Student Handbook - Student Activism Guidelines


Xavier’s institutional commitment to the promotion of justice and the common good informs our perspective on the role of student activism in our campus community.  Xavier University seeks to provide students with the skills and experiential learning opportunities to productively engage in civil discourse across conflicting intellectual, moral and spiritual viewpoints with compassion and the goal of achieving educational awareness and solidarity.  This policy is intended to facilitate student activism in a safe and coordinated manner.


For the purposes of this policy, the term “demonstration” will refer broadly to the organized display of these rights and includes but is not limited to protests, gatherings, rallies and processions and/or fixed exhibits. Non-violent student demonstrations may be permitted on Xavier’s campus after registration (as described in Section III below) has occurred and as long as they are orderly, lawful, and fully in compliance with the specific guidelines provided below and all other policies within the Xavier Student Handbook and Code of Student Conduct.

Student demonstrations on campus may not interfere with the rights of others to engage in and benefit from the educational programs and services of the University. Accordingly, the University, through the Associate Provost for Student Affairs (or designee) may limit the time, place and manner of demonstrations as follows:


Demonstrations must occur within the hours of normal operations for the facility or space in which they are permitted to occur. Buildings will not be kept open beyond regular hours to accommodate demonstrations. Outdoor demonstrations must abide by time requirements established in the Outdoor Event / Outdoor Space Reservation policy  Fixed exhibits may only remain displayed for five (5) or fewer consecutive business days and may not be displayed during University holidays. The sponsoring party is responsible for any damage to University property resulting from the exhibit. All Demonstrations are prohibited after the end of the student programming deadline as established by the Office of Student Involvement


Due to their central and visible locations on campus, Xavier has designated the Sedler Plaza (in front of the Cintas Center), the Husman stage, and the Atrium of the Gallagher Student Center (GSC) as preferred demonstration areas.  Students desiring to demonstrate should choose one of the three spaces or provide a written explanation why another place is of critical importance to the proposed demonstration. Demonstrations may not impede the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, block thoroughfares, or obstruct campus building entry or exit points.


As a Jesuit institution, the manner in which Xavier students engage in civil discourse – regardless of content or viewpoints being expressed – is held to a high standard. Just as students are encouraged to engage in critical thought and social action, so are they expected to do so in a civil manner that honors the inherent dignity of all people, even those who may disagree.

Therefore, demonstrations may not take place in a manner that endangers the University community, is disorderly, violates the law, defames a specific individual, constitutes a threat or harassment to or of others, unjustifiably invades the rights of others, interrupts the functioning of the University or unreasonably interferes with the rights of other students, faculty, or staff of the University,

A demonstration is considered disorderly if it becomes disruptive and interferes with the freedom of other members of the Xavier community to engage in and benefit from the educational programs and services of the University.  Determination that an event is disorderly will be made by the Associate Provost of Student Affairs or designee, in consultation with the event’s organizers and XUPD when appropriate.  

Examples of disorderly demonstrations include but are not limited to activity that:

  • blocks entrances, exits, or passageways from or to any University building or vehicle traffic on or to the campus.
  • interferes with the daily business, traffic flow, ingress/egress patterns or scheduled events in either facility. The approved Event must cease in the event of an emergency or building evacuation.
  • creates a volume of noise that prevents members of the University community from carrying on their normal activities;
  • fails to observe established closing hours of buildings
  • fails to comply with any other University policy or any other lawful directive, including a directive to cease the Event.

Additionally, demonstrations may not utilize amplified sound in a manner that substantially interferes with classes or other events in progress. Demonstrations deemed disorderly or in violation of this policy must be suspended or stopped immediately. The University may also seek the assistance of external law enforcement to disband unlawful or unauthorized demonstrations. Any student who participates in or assists in facilitating a disorderly demonstration may face disciplinary action in accordance with the Standards of Student Conduct as articulated in the Xavier Student Handbook and Code of Student Conduct. 


In order to promote coordination and campus safety, demonstrations should be registered through the Office of Student Involvement for approval by the Associate Provost or designee via the Major Event Registration form ( Individual students or recognized student organizations intending to organize a demonstration are encouraged to notify the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) two (2) business days before the demonstration. Upon receiving notification, a representative of the Office of Student Involvement will offer to meet with organizers to provide appropriate support and resources to mitigate risk and protect participants’ rights. This meeting is not an attempt by the University to censor, but rather to advise organizers regarding applicable standards for time, place, and manner. 

Demonstrations organized or sponsored by those who are not Xavier students, faculty or staff are not permitted on University property. Should non-student visitors participate in an event as guests of a Xavier student, the Xavier student host may be held accountable for the behavior of their non-student guests.  Xavier students are encouraged to ensure that any guests are aware of Xavier’s community expectations and those included in this policy.

This policy is intended to support and encourage critical thinking and engagement in dialogue that upholds and promotes Xavier’s commitment to social justice and care for the common good.