Civil Protest | Webster University

Civil Protest

A civil protest/disturbance will usually take the form of an organized public demonstration of disapproval with a particular action, idea or incident. The civil protest/disturbance does not necessarily have to be from any action taken by Webster University. It could be from any action or event worldwide.

Most of the time, protests are of peaceful means and of non-destructive or non-obstructive nature.

However, protests and civil disturbances can crop up at a moments notice.

It is the policy of Webster University to uphold the rights of all individuals, which includes the right to free speech and the right to peaceably assemble on public property.

These rights will not be interfered with, provided that the expressive activity does not disrupt the educational mission or involve substantial disorder and/or invasion of the rights of others.

Immediate action must be initiated if the following occur:

  1. Disruption of normal operations.
  2. Obstruction of access to offices, buildings or other facilities.
  3. Willful demonstrations within the interior of any building or structure, except as authorized, to protect the rights and safety of other persons and to prevent damage to property.
  4. Un-authorized entry into, or occupation of, a classroom, building, or area of the campus, including such entry or occupation at any unauthorized time and/or any unauthorized or improper use of school property, equipment or facilities. If the above occurs, Public Safety will be notified, and in turn will notify the vice president of Finance and Administration as well as the dean of students. Depending upon the nature of the protest, the appropriate procedures should be followed.

Peaceful, Non-Obstructive Protest

Peaceful protests should not be interrupted, unless violations of conditions above occur. If protesters are asked, at the president's or designee's request, to leave, but refuse to leave by regular facility closing time:

  1. Arrangements will be made by the dean of students to monitor the situation during business hours, or
  2. Determination will be made to treat the violation of regular closing hours as a disruptive protest.

Non-Violent, Disruptive Protest

In the event that a protest blocks access to facilities or interferes with the operations of the campus:

  1. The dean of students or his/her designee will go to the area and ask the protesters to leave or to discontinue the disruptive activities.
  2. If the protesters persist in disruptive activity, a statement will be read by a selected University administrator as circumstances permit, advising the protesters that they are in violation of University policy and those individuals may be subject to disciplinary action, up to expulsion from the University. Individuals may also be subject to arrest.

Individuals may also be subject to If the protesters still persist in a disruptive manner, public safety/law enforcement will be called to clear the area.

Violent, Disruptive Protest

In the event that a violent protest in which injury to persons or property occurs or appears imminent, the following will occur:

  1. Public Safety will be notified immediately and take immediate steps to secure the situation.
  2. The VP of Finance and Administration will be notified.
  3. The president, in consultation with the director of Public Safety, VP of Finance and Administration, Dean of Students and other administrative staff, will determine further action.