Campus Event Safety Policy

Effective Date: March 1, 2018
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Vice President for Finance and Administration

I. Policy Statement

To fulfill its educational mission, the College must assure safety for its community members. It is, therefore, the duty of the College to implement a policy that promotes safe campus events. Accordingly, the College may restrain behaviors that threaten safety or directly interfere with the College's mission.

Hampshire College staunchly values academic freedom and the careful examination of ideas – even when (perhaps especially when) those ideas are controversial. This is reflected in our faculty, employee, and student handbooks.

From the Student Handbook:

Right of Freedom of Communication of Ideas

All members of the Hampshire community have the right to freely express their ideas provided that the method of expression does not violate any other rights affirmed by this document, the Code of Conduct, and policies in the Hampshire College Student Handbook. Any member of the College has the right to publish and distribute without interference. However, while such members may not be subject to prior restraint, they shall be held accountable for any erroneous, malicious, or defamatory statements that violate any other right affirmed by this document, the Code of Conduct, and policies in the Hampshire College Student Handbook.

From the Faculty Handbook:

Hampshire College recognizes that academic freedom is essential to the advancement of education, of the College and of the teachers who comprise its faculty. The purpose of this statement is to promote understanding and support of academic freedom, and to establish procedures to assure its protection at Hampshire College. Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the exclusive interest of either individual faculty members, students, or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspects is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and for its direct impact on the rights of the student to freedom in learning.

From the Employee Policy Manual:

Respect for Others

The Hampshire College community is diverse in its racial background, age, religion, and in many other aspects. The actions of each member of the community should establish and maintain a culture of tolerance and respect. While principles of free speech are of vital importance, faculty and staff should respect the rights and dignity of others regardless of their differences. (See Principles of Discourse at Hampshire College, President Prince’s Convocation, 1990).

Freedom of expression is essential to Hampshire College's mission and protects the rights of members of our academic community to speak, write, and create without obstruction, disruption, or the fear of institutional censure, censorship, or retaliation. Hampshire College community members have the right to be free from threats and violence.

II. Applicability

This policy applies to all Hampshire College students, faculty, staff, alumni, visitors, contractors, and any other person on Hampshire College property.

III. Policy

A. Process for holding safe events on campus

Because Hampshire College is private property, anyone who is not a current student, faculty, or staff member may not hold an event on campus property without prior approval from the college. Current Hampshire College students, faculty, or staff members may invite an off-campus group or individual to campus for an event, subject to other applicable college policies.1 Staff and faculty requests to schedule events that will be advertised as open to the public must be received at least four weeks in advance of the event through the Event Safety Assessment Form.2 The event details will be reviewed by the College to identify whether an event needs additional support to assure campus safety. The college reserves the right to cancel events that in its judgment may imperil the safety of the campus community, or that exceed the college’s resources to maintain safety, and to set terms including date, location, and other logistics necessary to assure campus safety.

1 See, for example, Campus Leadership and Activities Policies and Events Services Policies.

2 Students do not need to fill out this Event Safety Assessment Form, but they must comply with Campus Leadership and Activities policies and processes, and fill out the appropriate forms on HampEngage, which will accomplish the same goals for advance safety planning.

B. Requirements to assure campus safety

All events must be conducted in a peaceable manner, which means that violence or force, threats, intimidating or threatening tactics, incitement to violence, and assaultive speech are prohibited. Assaultive speech includes fighting words, direct and indirect threats of violence, and racial epithets or gender-based slurs that may incite imminent violence against a group or person, or might be reasonably interpreted as an immediate threat to do harm.

The use of weapons as defined in the student handbook, or any other object that the College determines could be used or is being used to threaten, harass or injure another individual, or that the College reasonably determines has the effect of intimidating another individual, is prohibited.

All events must comply with Hampshire College's Office of Environmental Health and Safety policies, Massachusetts building and fire codes, and other related regulations, and may not invade a person's reasonable expectations of privacy and maintaining confidentiality.

IV. Violations

Any student, faculty, or staff member who violates this policy or applicable law may be subject to the College's disciplinary processes and sanctions, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment. The College may prohibit the presence of any individual on campus, for example by issuing a trespass notice, and/or pursue other legal action against any other person who violates this policy.

V. Actions not Attributable to Hampshire College

Individual members of the college community speak only for themselves in their public expressions, unless specifically authorized by the College to speak on behalf of the institution. The College’s Office of Communications coordinates institutional responses to the media, including any statements of the College's official position (if any) on a particular matter.