Peaceful Assembly Policy

By Students and Student Organizations


Only Saint Mary’s College students or student organizations can organize peaceful assemblies on campus. Request for assembly by outside groups or employees will not be approved. Those students or student groups interested in planning a peaceful assembly on campus must first fill out a request for assembly on Orgsync. Details of the event must describe all aspects of the activity. If the assembly will utilize a campus facility, the organizer must complete a facility request and obtain the necessary approvals. Considering that there may be times when a student or student organization plans an activity that quickly responds to a current event, students or student organizations must still follow this request policy and Student Affairs will make reasonable efforts to accelerate its review; however, such accelerated reviews will occur on a case-by-case basis in a manner that is consistent with this policy.

Whenever appropriate, Student Affairs will designate clearly marked areas for protest or demonstrations.

Examples of a peaceful assembly include, but are not limited to:

Demonstration - A large group of people, usually gathering for a political cause. It usually includes a group march, ending with a rally or a speaker.

March - A walk by a group of people to a place in order to express an objection with or support for an event, situation, or policy.

Picket Line - A line or group of people who are refusing to go to work or class until their demands are met.

Protest - A protest is a way to express objections with any event, situation, or policy. These objections can be manifested either by actions or by words.

Sit-In - Any organized protest in which a group of people peacefully occupy and refuse to leave college premises.

Vigil - In observance of a commemorative activity or event meant to demonstrate unity around a particular issue or concern, and/or to promote peace and prevent violence.

PROCEDURE FOR PLANNING A PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY                                                      

Prior to sponsoring a peaceful assembly, a group or organization must submit the online application through Orgsync at least 72 hours in advance of the planned activity. Students and student organizations can request an expedited approval through this form as well. Application forms are available at More advanced notice may be required based on the scale of the event.

The application must include the location on campus where the event will be held, proposed date and time of the event, the purpose of the event, and estimated number of participants. Based on the scope of the assembly, specific security requirements may be required by College Safety. The cost for this security will be paid for by the student or group organizing the event.

If the event is a march, the supporting group will be required to submit a proposed route.

The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will review the application within one (1) working day of its submission and meet with the individual(s) requesting the permit prior to its approval. The meeting will cover logistics including safety and security issues, use of amplified sound, and the potential for disruption to the College. Upon notification of a proposed activity, the Vice President for Student Affairs will inform the Cabinet that the event has been approved. This notification will include a clear description of the event.

Failure to file the appropriate request for approval could result in sanctions according to the Student Code of Conduct.

Sponsoring organizations and their representatives are responsible for ensuring that there will be no disruption of College activities, conduct of business or events, programs or services. All events will be monitored by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee. The Vice President reserves the right to end an assembly should any of the following be violated. This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Free passage of pedestrian and vehicular traffic around campus at all points.
  • Ingress and egress to any building may not be blocked at any time.
  • Use of amplified sound will not disrupt the conduct of College business.
  • Activities that might disrupt the campus environment will not be allowed or encouraged. Such as the disruption of living environment in residence halls.
  • Activities must be consistent with the mission of the College.
  • Participants must respect and adhere to all policies and procedures regulating on-campus events.
  • In the event that the demonstration will move outside of the confines of campus, the supporting organizations will be responsible for obtaining all permits.
  • Any contact with the media will be handled by the College’s marketing and communication staff.

COMPLIANCE WITH THE PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY POLICY                                     

Everyone is expected to comply with the directions of College officials who are acting in accordance with the performance of their duties. Failure to do so is a violation of campus conduct codes, and is subject to sanctions as outlined in Student Code of Conduct. If a demonstration or activity interferes with normal College activities and/or functions, participants will be asked to disperse. Failure to comply will result in the appropriate sanctions. Other violations include, but not limited to:

  • Excessive noise, which interferes with classes, College offices, residence halls, community neighbors, or other campus and community activities.
  • Unauthorized entry into or occupation of a private work area.
  • Conduct that restricts or prevents faculty or staff members or student employees from performing their duties, including interruption of meetings, classes, or events.
  • Failure to maintain clear passage into or out of any College building or passageway, and/or work space.
  • Failure to disperse when a building, office, or campus space is closed.
  • Other conduct that disrupts the normal operations of the College.
  • Vandalism including graffiti or destruction of College property will not be tolerated.
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