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Campus Disruptions

The University's policy on campus disruption applies to students, faculty, and staff. It is published in its complete form on the Judicial Affairs Office web site at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/vpsa/ judicialaffairs/index.html.

POLICY

The following is quoted from the policy:

Because the rights of free speech and peaceable assembly are fundamental to the democratic process, Stanford firmly supports the rights of all members of the University community to express their views or to protest against actions and opinions with which they disagree.

All members of the University also share a concurrent obligation to maintain on the campus an atmosphere conducive to scholarly pursuits, to preserve the dignity and seriousness of University ceremonies and public exercises, and to respect the rights of all individuals.

The following regulations are intended to reconcile these objectives.

It is a violation of University policy for a member of the faculty, staff, or student body to:

  1. prevent or disrupt the effective carrying out of a University function or approved activity, such as lectures, meetings, interviews, ceremonies, the conduct of University business in a University office, and public events.
  2. obstruct the legitimate movement of any person about the campus or in any University building or facility.

Members of the faculty, staff, and student body have an obligation to leave a University building or facility when asked to do so in the furtherance of the above regulations by a member of the University community acting in an official role and identifying himself or herself as such; members of the faculty, staff, or student body also have an obligation to identify themselves, when requested to do so by such a member of the University community who has reasonable grounds to believe that the person(s) has violated section (1) or (2) of this policy and who has so informed the person(s).

APPLICATION

The following are examples to illustrate the policy:

The policy has been applied to the following actions: refusal to leave a building which has been declared closed; obstructing the passage into or out of buildings by sitting in front of doorways; preventing University employees from entering their workplace; preventing members of a class from hearing a lecture or taking an examination, or preventing the instructor from giving a lecture, by means of shouts, interruptions, or chants; preventing others from hearing a scheduled speaker by means of shouts, interruptions, or chants; refusing to leave a closed meeting when unauthorized to attend; and intruding upon or refusing to leave a private interview.

It should be understood that while the above are examples of extraordinarily disruptive behavior, the application of the policy also takes situational factors into consideration. Thus, for example, conduct appropriate at a political rally might constitute a violation of the Policy on Campus Disruption if it occurred within a classroom.

There is no "ordinary" penalty which attaches to violations of the Policy on Campus Disruption. Each case is fact-specific; considerations would include: the gravity of the offense, and prior similar misconduct. As a general rule, the more serious the offense, the less it matters that the violation had otherwise not done wrong.

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