Student Handbook: Right to Dissent and Demonstration Policy

Relevant excerpt

The right to dissent is essential to academic freedom and scholarly pursuits. Protest against a particular position, action or situation is permitted as long as the protest activity does not restrict the freedom of thought or movement of others who hold different views.

Occidental College respects the rights of free speech and peaceable assembly and supports their exercise as integral to academic freedom and scholarly pursuits. However, when the exercise of speech and assembly becomes disruptive or non-peaceable, and infringes upon the rights of others, threatens property or public safety, or the conduct of business of Occidental College, the College will act according to this policy. Occidental has instituted procedures for presenting and peaceably resolving disagreements about policies. Officials at Occidental are willing to examine, discuss, and explain institutional policies to any member of the Occidental College community. Nevertheless, participation in a demonstration that is materially disruptive and non-peaceful or involves the substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others on the property of Occidental College is prohibited. Determination of when a demonstration or action is non-peaceful or disruptive may be difficult, but Occidental College subscribes to the general guidelines listed below.

  1. Non-peaceful actions or demonstrations are those that endanger or injure, or threaten to endanger or injure, any person, or that damage or threaten to damage property.
  2. Disruptive actions or demonstrations are those that restrict free movement, or interfere with, or impede access to, regular activities or facilities of the College.

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