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Campus Disruptions

Policy Statement

The Policy on Campus Disruptions was promulgated in 1967, and states that:

Because the rights of free speech and peaceable assembly are fundamental to the democratic process, Stanford firmly supports the rights of all members of the University community to express their views or to protest against actions and opinions with which they disagree.

All members of the University also share a concurrent obligation to maintain on the campus an atmosphere conducive to scholarly pursuits, to preserve the dignity and seriousness of University ceremonies and public exercises, and to respect the rights of all individuals.

The following regulations are intended to reconcile these objectives.

It is a violation of University policy for a member of the faculty, staff, or student body to:

  1. Prevent or disrupt the effective carrying out of a University function or approved activity, such as classes, lectures, meetings, interviews, ceremonies, the conduct of University business in a University office, and public events.

  2. Obstruct the legitimate movement of any person about the campus or in any University building or facility.

Members of the faculty, staff, and student body have an obligation to leave a University building or facility when asked to do so in the furtherance of the above regulations by a member of the University community acting in an official role and identifying himself or herself as such; members of the faculty, staff, and student body also have an obligation to identify themselves and show valid University or government-issued identification when requested to do so by such a member of the University community who has reasonable grounds to believe that the person(s) has violated section (1) or (2) of this policy and who has so informed the person(s).

The policy has been applied to the following actions: refusal to leave a building  which has been declared closed; obstructing the passage into  or out of buildings  by  sitting  in  front  of doorways; preventing University employees from entering their workplace; preventing members of a class from hearing a lecture or taking  an examination, or preventing the instructor from  giving  a lecture, by means of shouts, interruptions, or chants; refusing  to leave a closed meeting when unauthorized  to attend; and intruding  upon or refusing to leave a private interview.

It  should be understood that while  the above are examples of extraordinarily  disruptive  behavior, the application  of the Policy also takes situational  factors into  consideration. Thus, for  example, conduct appropriate at a political  rally  might  constitute a violation  of the Policy on Campus Disruptions if  it occurred within  a classroom.

There is no "ordinary" penalty which attaches to violations of the Policy on Campus Disruptions. In the past, infractions have led to penalties ranging from censure to expulsion. In each case, the gravity of the offense and prior conduct of the student are considered; however, the more serious the offense, the less it matters that a student has otherwise not done wrong.

Contact Information

Department of Public Safety