Demonstration Policy

The Philosophy Statement of Saint Xavier University is intended to be complementary to its Mission Statement. Both statements address how the University seeks to fulfill its educational mission in the context of its Catholic identity and Mercy heritage.

More specifically, the "University continues to build upon the ideals of its founders and sponsors, the Sisters of Mercy, who...established an academy defined by intellectual rigor in the tradition of the liberal arts, the encouragement of religious faith, and action in solidarity with the economically poor of the world, especially women and children." Further, "in all programs of study, the University encourages the examination of fundamental questions of human concern, respectful dialogue in the context of diverse points of view and experience, as well as the search for truth and justice."

The University community also recognizes that the search for truth, the debate of ideas and the process of thinking critically might, at times, lead individuals or groups to wish to express their views through dissent or forms of public demonstration. As an academic institution committed to the free expression of ideas, Saint Xavier University supports the freedom of individuals and groups to engage in public demonstration as a form of discourse. At the same time, the University must balance this freedom of expression with the mission of the institution and the rights of its members to pursue their academic and vocational objectives without unreasonable obstruction or hindrance.

The University expects that those who enjoy freedom of expression also must accept responsibility for order and discipline by demonstrating in a peaceful and non-disruptive manner. Rooted in the University's core value of respect, permissible demonstrations do not include unlawful activity, activity that threatens or endangers the safety of any person or persons, the destruction of property, or obstruction of the normal operations of the University. In addition, expression that is indecent, obscene, graphically violent or grossly offensive on matters such as race, age, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law is inconsistent with the accepted norms of conduct at the University and will not be tolerated.

The use of the University forum does not imply the acceptance or endorsement of the views expressed by the University.

Guidelines for Demonstrations

Students planning a demonstration should complete a Demonstration Registration form (available through The Den) and arrange for a meeting with the Dean of Students to discuss the proposed event. Students are expected to abide by the agreed upon arrangements throughout the course of the demonstration.

Leadership and Prior Approval

A member of the Saint Xavier University community (student, faculty or staff member) must be designated Organizer/Liaison for each protest/demonstration (the "Event"). The Organizer/Liaison must meet with the Dean of Students or designee to coordinate the planned Event and is encouraged to schedule this meeting well in advance. To schedule this meeting, the organizer must contact the Office of the Dean of Students. If the Organizer/Liaison is planning the Event on behalf of a registered student organization, the advisor of the RSO is strongly encouraged to attend this meeting as well.

The Dean of Students/designee will meet with the organizer (and advisor, if relevant) within one business day of receipt of the event request. The proposed Event may be scheduled no fewer than two business days after this meeting is held. This two-day period may be extended at the discretion of the University if additional planning or preparation time is needed. Organizers should therefore plan accordingly and submit proposals as early as possible before the anticipated Event date. The meeting with the Dean/designee will be to review the details of the proposed Event including proposed time, place, manner (such as walk, sit-in, fixed or temporary artistic or expressive installations, postings or visual displays or exhibits, coordinated attire, etc.) and planned size of the event. Accordingly, expectations, rights, responsibilities, and logistical considerations will be discussed. In conjunction with this meeting, the Organizer/Liaison will submit a "Demonstration Proposal" form. Following this meeting, if all parties are in agreement regarding the substance of the proposed Event and the institutional expectations, the Event will be tentatively approved and the Proposal Form will be shared with relevant campus offices before final approval is granted.

Reservation of campus space for any Event will be contingent upon availability. Space cannot be reserved without prior approval.

Measures to ensure safety and security

All students who are members of the University community have the right to peaceful demonstration (including but not limited to rallies, gatherings, protests, parades, and processions) on campus. However, disruptive demonstration, here defined as any demonstration that unreasonably interferes with the rights or safety of others, is strictly prohibited.

In order to avoid any misunderstanding of what is a peaceful demonstration (permitted) and what is a disruptive or unsafe demonstration (prohibited), the following non-exhaustive list of characteristics is provided.

A demonstration is disruptive or unsafe if it includes any activity that:

Rules Governing Demonstrations

Maintain Peace and Order

Presence of University Officials

When demonstrations are scheduled, organizers should expect University personnel (typically, Student Life staff and/or Saint Xavier University Public Safety) to be present for all or part of the Event. This presence is often necessary to ensure organizers' own rights are protected and the University's regular operations and activities are not interrupted. Accordingly, University representatives may film, photograph or record elements of the event. The presence of University personnel should not be viewed as an effort to deter or otherwise interfere with properly approved demonstrations.

Responsibly Conclude the Demonstration

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