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VII - Statement on the Maintenance of Public Order on Campus

In this Section

Preamble | Principles for the Maintenance of Public Order
Determination of a Disorder | Actions and Penalties
Hearings and Appeals | Amendment Procedures
Definitions Interpretation of Public Order Policy
Crime Statistic Reporting | Table of Contents


  1. Clarkson University is chartered by and operates under the laws of the State of New York. Its students, faculty, administration, and staff compose a community whose primary purposes are the development and transmission of knowledge — the search for truth. These are endeavors of reason. They demand freedom of inquiry and expression, with dissent recognized as a fundamental ingredient in the pursuit of ultimate truth. These purposes require freedom from violence and from the threat of violence. It is the right and duty of all members of the academic community to foster and preserve this environment, and it is the right and responsibility of both faculty and students to participate, in accordance with experience, competence and particular interest, in making the rules and regulations required for the furtherance of these purposes.
  2. In accordance with the above, the following general principles and procedures are submitted for the maintenance of public order on the campus. These principles and procedures apply with equal force for all members of the Clarkson community: students, faculty, administration and staff, and also for visitors.



  1. The rights of all members of the University community must be protected. The University must be concerned with the protection of human rights, civil liberties, academic freedom, health, safety, welfare and property of all members of the University community and of the University itself. To that end it will not tolerate violence, or threats of violence, or violent reaction to peaceful demonstrations.
  2. All members of the University community must be free to seek their educational objectives. Peaceful demonstrations will be permitted; however, disorder will not.
  3. To continue to generate and maintain an intellectual and educational atmosphere at the University, members of the Clarkson community and invited guests must be given the opportunity to be heard. Respect for the democratic principle of open discussions and the right to hold and to present differing opinions carries with it the obligation to allow speakers to speak and audiences to hear.
  4. Lines of communication must be kept open, assuring efficient handling of administrative matters and providing all legitimate means for dissent and for redress of grievances. The solutions to specific routine problems should be sought in the first instance through those administrative, faculty and student officers to whom such matters have been assigned. Appropriate publications of the University shall clearly designate these persons. Matters involving policy shall be referred to appropriate administration, faculty and student bodies. The employees' handbook on grievance procedures should be followed where applicable. Recognizing the need for workable grievance procedures as the primary method to avoid the disruption of public order on the campus, the University shall continue to develop such procedures; and this document will be amended to include such additional procedures at the earliest possible date.



  1. The President or his or her designated academic representative shall determine when disorder exists on University property, and shall make the decisions necessary to restore public order. When a disorder is resulting in obvious violence to persons or property, the President may act immediately. In all other cases he or she must meet and consult with an advisory committee consisting at least of the ranking member of the Student Senate and the Faculty Senate available and present and other members of the University community appropriate to the specific situation before reaching a decision. The order in which designated academic representatives of the President may act for him or her shall be clearly spelled out by him or her in advance and the appropriate representative shall act only in his or her absence.
  2. When it has been decided that disorder exists, the president or his or her designated representative will read to the group the following statement: "In my judgment public order is now in jeopardy and a clear danger to the University community exists. Unless you cease and desist, I intend to take action according to University policy." The President or his or her designated representative shall add additional comments appropriate to the situation.



  1. Even though a demonstration is not judged to be a disorder, the participants are responsible for the proper restoration of the areas used when these areas have been subjected to more than normal wear and tear.
  2. If disorder ceases when the President or his or her designated representative reads the statement in C-2 of this statement, and no violation of law, damage to property, or physical injury has taken place, and as noted above, restoration has been carried out, no penalties shall be levied by the University.
  3. If disorder ceases but the law has been violated through physical injury or severe property damage, those responsible for the violation shall be treated in accordance with the law. Those determined to be responsible for any damage shall be charged for the cost of repairs.
  4. If disorder does not cease when the President or his or her designated representative reads the statement in C-2 of this statement, the following action will be taken:
    1. If immediate violence to persons or severe property damage is taking place or threatened, the President or his or her designated representative will request that law be invoked.
    2. The action and rapidity of action taken in other cases must be decided on the basis of the circumstances by the President or his or her designated representatives and the advisory committee. It is expected that broad consultation with all concerned elements of the University community will take place whenever time and circumstance permit.
    3. All those who continue to take part in a disorder after a formal request to cease has been made will be subject to disciplinary proceedings (and/or, where applicable, law). In such circumstances the penalty for a student may be expulsion from the University. In the case of a faculty member or other employee, such action may be grounds for dismissal.
  5. Any person not a member of the Clarkson community who is taking part in a disorder will be requested to leave immediately. If he or she does not comply, appropriate legal action will be taken.
  6. Any individual or organization authorizing an "initiation or affiliation disorder" shall be subject to rescission of permission to operate on campus property in addition to any other legal penalty.



  1. As a result of any declared disorder, a hearing will be held within 30 days.
  2. The University will have a standing Hearing Committee on Discipline and Disorders, the membership of which is described in Section VI-B of these regulations.
  3. A major function of the hearing will be to determine the cause of the disorder, to suggest appropriate measures to relieve the situation, and where appropriate to recommend University action.
  4. This Committee will also serve as a fact-finding committee regarding penalties or disciplinary action to be taken. On the basis of this hearing the Committee will recommend appropriate University action to the President. The University will take no punitive actions before receiving the recommendations of this Committee. Appeals will follow the normal University procedure with great care taken that students' rights are not violated and that the University policies on academic freedom and tenure are adhered to.
  5. The Committee shall hold open hearings (a witness may request that the hearing go into executive session and that he or she have an adviser) at an announced time after adequate notice. Any member of the University community may request that he or she be heard by the Committee. This Committee may require any member of the University community to appear as a witness. Failure to appear is itself grounds for disciplinary action unless sufficient reason for the absence can be presented. A record of all actions and testimony shall be forwarded to the President. A person accused before the hearing shall have the right to question his or her accusers.
  6. If a member of the Committee has been involved in the disorder or in the declaration that it be a disorder, he or she shall not serve on the Committee for the hearing on that disorder.
  7. This Committee will also review the circumstances under which a declaration of disorder is made, including the action of the President, his or her designated representative, or the advisory committee, to determine whether bad faith or error was present. In such cases it may recommend censure.
  8. Apart from the actions of this Committee, the normal lines of communication as noted in B-4 of this statement will be used to study the cause and its remedy for any peaceful demonstration as well as to study any peaceful demonstrations or disorders involving the Clarkson community taking place off the University campus.



Amendments to this document may be recommended to the University Board of Trustees by a majority vote of the members of the Faculty Senate, Administrative Council, and Student Senate, provided a quorum is present of each of these three groups as defined in their respective constitutions.



  1. Adviser: Anyone who gives advice, including but not restricted to an attorney. His or her presence is for advice only; university proceedings are not a court of law.
  2. Demonstration: A public exhibition of attitudes and feelings by one or more individuals, such as, but not restricted to, picketing, meetings, parading and distributing information.
  3. Disorder: A condition marked by violence, or threat of violence, or interference with the authorized activities of the University, or prevention of rightful access to University facilities.
  4. Peaceful demonstration: A demonstration that is free of disorder.
  5. Public order: A condition that allows for the performance of the authorized activities of the University in a normal manner. See also Disorder.
  6. Severe property damage: Damage to property judged to be in excess of $250.
  7. Threat of violence: A condition in which physical or verbal acts indicate that violence is imminent.
  8. Violence: Use of physical force against person, property, rights or laws.
  9. Initiation or affiliation disorder: Any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers mental or physical health or involves the forced consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization.



  1. The University recognizes signs displayed in a manner that does not interfere with legitimate University activities as an element of peaceful demonstration. Signs, per se, are not barred from any public University events.
  2. Vocal or physical hampering of any meeting or ceremony open to the entire academic community is not the right of any individual or group, although they do have the right to attempt to alter the opinions and attitudes of those in attendance by such expressions of belief as their physical presence or the carrying of (appropriate) signs.