There is nothing more timeless or powerful than the image of a campus protest. A bastion of free speech and progressive thought, campus protests have long been a part of the collegiate experience. Behind the scenes of student activism, however, what are the legal, administrative, and conduct issues that a protest brings to campus? How can potential safety threats best be handled? What are the public relations ramifications and how can an institution address them while in the midst of a protest?
Join us for an informative look at campus protests through three unique perspectives:
- Laura Bennett, Student Conduct Officer and BIT chair at Harper College, and former Assistant Director of the Center for Student Conduct and Community Standards at the University of California, Berkeley
- Dr. Brian Van Brunt, Director of Counseling and Testing at Western Kentucky University
- Adán Tejada, a Lieutenant with the University of California Police Department, with 28 years of experience on the Berkeley campus
We will explore the administrative issues involved in campus protests in terms of the application process, freedom of speech, and the effect on campus public relations. Bennett will review the conduct issues related to the campus conduct code at open enrollment institutions. Dr. Van Brunt will discuss potential threats to campus safety, as well as how a protest can reflect on a college or university from the public relations perspective.
Participants will review five varying real-world scenarios to help illustrate common campus protest issues:
A student has permission from the college to set up an anti-abortion display with hundreds of baby dolls scattered across the quad. Another student is offended by the display and puts condoms on the baby dolls.
A group of students are interested in protesting the new state law against gay marriage. The students request permission to conduct a march through the campus.
A student organization conducts a silent sit-in in the hallway of one of the main lecture halls on campus, just outside of a large auditorium where there is a sold out public performance scheduled for that evening.
A controversial speaker comes to campus through the student activities office to give a lecture on feminism and the rights of women to work as high-price escorts and call girls. You hear rumors that the campus Republican club is going to protest the event by attending the event and planning a demonstration followed by a walkout to occur 10 minutes into the speaker’s scheduled speaking time.
Students are upset about the recent firing of a favorite campus professor who is outspoken on socialism and fascism. The students block the entrance to the administration building and the police department uses non-lethal force to break up the protest.