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Skidmore College
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:

  • Intentional or reckless interference with normal college activities and functions. Examples of such activities/functions include but are not limited to studying, teaching, public speaking, research, administration of the college, or emergency (Campus Safety, fire, or police) operations.
  • Intentional interference with the freedom of expression of others.
  • Actions, explicit or implied threats or gestures that place a person in reasonable fear of unwelcome physical contact or harm.
  • Intentional or reckless behavior which may, or in fact does, deface or cause damage to college property or the property of others.
  • Obstructing access to offices, buildings or other college facilities.
  • Unauthorized entry into or occupation of any college room, building or area of the campus, including such entry or occupation at any unauthorized time.

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:
  • Arrangements will be made by the Dean of Student Affairs to monitor the situation during non-business hours, or
  • Determination will be made by the Dean of Students Affairs or his/her designee to treat the violation of regular closing hours as a disruptive demonstration. (See below.)

Non-violent, Disruptive Demonstrations

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

  1. The Dean of Students and 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 and 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.

  • The President will be advised as necessary.
  • The President, in conjunction with the Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Director of Campus Safety will determine any further action.

After business hours

  • The Department of Campus Safety will investigate the disruption and take immediate steps to mitigate any damage or injuries. Local law enforcement will be contacted as deemed necessary.
  • The Department of Campus Safety will notify the Director of Campus Safety, who will inform the Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs and appropriate administrator on duty to discuss further action.
  • The Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs will report the circumstances to the President.

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.