vice President for Student Life or designee
  • Faculty groups must notify the Dean of their School or the Provost/VPAA
  • Staff and/or administrative groups must notify the Director of Human Resources

Written notification of plans to demonstrate on-campus must be provided to the designated senior administrator a minimum of three business days in advance of the activities taking place, and include the following information: 

  • An explanation of the reason, cause and purpose of the demonstration,
  • The projected number of participants
  • Proposed location, start and end times between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. 
  • The name and contact information of the primary coordinator of the event
  • If applicable, student groups must include the name and contact information for the group’s faculty or staff advisor and verification that the advisor has been made aware of the group’s intentions    

After the designated senior administrator has reviewed the written notification, determined if the time and location are appropriate for the event and taken the steps necessary to ensure adequate safety and campus notifications have been made, s/he will meet with representatives of the group to review the campus demonstration procedures, finalize arrangements and issue final approval.    

Under no circumstances will demonstrations be permitted to occur in the following locations:   

  • Residence Halls
  • Faculty, staff or administrative offices
  • Laboratories, computer rooms or the Holy Spirit Library
  • Areas that contain 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 and financial records
  • Classrooms, seminar rooms or meeting rooms where classes or private meetings are being held or immediately scheduled to be held
  • Emergency facilities, communication equipment and utility areas, or other facilities or service areas vital to the continued functioning of the University

Requirements:

  • Students participating in campus demonstrations must abide by the behavioral expectations outlined in the Community Standards for Student Conduct.   Faculty and staff must abide by the behavioral expectations outlined in their respective University handbooks.  Alumni must abide by the behavioral expectations outlined in the By-Laws of the Cabrini University Alumni Association. 
  • Demonstrations must be located at a distance from a University ceremony or event that is sufficient enough not to disrupt or impede the normal progress of the program.   
  • Sound associated with demonstrations must be reasonable and at a volume that will not interfere with classes, residence halls, business hours, programs or events.   
  • Placards used by participants must be made of poster board or similar material, not of hard substances (e.g., wood or heavy, inflexible plastics).  Placards may be carried or worn on the person, but not mounted on carrying posts or nailed to trees and shrubs, or on the outside or inside of buildings.  
  • Literature or other printed materials cannot be forced upon others or distributed in ways that obstruct the free flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.  Printed materials may not be scattered on the ground or left unattended on University benches, tables, sidewalks or building hallways and entrances.  All trash, signs and printed materials must be collected and placed in appropriate trash or recycling containers by those participating in the demonstration.  
  • Persons or organizations causing damage to University property during a demonstration will be held financially responsible. 
  • The individual(s) identified as the coordinator(s) of the demonstration is/are responsible for ensuring that all conditions of the demonstration policy are met.  Should violations occur, the Director of Public Safety or his designee, in consultation with the senior administrator who approved the event, will issue one warning that the group or individual participants are in violation and ask that the behavior be corrected within 15 minutes of the warning.  Should the group or individual participants continue to engage in that or any other violation after the warning period provided to self-correct has been issued, instructions will be issued to terminate the demonstration immediately.     

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