PROTESTS IN UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS

No: S-43.5

Date: February, 1989

Authority: Wisconsin Administrative Code,
                  Chapters 17 and 18
                  UWM Fac. Doc. #2033


The University of Wisconsin System embraces the principles of free speech and the resulting free exchange of ideas. Accordingly, it is the university's intention to allow the unimpeded presentation of ideas by members of the university community in university authorized forums without interference from those who do not agree with the ideas presented while still allowing opposing views to be heard in appropriate alternate forums and/or locations.

Sec. UWS 18.06(23), Wisconsin Administrative Code, establishes restrictions on activities in order to preserve the order which is necessary for enjoyment of freedom by members of the university community and to prevent disruption of instruction, research, public service or administrative functions.

The following sections of the Administrative Code specifically speak to protest activities in buildings:

Sec. UWS 18.06(23), Wis. Admin. Code, Picketing, Rallies, Parades, Demonstrations and other Assemblies. (a) In order to preserve the order which is necessary for the enjoyment of freedom by members of the university community, and in order to prevent activities which physically obstruct access to university lands or buildings and prevent the university from carrying on its instructional, research, public service, or administrative functions, any picketing, rally, parade, demonstration, other assembly, or congregation of spectators to such activity may be declared unlawful if its participants:

  1. Intentionally gather or intentionally remain assembled outside any university building in such numbers, in such proximity to each other or in such fashion as to physically hinder entrance to, exit from or normal use of the building.

  2. Intentionally congregate or assemble within any university building in such fashion as to obstruct or seriously impair university-sponsored or university-authorized activities, or in such fashion as to violate any of the following conditions;

    a.   No group may be admitted into the private office of any faculty member or other university employee unless invited by the authorized
          occupancy of that office, and then not in excess of the number designated or invited by that person.

    b.   No group may obstruct or seriously impair passage through corridors, stairways, doorways, building entrances, fire exits, and reception
          areas leading to offices.

    c.   No group, not authorized to do so by the person in immediate charge of the room, or by a person designated by the chief administrative
          office to approve requests for the use of rooms for meetings, may enter or occupy any university building or part thereof.

    d.   No group may assemble immediately outside rooms at times when they are normally in use for classes, study or research.

    e.   No signs supported by standards or sticks shall be permitted in any assembly in a university building.

  3. Intentionally create a volume of noise that unreasonably interferes with university-sponsored or university-authorized activities.

  4. Intentionally employ force or violence, or intentionally constitute an immediate threat of force of violence, against members of the university community or university property.

    b.   For the purpose of par. (a), "intentionally" means that the participant or spectator knew or reasonably should have known that his/her
          conduct by itself or in conjunction with the conduct of others would have the prohibited effect.

The University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee will enforce these Administrative Code provisions to assure that protests do not occur in the university buildings which would interfere with or disrupt the function of authorized activities.

An individual or group of individuals who may be in violation of the code will be dealt with in accordance with sec. UWS 18.06(23)c. When using the authority granted by this code, the designated university official will direct the individual or group protesting to: 1) Refrain from protesting except in designated areas outside of the university building, or 2) Comply with specific guidelines set for the area of the building or event.

If the individual or group fails to take the protest outside of the building or comply with the limitations on activity in the building set by the university official, the university official can then declare the assembly to be unlawful and inform the individuals or group that they are subject to immediate arrest and subject to the penalties of sec. UWS 18.07, Admin. Code.

The University Police will then take the appropriate action to remove or arrest those individuals found to be in violation of the Administrative Code.

The UW System discipline code, Chapter UWS 17, may also be invoked for unacceptable conduct and could result in suspension or expulsion from the university.