Peaceful Assembly & Protest

The free exchange of ideas and the expression of dissent within the College community are considered indications of intellectual vitality and social awareness, which are important elements in the pursuit of knowledge. Hartwick College is committed to the free and open exchange of ideas—a principle upon which higher education is built.

Recognizing that certain ideas may be offensive, discomforting, or disagreeable to some members of our community, Hartwick will make every effort to ensure the open expression of such ideas so long as this expression takes place within the bounds of mutual respect and civility. No attempts to disrupt civility or impede another’s free expression will be tolerated.

Freedom of expression does not include unlawful activity, activity that threatens or endangers the safety of others, destruction of property or obstruction of the normal operations of the College. Inappropriate expression which violates College policy will not be tolerated. In addition, expression that is indecent, obscene or offensive on matters such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation is inconsistent with accepted norms of conduct at Hartwick College.

Permission to engage in peaceful assembly or protest at a college location does not imply acceptance of or endorsement by the College of the views expressed.

It is the responsibility of all members of the College community to maintain channels of communication which will foster a climate favorable to the freedom of expression. Therefore the College has created protest guiding documents, procedures and protocols that will assist a student or guest in the planning of a peaceful assembly or protest on College property.

In order to avoid any misunderstanding on this interpretation of what is permitted (dissent) and what is prohibited (disruption) the following definitions of both terms are provided:

Dissent is defined as individual or group activity which expresses grievances held against, or of change desired, of society or campus or of both. Dissent may be more general than a single grievance or remedy and may have an ideological base. It often includes proposed solutions as well as complaints.

Disruption is defined as, activity which interferes with the rights of others. Whereas dissent relies on persuasion, disruption is more likely based on harassment, coercion and/or violence.

More specifically, disruption is construed to include activity which:

  • -Denies or infringes upon the rights of the students, faculty, staff or guests of the College community;
  • -Disrupts or interferes with instruction, research, administration and other activities of the College community;
  • -Reacts to the expression of the peaceful assembly/protest of others by attempting to deny their rights;
  • -Obstructs or restricts free movement of persons on any part of the College campus;
  • -Denies the use of offices, classrooms, or other facilities to the students, faculty, staff or guests of Hartwick College;
  • -Endangers or threatens the safety of any person on the College campus; and/or
  • -Results in the destruction or defacing of property.

Students of the Hartwick Community planning a peaceful assembly/protest, should contact:

The Office of Campus Activities

Guests wishing to request to hold a peaceful assembly/protest on College property, should contact:

Karen McGrath, Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Experience

When a peaceful assembly or protest occurs on Hartwick College property, please remember that our Code of Student Conduct will be the foundation of our expectations when applicable, and so you will be expected to act in ways that fulfill the Core Values and the expectations outlined in the Code. In planning a peaceful assembly or protest, the organizers and participants should keep in mind all College policies pertaining to the use of campus spaces, as well as the rights of all members of the Hartwick community to move around campus in a free and non-disruptive manner will be upheld.

All participants will be expected to comply with the standards outlined below:

  • -To be honest and exemplify integrity;
  • -To respect the rights of all people, property, and the environment;
  • -To treat others with kindness and empathy; to act in a civil manner in all settings;
  • -To accept the high level of responsibility for self and others, as is expected of any member of this community;
  • -To read, know, and comply with all published College policies, procedures, rules, and regulations (including but not limited to the one that appears below).

Substantial disruption of a peaceful environment and or Hartwick operations including obstruction of teaching, research, administration, other Hartwick activities, and/or other authorized non-Hartwick activities which occur on campus; disruption or conduct that interferes with the rights and opportunities of those who attend Hartwick for the purposes of which the College exists; additionally, speech or behavior that materially and substantially disrupts the Hartwick living and learning environment will not be tolerated (Code of Student Conduct);

-To cooperate with the requests of College officials as they fulfill their duties;
-To comply with all local, state and federal laws.

As outlined in multiple College policies, Hartwick College explicitly prohibits the possession or use of firearms, ammunition, fireworks, explosives, dangerous chemicals or weapons by any persons on College property.

The College expects that all persons involved will comply with requests and direction of College officials as they fulfill the duties of their job.


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