Policy 1008 - Demonstration Policy

Section: Operating/Administrative
Policy Number: 1008
Responsible Office: Student Life and HR Services
Effective Date: 6/4/69
Revised: 11/27/18

This policy was approved by the University Senate on May 23, 1969, adopted by the Board of Trustees on June 4, 1969 and filed with the New York State Department of Education in July 1969.  It has been updated effective November 27, 2018.


St. John’s University supports the right of all members of the University community (persons who are students, faculty, staff or administrators of the university) as individuals or as organizations to examine, to discuss and to advocate any issue and to express any opinion, both publicly and privately, within constitutionally valid limitations, set by local, state or federal law. In particular, all substantive issues relating to university policy are to be considered open to full discussion and debate by the University community, whether through open forum or some other procedure. Members of the University community, whether individuals or campus organizations, are free to support causes by orderly means. A rational and orderly examination of issues—whether local, national, or international—is fundamental to the academic process and is to be encouraged rather than repressed.

To this end members of the University community are permitted to conduct orderly demonstrations which do not disrupt the educational process or working environment taking place at the University or interfere with the rights of any member of the University community. 

Approval Process:

In an effort to ensure that demonstrations are conducted by members of the University community and are in compliance with safety expectations, all demonstrations must be registered with the University.  All demonstrations must have a University-affiliated Organizer, which can be one or more enrolled students or the authorized members of a recognized student organization.

Members of the community wishing to hold a demonstration must complete the Demonstration Registration Form and submit it to the Dean of Students office no less than three (3) business days prior to the event.  The Dean of Students or designee will review all submissions and meet with Organizers to discuss responsibilities, any safety or security requirements and to evaluate any special needs or provisions to ensure that the academic mission of the University is not disrupted.

Reservation of campus space for any approved event is contingent upon availability.  The Organizer of the event is responsible for all costs associated with the event (including security if deemed necessary by the University). The Organizer is responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure compliance with these requirements by all participants, and may be held accountable for violations of such requirements by any persons involved in the demonstration. 

Demonstration Request Form

The broadest possible exercise of freedom can be carried out only in conjunction with responsibility. Members of the University community and all other persons on University property assume the obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the University’s function as an educational institution. To this end, the following acts and/or conduct are prohibited:

  1. Persons who are NOT members of the University community are not permitted to demonstrate.
  2. Conducting a demonstration at a time or place other than the time and place previously approved by the Dean of Students or designee;
  3. Conducting a demonstration for topics/issues other than the those explicitly outlined in the Demonstration Request and approved by the Dean of Students;
  4. Obstruction or disruption of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other university activities on University owned or controlled property, including its grounds, campus, buildings, and/or other facilities (hereinafter collectively referred to as “University property”);
  5. Obstruction of entry and exit points of buildings;
  6. Physical  or verbal abuse of any person on university property or at University sponsored or supervised functions or conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any such person;
  7. Threats of harm;
  8. Theft or damage to property of the University or of a member of the University or campus visitor;
  9. Unauthorized entry to or use of University property, including maintaining an unauthorized presence in buildings;
  10. Disorderly conduct or lewd, indecent, or obscene conduct, language, or expression on university property or at University sponsored or supervised functions;
  11. Failure to comply with directives of University officials acting in the performance of their duties.
  12. Any other violations of civil law and/or University regulations;
  13. In addition to the foregoing specific prohibitions, which are not exclusive, members of the University community and other persons on the property of the university shall conduct themselves at all times in a manner which does not disrupt the University community or infringe upon the rights of others, and faculty and non-faculty staff shall conduct themselves in a manner not inconsistent with the duties and responsibilities of their positions.

The President or his designee is directed to protect the rights of all members of the University community by maintaining order and enforcing the provisions referred to above.

Violations of any of the foregoing prohibitions shall be dealt with as follows:

In the case of students: The student shall be requested to cease and desist from such prohibited conduct; and if he/she fails to do so, necessary and appropriate action will be taken to ensure the safety and order of the University community. In addition, the incident will be documented and referred to the Office of Student Conduct to address potential Code of Conduct violations.

In the case of any individual who is not a member or the University community:
The authority of such individual to remain on University property will immediately be revoked; and if the individual thereafter refuses to leave University property, necessary and appropriate action will be taken to eject such person therefrom.

In the case of a non-faculty staff member or administrator: 
The staff member or administrator shall be requested to cease and desist from such prohibited conduct; and if he/she fails to do so, necessary and appropriate action will be taken to eject such staff member from University property. In addition:

a) In the case of a non-academic professional staff member or administrator, disciplinary action shall be taken against such staff member or administrator by the President or his designee;

b) In the case of any other staff member, disciplinary action shall be taken against such staff member by appropriate representatives of the university, subject to the procedures in the Corrective Action policy

As a result of such disciplinary action, any staff member or administrator may be suspended, discharged or otherwise disciplined.

In addition to the foregoing, the University reaffirms all of its rights to utilize and seek the aid of public authorities and such judicial, civil and criminal process and proceedings as may, in the discretion of the University, be necessary or appropriate.


This policy may be reviewed and revised by the University as deemed necessary by the President or designee.

St. John’s University, New York
Human Resources Policy Manual