A civil protest will usually take the form of an organized public demonstration of disapproval or display disagreement with an idea or course of action. It should be noted that in many cases campus protests such as marches, meetings, picketing and rallies will be peaceful and non-obstructive. A protest should not be disrupted unless one or more of the following conditions exists as a result of the demonstration:
- Disruption of the normal operations of the University.
- Obstructing access to offices, buildings, or other University facilities.
- Threat of physical harm to persons or damage to University facilities.
- Willful demonstrations within the interior of any University building or structure, except as specifically authorized and subject to reasonable conditions imposed to protect the rights and safety of other persons and to prevent damage to property.
- Unauthorized entry into or occupation of any University room, building, or area of the campus, including such entry or occupation at any unauthorized time, or any unauthorized or improper use of any University property, equipment, or facilities.
Immediate Action and Decision Maker(s)
If any of the above conditions exist, University Police should be notified and will be responsible for contacting and informing the President and the Vice President for Student Life. Depending on the nature of the protest, the appropriate procedures listed below should be followed:
Peaceful, Non-Obstructive Protest
Generally, peaceful protests should not be interrupted. Protestors should not be obstructed or provoked and efforts should be made to conduct University business as normally as possible.
If protestors are asked, at the President’s or designee’s request, to leave but refuse to leave by regular facility closing time:
- Arrangements will be made by the Vice President for Student Life to monitor the situation during non-business hours, or
- Determination will be made to treat the violation of regular closing hours as a disruptive protest. (See Authority to Declare a Campus State of Emergency.)
Non-Violent, Disruptive Protest
In the event that a protest blocks access to university facilities or interferes with the operation of the University:
The Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee will go to the area and ask the protestors to leave or to discontinue the disruptive activities.
If the protestors persist in disruptive activity, the following statement will be read first by a selected University administrator as circumstances permit:
“I am _________________, speaking on behalf of the University of Iowa. The University’s Code of Student Life and Board of Regents Rules forbid the following: [read one or all of the potential violations depending on the nature of the disruption]
- Disruption or obstruction of university or authorized non-university activities on or off campus.
- Inciting others to participate in the disruption of university activities.
- Demonstrations inside university buildings except as specifically authorized.
Individuals here present violating these rules may be subject to disciplinary action, up to expulsion from the University. The individuals may also be subject to arrest for criminal trespass, pursuant to Iowa Code #716.7.”
If the protestors persist in disruptive behavior after the above administrative message is read, the following statement shall be read as circumstances permit:
“The University has requested that law enforcement clear this area. The University’s administration will now withdraw from this area to permit law enforcement to do so.”
To be read by public safety official: “I am _____________, of the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety. I am asking you to leave these premises and disperse. If you do not now leave, you will be in violation of Chapter #716.7 of the State Code of Iowa, Criminal Trespass. If you do not immediately disperse, you may be arrested and charged with the violation of this act.”
Violent, Disruptive Protests
In the event that a violent protest in which injury to persons or property occurs or appears imminent, the following will occur:
During Business Hours
- The University Police will be notified immediately. UIPD will in turn contact the Vice President for Student Life and other key administrators.
- If advisable, the Vice President for Student Life will alert the President.
- The President, in consultation with the Vice President for Student Life and the Assistant Vice President & Director of Public Safety will determine any further actions.
After Business Hours
- The University Police will be notified immediately of the disturbance.
- UIPD will investigate the disruption and report and notify the Assistant Vice President & Director of Public Safety, who will inform the Vice President for Student Life and other key administrators.
- The Vice President for Student Life will report the circumstances to the President.
NOTE: If possible, an attempt should be made to communicate with the protestors to convince them to desist from engaging in violent activities in order to avoid further escalation of possible violent confrontation.
If it becomes necessary, the Assistant Vice President and Director of Public Safety or designee will call for assistance from the Iowa City Police Department or other law enforcement agencies as needed. If assistance is needed with mass transportation, the Assistant Vice President and Director of Public Safety will call for assistance from Parking and Transportation.
Efforts should be made to secure positive identification of protestors in violation to facilitate later testimony, including photographs if deemed advisable. Additionally, efforts should be made to video tape any police action for future reference.