Preparedness | Responses | Recovery
Emergency Preparedness

Civil Disturbance or Demonstrations (involving students)

Most campus demonstrations-such as marches, meetings, picketing, and rallies-will be peaceful and non-obstructive. A student demonstration should not be disrupted unless its participants are violating the Student Code of Conduct (as outlined in the Student Handbook). Such violations might include but are not limited to the following:

Non-violent, Non-obstructive Demonstrations

  1. Generally, peaceful demonstrations should not be interrupted and protestors should not be obstructed or provoked. In some cases, however, the College may determine that a designate area/s should be established for demonstrators.  Efforts should be made to conduct College business as normally as possible.
  2. If possible, have Campus Safety Officer(s) monitor the demonstrations.
  3. If demonstrators are asked to leave but refuse to leave a facility by its closing time:

Non-violent, Disruptive Demonstrations

In the event that demonstrators are interfering with the operations of the College: 

  1. The Dean of Students & Vice President for Student Affairs or his/her designee will go to the area and ask the protestors to leave or discontinue the disruptive activities.
  2. If the demonstrators persist in their violations, they will be apprised that failure to discontinue the specified action within a determined length of time will result in disciplinary action and/or possible intervention by police authorities.
  3. If the demonstrators persist in disruptive activity, the following statement will be read by a selected College official as circumstances permit:

     "I am _____________________, speaking on behalf of Skidmore College. The College Honor Code and Code of Conduct forbids the following conduct, as described in the Student
    Handbook: 'Intentional obstruction or disruption of teaching or other educational activities on the College campus or other property used for educational purposes.
    'Intentional obstruction that unreasonably interferes with the freedom of movement, both pedestrian and vehicular, on the College campus or other property used for educational purposes.
    'Unauthorized entry, use, or occupation of College facilities that are locked, closed, or otherwise restricted for use.'
    "As a representative of Skidmore College, I am directing you to vacate these premises immediately or face legal consequences."

  4. If the demonstrators persist in disruptive behavior after the above administrative message is read, the following statement shall be read as circumstances permit:

"The College has requested that the Department of Campus Safety and law enforcement officials clear this area. The College's administration will now withdraw from this area to permit law enforcement to do so."

Immediately followed by:
"I am ____________________, from the Department of Campus Safety at Skidmore College. I am asking you to leave these premises and disperse. If you do not now leave, you will be committing trespass, in violation of Section o140.05 of the New York State Penal Law."

Efforts, including the taking of photographs if necessary, should be made to secure positive identification of demonstrators violating the Code of Conduct and breaking the law in order to facilitate later investigation.

If determination is made to seek police intervention, the demonstrators will be so informed. Upon arrival of the Police Department, the remaining demonstrators will be warned of the Police Department's intention to arrest.

Violent, Disruptive Demonstrations

In the event of a violent demonstration, in which injury to persons or property damage occurs or appears imminent, the following procedures will be implemented. Also, the steps outlined in the above section regarding Nonviolent Disruptive Demonstrations should be followed, if circumstances allow.

During business hours
The Director of Campus Safety (or designee) will respond and advise the Dean of Students & Vice President for Student Affairs. All immediate steps will be taken to minimize any potential for real damage and injuries by contacting the appropriate police agencies as deemed necessary.

After business hours

Note: If possible, attempts should be made to communicate with protestors to convince them to desist from engaging in illegal activities. However, the Department of Campus Safety is authorized to call for police assistance without counsel from others if doing so is deemed to be of immediate importance to the safety of persons or property.

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