Guidelines for Student Demonstrations

Elon University encourages open, on-going intellectual engagement and debate through civil, mutually respectful interactions that preserve the openness of public dialogue and debate. An environment that encourages diverse views and the free exchange of ideas is vital to the Elon University mission. Therefore, the University ensures that students may assemble peacefully and respects the right of all students to express their ideas freely and to demonstrate their concerns collectively by orderly means.

The University requests that activities and events be registered to ensure safety and the orderly functioning of the University, but does not seek to censor or marginalize any group or point of view. When expressing their views, students must be clear that they are expressing their personal viewpoints and do not represent the views or positions of the University, may not use university logos, etc., and must assume responsibility for the consequences of their actions. All forms of speech/protest must not interfere with the normal operations of the University and must adhere to all applicable University policies and laws.

To provide a convenient and visible location for spontaneous, unregistered student activism and civic engagement activities/programs on campus, an area in front of the Moseley Center (near the intersection of Koury Center and Moseley Center) is designated as a “Speakers’ Corner” for individual students or student groups. Permissible activities at this location include displaying signboards on which students may write their opinions, student speeches or handouts on a current issue, a memorial vigil, etc. These activities at Speakers’ Corner do not require registration so long as they do not involve persons outside the University, do not employ sound amplification, and do not cause a safety hazard or damage to property.

The following additional guidelines apply to student demonstrations and protests:

  • Demonstrations and protests planned in advance may be registered through the Phoenix Connect Registration process.  The registration of demonstrations and protests will be expedited and response will normally be within one to two business days.
  • Students may protest or hold demonstrations in any venue that can be reserved for events including, but not limited to, the Phi Beta Kappa Plaza, Lakeside Terrace, McKinnon Hall, Chandler Fountain and Plaza, or Scott Plaza. 
  • Protests and demonstration areas established by the university in response to campus speakers, programs, or political events will be in reasonable proximity to the event.
  • When protests or demonstrations occur in the context of a speaker on campus, audience members may not behave in a way that infringes upon others’ ability to view or to comprehend the speaker. During the speech itself, prolonged or continued chanting or possible incitement of a disturbance intended to distract the speaker or disrupt the speech can, at the discretion of law enforcement or designated University officials, result in individuals being removed from the event.

For questions about these guidelines or organizing a student demonstration, contact the Dean of Student Development.