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Demonstrations on Campus

A. General Provisions

1. Harper College supports the rights of student organizations, individual students, faculty, staff, and other members of the community to assemble to express their views on issues of the day, including the right to demonstrate in a peaceful manner, provided their activities do not disrupt normal activities or infringe upon the rights of others. The use of College property for these purposes does not imply acceptance or endorsement by the College of the views expressed.

2. Regulating the time, place and manner of campus demonstrations is a legitimate function and necessary responsibility of the College. This Policy sets out content-neutral rules in order to protect the rights of those involved in the demonstration, others in the College community, and the College itself from unreasonable disruption.

3. For purposes of this Policy, disruption is defined as activity which substantially interferes with the rights of others or with College operations, including activity which

a. Denies or infringes upon the rights of students, staff, visitors or other members of the College community.

b. Interferes with instruction, research, administration, other College services, or other activities of the College community.

c. Restricts or obstructs the free movement of individuals on the campus or in campus buildings.

d. Impedes or denies the use of offices, classrooms or other College facilities to students, staff, visitors, or other members of the College community.

e. Endangers or threatens the safety of any member of the College community, including by the use of force or violence.

f. Damages, defaces or causes the loss of property.

g. Violates the law or College policies.

4. The following regulations apply to all demonstrations, rallies, and similar assemblies:

a. Persons may not use campus buildings for demonstrations or rallies, and may not block or otherwise interfere with the free flow of vehicular, bicycle, or pedestrian traffic. The right of way on streets and sidewalks must be maintained.

b. Persons may not block or otherwise interfere with ingress to or egress from campus buildings.

c. Persons shall not obstruct, disrupt, interrupt or attempt to force the cancellation of any event or activity sponsored by the College or by any users authorized to use College facilities.

d. Persons shall not engage in harassing, physically abusive, threatening or intimidating conduct toward any person.

e. Persons shall comply with the directions of a College official acting in the performance of his/her official duty.

f. Classes or other scheduled activities shall not be disrupted.

g. Use of public address systems and amplified sound will not be permitted without prior approval from the Center for Student Involvement.

h. When an invited speaker is the subject of protest, persons may demonstrate outside the building where the speech is taking place. Persons who wish to enter the building must do so as members of the audience and must give the speaker a respectful hearing. Failure to grant the speaker a respectful hearing may result in the offending person being asked to leave. Signs, placards or similar paraphernalia associated with a demonstration may not be carried into the building.

i. The safety and well-being of members of the College community collectively and individually must be protected at all times.

j. College property must be protected at all times.

k. Persons on College property may be required to provide identification to a College official upon request.

l. Persons engaging in activities on College property, including non-College participants in demonstrations, are subject to and expected to comply with all applicable College policies and procedures.

5. Student organizations sponsoring or organizing demonstrations, rallies, or equivalent activities will be held responsible to comply with this Policy. Student organization sponsorship of a demonstration does not relieve participating individuals of responsibility for their conduct. Each participant in a demonstration or equivalent activity, whether sponsored or not, is accountable for compliance with the provisions of this Policy as well as (in the case of students) the Student Code of Conduct. Violations of this Policy may be grounds for disciplinary action against individuals and/or the sponsoring or participating student organization and its officers.

6. If non-compliance with this Policy also involves violations of State or Federal law, the College may pursue prosecution of chargeable offenses against violators, and/or recovery of money damages from them for any harm to or loss or destruction of College property resulting from the misconduct.

B. Scheduled Demonstrations

1. Registered student organizations, full- or part-time students and employees of the College who wish to schedule a demonstration, rally or similar activity, may request to use one of the locations specified below through the regular reservation procedure. Any such request should be submitted at least four (4) weeks in advance of the activity, whenever possible. The Center for Student Involvement will respond promptly to any reservation request. In the event a request is denied, an appeal may be made to the Dean Of Students who shall respond promptly to any such appeal. Demonstrations will be permitted at the following locations, unless a College department or another organization has previously reserved the location:

  • Quad – paved area surrounding the bust of William Rainey Harper
  • Quad – grassy area between Buildings D, H, L and F.

2. Demonstrations may be held at other locations on campus with the approval of the Dean Of Students on a first-come, first-served basis after an assessment that the demonstrations will not otherwise interfere with scheduled College use or jeopardize the safety of members of the College community and general public, and that they are, as proposed, consistent with these guidelines.

C. Unscheduled Demonstrations

1. It is the intent of this Policy to ensure that all demonstrations on campus occur with minimal threat to the safety and security of persons or facilities through proper planning and scheduling. Occasionally, events occur which may motivate or necessitate immediate public response, and it is not the intent of this Policy to limit the right of individuals or groups to assemble and express their views with respect to such events.

2. Unscheduled demonstrations, rallies, or similar activities may be held by registered student organizations, full- or part-time students, and current employees of the College in the areas defined above, provided that the activity does not interfere with any functions for which that space has been reserved in advance.

3. However, it is inappropriate for sponsors of events that have been planned to circumvent this Policy by contending that the demonstrations are spontaneous. In deciding whether a demonstration is spontaneous or planned, the College may consider relevant evidence, including (a) whether signs or placards used at the demonstration were commercially produced, (b) whether participants used amplification equipment, (c) whether the Harper College Police Department was alerted, or media contacted, substantially in advance of the demonstration, or (d) whether other circumstances tend to show advance planning by one or more organizers.

D. Small Demonstrations

Demonstrations or similar activities by ten (10) or fewer students, faculty or staff may occur at any outdoor area without advance reservations. Except with respect to location, such demonstrations are subject to regulations which apply to larger demonstrations. Accordingly, the College encourages all persons planning a demonstration or similar activity to contact the Center for Student Involvement to discuss their plans and the applicable regulations of this Policy.

E. Parades or Marches on Campus

Demonstrations in the form of parades or campus marches on streets and campus walkways may be conducted with specific advance approval of route and time. An application for approval must be submitted to the Center for Student Involvement at least four (4) weeks in advance of the event, whenever possible. The Center for Student Involvement will notify and make arrangements with the Harper College Police Department to ensure the safety and security of the campus and participants. In the event a request is denied, an appeal may be made to the Dean Of Students who shall respond promptly to any such appeal.

F. College Procedures for Responding to Disruptive Demonstrations

The Executive Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services in consultation with the Dean Of Students and the Harper College Police Department will determine whether a demonstration has become disruptive based on the criteria set out in Part A.3. of this Policy. If circumstances permit, the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services or the Dean Of Students will inform the demonstrators that they must discontinue their disruptive activities, explaining which activities violate this Policy. If the disruption continues, appropriate action will be taken including police action. An immediate physical threat to persons and/or property may require immediate police action, as may situations in which the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services or the Dean Of Students determines that a warning will not suffice to provide protection for persons or property.

Last Updated: 5/7/19