Demonstrations

 

Policy Statement

Members of the university community may demonstrate in support of or in opposition to any issue of interest to them, provided that such activities do not endanger the safety or security of the university community, infringe upon the rights of other members of the community, obstruct access to university facilities or spaces, damage property, or disrupt normal university operations. Accordingly, the university maintains the right to define the time, place, and manner, and objects utilized during protests, rallies, or equivalent activities (hereinafter “demonstrations”) occur on its campuses and at its facilities. 

Reason for Policy 

The purpose of this policy is to promote the academic mission of the university by providing students, staff, and faculty with an environment that encourages and promotes the dissemination of information and the pursuit of knowledge. Dissent and demonstration are natural parts of fulfilling that mission, as long as they occur in a manner that is respectful of and does not infringe on the rights or safety of others, does not damage property, and does not disrupt normal university operations. 

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Students
  • Staff
  • Faculty

Policy

The university is committed to allowing lawful and orderly demonstration on its campuses. Responsible demonstration may not be exercised in such a manner as to endanger the safety or security of the university community, infringe upon the rights of other members of the community, or cause damage to property. This includes the rights of others to conduct class, hold their own meetings, or hear another speaker. The University may require demonstrators to remove any mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer. Demonstrators may not utilize torches, Tiki torches, open flames, weapons, sticks, poles or similar objects, or barricades during a demonstration. Demonstrators may not obstruct access to university facilities or spaces, force cancellation or interruption of authorized events involving university facilities, or disrupt normal university operations. Please refer to the Disruption of University Functions Policy for additional information. 

Accordingly, the university maintains the right to define the time, place, and manner, and objects utilized during demonstrations that occur on its campuses and at its facilities. Individuals and organizations sponsoring demonstrations should contact Marvin Center and University Conferences, Mount Vernon Campus Events, or the Chief Academic Operating Officer/Virginia Campus, as appropriate, for information regarding compliance with university rules. Additional information is available at   https://safety.gwu.edu. Those offices will work with the GW Police Department to determine if safety or security related issues are presented, and consider appropriate steps that should be taken, including requiring a police presence or disbanding an event. It is expected that all demonstration sponsors and participants will cooperate in these processes. 

Sponsorship or participation in demonstrations in no way relieves the individuals or organizations involved in such   activities   of   responsibility   for   their conduct. Individuals and organizations sponsoring or participating in demonstrations are accountable for compliance with applicable laws, this policy, and other applicable university policies and codes. 

These policy supplements and should be read in conjunction with the rights and responsibilities set forth in the Code of Student Conduct, the  Faculty Code, the Employee Handbook, and/or the Human Resource Management and Development Manager's Toolkit, as applicable. 

Related Information

Code of Student Conduct 

Disruption of University Functions Policy 

Employee Handbook 

Faculty Code

Human Resource Management and Development Manager's Toolkit 

https://safety.gwu.edu 

Events and Venues 

Mount Vernon Campus Events

The George Washington University Statement of Ethical Principles 

Disorderly Conduct (D.C. Official Code § 22-1321) 

Contacts

Contact Phone Number Email Address
Marvin Center and University Conferences 202-994-7470  [email protected]
Chief Academic Operating Officer, VSTC campus  703-726-8220   
Mount Vernon Campus Event and Special Services  202-242-5117  [email protected]
GW Police Department 202-994-6110  [email protected]

Responsible University Official: Senior Vice President for Safety and Security
Responsible Office: Division of Safety and Security

Last Reviewed: March 14, 2017

 

Non-compliance with this policy can be reported through this website.