President Connie Ledoux Book says Elon will take several steps following a political caravan that drove through campus on Sept. 19, 2020
Members of the Elon community,
Following recommendations by a 21-member Roundtable made up of students, faculty staff, and Town of Elon representatives, Elon is taking steps to be better prepared for potential campus demonstrations and disruptions and support student safety. I appointed the Roundtable group following a Sept. 19, 2020, caravan through campus called the “Alamance County Trump Convoy and Ride 2020.”
The Roundtable group held three meetings, chaired by Jean Rattigan-Rohr, vice president for access and success. Among the participants was Steve Friedland, senior scholar and professor of law at the Elon University School of Law, who discussed First Amendment issues and North Carolina laws that relate to these types of incidents. Participants shared their first-hand experiences, and grappled with the impact this event had on the Elon community.
I want to thank Dr. Rattigan-Rohr and the other Roundtable participants, who approached this work with a determination to help our community be better prepared to respond to the hate and disruption that was directed at students, staff and faculty this fall. Our campus community and leaders in the Town of Elon have made it clear that we demand a safe, secure and inclusive environment for all. There are steps we can take to better protect those on campus and hold violators accountable for disorderly conduct, stalking, threats and traffic violations.
The Roundtable’s recommendations relate to communications, education, information-gathering and other longer-term actions. Among the immediate actions that will be implemented are the following:
- New protocols and rapid-action scripts to notify the campus community of impending disruptions or demonstrations. This may include E-Alert text messages, emails, social media and the campus LiveSafe app.
- Exploration of new signage along roadways through campus affirming the university’s commitment to maintaining a safe environment.
- Increasing the number of traffic cameras on campus to aid in identifying illegal activity.
- Collaboration with the Town of Elon on policies related to potential street closure or traffic diversion in disruptive situations.
- Creating a process to share campus bias reports with the Town of Elon and the Town of Elon Police Department.
- Reviewing the university’s Student Handbook policies related to demonstrations and counter-protests and communicating these policies to the campus.
- Educating the campus community about ways to respond to crises, and also about the scope of constitutional rights and existing laws.
In addition, Elon will continue to collaborate with the Town of Elon to support a safe and welcoming environment in which students, faculty, staff and the greater Elon community can thrive.
Please join me in thanking the following individuals who took part in this Roundtable work:
Matthew Antonio Bosch
Connie Ledoux Book