COVID-19 Update: Protests must adhere to all public health practices as outlined in the Student Public Health Agreement, including wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and gatherings may not exceed 50 people. Please note that visitors are not permitted in college facilities. You can find information on Covid-19 policies concerning visitors to campus here.
Bates recognizes and supports the right of individuals or groups on our campus to protest peacefully. Bates retains the right, recognized by law, to regulate the time, place, and manner of protests.
Protests may take many forms, including, but not limited to: assemblies, demonstrations, rallies, picketing, displaying flyers/posters/banners, distribution of leaflets, petitions, chalking, tabling, and the temporary installation of an object.
Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the Office of Campus Life in advance of a planned protest. Campus Life staff are committed to ensuring that students are able to express opposition to a speaker or event in a safe and responsible manner.
To ensure that the safety of the community is protected and that the principles of freedom of inquiry and expression are supported, the college has established the following rules:
- Acts of public expression may not violate or conflict with local, state, or federal laws.
- A single person or group of people does not have the right to prevent the public expression of others (e.g., preventing an invited speaker from being heard).
- Acts of public expression may not violate college policy and may not jeopardize public or individual safety.
- The public expression of views and opinions may not prevent, unduly obstruct, or interfere with the normal operations of the college. Normal operations of the college include, but are not limited to:
- Academic activities, such as classes, labs, activities in any academic building, etc.
- Business activities of the college
- Events or speakers hosted in accordance with college policy by academic departments, administrative departments, or recognized student organizations
- The functioning of the college’s student residences
- Pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow
- Access to any college facilities
- Damage or alteration, whether temporary or permanent, to any campus structure or landscape is not permitted, unless authorized in advance by the college. Formal requests can be made through the Office of Campus Life.
- Non-college individuals or groups are not permitted to engage in public expression on college property unless they are invited to campus by a sponsoring organization, as defined above.
Bates students are permitted to engage in the following acts with the following guidelines. Individuals other than Bates students, faculty, and staff are not permitted to engage in these acts on the Bates campus.
- Rallies and Picketing: Alumni Walk, the Historic Quad, the Library Quad, and the area surrounding Lake Andrews are ordinarily acceptable locations for rallies and picketing. Rallies and picketing may not interfere with access to the buildings adjacent to these areas. The college reserves the right, however, to determine an appropriate location for a protest to ensure that this policy and these guidelines are followed, and to relocate or suspend any protest that becomes disruptive to the normal operations of the college or that violates college policy.
- Flyers, Posters, and Banners: Flyers, posters, and banners may be displayed on established bulletin boards and poster areas for a maximum of seven days. Posting on doors, windows, buildings, lamp posts, and in stairwells is not permitted. Flyers found in these locations will be removed by college staff.
- Chalking: Chalking may be in place for a maximum of seven days. Alumni Walk, the Historic Quad, the Library Quad, and the area surrounding Lake Andrews are acceptable locations for chalking. Chalking found in other locations will be removed.
- Tabling: Tabling in Commons must be reserved via the Event Management System (EMS), and must be coordinated in conjunction with Dining, Conferences, and Campus Events (DCC). The college does not permit tabling in Commons by non-college individuals or groups.
- Physical Installations: Temporary physical installations may be in place for a maximum of seven days, unless they are approved as public art by the Committee on Public Art, in which case they may remain installed for a maximum of fourteen days. The building of any structure or placement of decorative objects on campus property in association with acts of protest or public expression must be approved by the Office of Campus Life in advance, to ensure that the structure does not create a safety hazard or interfere with the normal operations of the college. The college reserves the right to restrict the building of any structure or the placement of flags, decorations, or other objects in campus free spaces in association with protests and other acts of public expression. No open flames or torches are allowed. Alumni Walk, the Historic Quad, and the Library Quad are acceptable locations for physical installations and structures that have been approved by the Office of Campus Life. Physical installations and structures found in other locations will be removed by college staff unless approved as public art.
- Petitions and Distribution of Leaflets: Alumni Walk, the Historic Quad, the Library Quad, and the area surrounding Lake Andrews are acceptable locations for obtaining petition signatures and distribution of leaflets; petition circulation and leaflet distribution are also permitted at tabling in Commons. Non-college individuals and groups are not permitted to facilitate petition signing or distribute leaflets on college property.
- Amplification Equipment: Individuals or groups seeking the use of amplification on campus must secure approval in advance from the Office of Campus Life. The college reserves the right to restrict amplification in order to ensure that it does not interfere with the normal operations of the college.
Sponsors of non-college individuals or organizations must give prior notice of their plans to the Office of Campus Life at least seven days prior to the start of the intended event. This prior notice will help ensure the safety and security of campus and compliance with policies.
Students are encouraged to give prior notice of their plans for a protest to the Office of Campus Life, at least four days prior to the start of the intended event.
Responsibilities of Campus Safety and College Staff
The main responsibility of Campus Safety during a protest or other forms of activism, is to ensure that the activity remains safe. If the wellbeing or safety of members of the community may be compromised, and/or if facilities may be damaged, Campus Safety will intervene in the situation. n cases where the situation escalates beyond what Campus Safety can reasonably manage, the Lewiston Police Department may be asked to assist with managing the protest or activity. Students can expect that professional staff members at Bates may also be present at protests and other activities to serve as a resource for the students.