Student Protest and Activism

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Student Protest and Activism

Student Protest and Activism

Rowan University is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness while upholding individuals’ rights as protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment. We anticipate that there will be protests or demonstrations on campus, therefore, we have outlined a few concrete measures to help all students, faculty, and staff engage constructively with one another around difficult and controversial issues, as well to ensure everyone is informed and remains safe. We also want to assure you that violence will not be tolerated prior to, during, or after protests or demonstrations.

The Division of Student Life and Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Rowan University holds that student activism plays an important role in students’ personal, academic, and leadership development. Through activism, students learn to advocate for their values and beliefs, values that are sometimes newly discovered through their studies and co-curricular endeavors at the university. Activism offers students an opportunity to contextualize and apply the academic study of pressing social issues and exercise their freedom of expression. Holding an organized, thoughtful demonstration also challenges students to hone a variety of leadership skills, such as diplomacy, responsibility, accountability, motivation, communication, and coalition-building, to name a few. Student activism, in short, can play a vital component in Rowan’s mission to being inclusive, agile, and response.


Protesters on Campus/First Amendment Rights

Under the U.S. Constitution, Rowan University is obligated as a public institution to allow freedom of expression, but we do not condone or endorse any speech that is discriminatory, harassing, or otherwise interferes with the rights of others.

Any demonstration or protest on the property of Rowan University that interferes with the educational function of the institution, or in which violence, property damage, or other unlawful behavior occurs is unlawful.

The Rowan University Office of Public Safety encourages organizers to communicate with University Administration in advance so we may better provide for the safety of participants, share important information, and help ensure the success of the event.

Adapted from the University of Michigan

What is and is not allowed

Please refer to Rowan University's Free Speech and Peaceful Assembly Policy. You also should familiarize yourself with the Guidelines for the Right to Protest as detailed by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey.


Responding to an unlawful protest or demonstration

If a demonstration or protest becomes violent or other unlawful behavior occurs, please:

  • Dial 911
  • Follow all instructions from law enforcement officials
  • Avoid provoking or obstructing demonstrators
  • Avoid the area of disturbance if you are outside
  • Shelter in place if you are indoors and stay away from doors and windows
  • Secure your area (lock doors, safes, files, vital records, and expensive equipment) in case demonstrators enter

If you need additional support, you can call the Wellness Center, 856-256-4333

If you feel unsafe, you can call Public Safety at 856-256-4922