Student Demonstrations/Open-Air Assemblies, Presentations and Forums Policy

Johnson & Wales University embraces diversity for a richly inclusive community of local, national and international citizens, and therefore acknowledges the desire of its students to discuss and advocate for issues and express opinions, both publicly and privately, within constitutionally valid limitations, set by local, state or federal law. Students, whether as individuals or registered student organizations, may support causes by orderly means.

To this end, enrolled students are permitted to conduct orderly demonstrations/open-air assemblies, presentations or forums (herein referred to as “demonstrations”) which do not disrupt, obstruct or impair the educational or administrative processes taking place at the university, or interfere with the rights of any member of the university community. At the same time, it should be made clear to the academic and larger community that students or student organizations speak only for themselves, not for the university as an institution, in their public expressions or demonstrations.

Conduct Expectations

The broadest possible exercise of freedom can be carried out only in conjunction with a deep sense of responsibility. Therefore, conduct that adversely affects the health, safety or security of the university community, local residents or property, the name of the university, or the integrity of the educational process is strictly prohibited.

As always, students and their guests are expected to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the university's function as an educational institution and the Student Code of Conduct. The university defines guests as any inactive student, non-student, or external organizations that are invited to or are associated with a campus event or meeting (inclusive of demonstrations). Accordingly, students and student organizations are responsible for communicating the expected behaviors outlined in the Student Code of Conduct with any individuals or external parties invited as their guests.

Guidelines for Demonstrations

Campus events that include demonstrations and/or guests must be scheduled in accordance with space reservation and/or student organization guidelines (as outlined in the Student Organizations Handbook). All media requests must be approved through Communications & Media Relations in accordance with the university’s Campus Media Policy.

A student who wishes to stage a demonstration or protest at any event on university property should contact and arrange a meeting with the vice president of student affairs/dean of students or their designee a minimum of 48 business hours prior to the anticipated demonstration to discuss university policy, demonstration-specific regulations and safety issues. Student organizations must first schedule a meeting with the director of Student Engagement or the director's designee to discuss the objectives of the event and/or demonstration. The student(s) or student organizations coordinating the planning and execution of the demonstration will be considered the event host (see Event Host Responsibilities below).

Campus Safety & Security must be consulted in the planning of all organized demonstrations a minimum of 48 business hours in advance of the anticipated demonstration, in order to notify other pertinent university offices about the planned demonstration. The desire of Johnson & Wales University is to promote intellectual inquiry and exchange in a respectful and civil manner. The safety of all participants is of the utmost importance to the university, and appropriate procedures must be enacted to ensure safety during demonstrations.

Event planners in conjunction with Student Engagement and Campus Safety & Security will determine the following for any demonstration approved on campus:


The location of an approved demonstration will be determined following space and use guidelines for all venues and common areas on campus and in accordance with this policy.

If the demonstration is against an issue at another approved campus event, the location of an approved demonstration will be as proximate to the other event as deemed appropriate considering the following:

  • nature of the other event
  • security needs of the other event
  • time of the other event
  • any other appropriate considerations

The use of streets for parades or demonstrations is subject to town ordinance and requires a city permit.

Time and Duration

Demonstrations may not interfere with the academic and educational mission of the university. The time and duration of the demonstration will be determined with regard to the following:

  • nature of the event and/or demonstration
  • security needs of the event and/or demonstration
  • time of the event and/or demonstration
  • any other appropriate considerations

Event Host Responsibilities

Funding: Event hosts may be responsible for any associated costs for the demonstration, including but not limited to an appropriate security detail, extensive clean-up or trash removal, damage or destruction of university property, or special permits required by local ordinances.

Managing Disruptive Behavior: Within the guidelines of this protocol, the event hosts are expected to help determine when behavior at their event is being disruptive. The hosts should always attempt to gain cooperation by asking that the disruptive behavior stop prior to requesting that the person(s) leave the event, regardless of whether they are or are not guests of the event hosts. A security detail is required for any approved demonstration; therefore, the hosts are encouraged to contact the respective security officers on site about the disturbance or behavior.

Safety and Security: Event hosts are responsible for consulting with Campus Safety & Security to determine a suitable detail for the demonstration or event. At any event, Campus Safety & Security will locate the hosts before handling any situation of non-violent behavior unless the disruption necessitates action to prevent greater confrontation. Campus Safety & Security has the authority to act upon any acts of violence, threats of violence or overcrowding without first contacting the event hosts.

In addition to the foregoing, the university reaffirms all of its rights to utilize and seek the aid of public authorities and such judicial, civil and criminal process and proceedings as may, in the discretion of the university, be necessary or appropriate.