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  School of Public Health 2022-2024 Academic Policies and Procedures Administrative Procedures for Responding to Disruptions  

Administrative Procedures for Responding to Disruptions

Disruption is conduct by any person that intentionally or recklessly obstructs, impairs, or interferes with: (1) teaching, studying, or administration of the university, including the clinical mission of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences; (2) the authorized and other permissible use of university facilities; and (3) the rights and privileges of other members of the university community to engage in educational pursuits. Disruptive conduct includes but is not limited to the following: obstruction, impairment, or interference with university sponsored/authorized activities or facilities in a manner that deprives, or is likely to deprive, others of the benefit or enjoyment of the activity or facility. 

The primary function of an academic community is to discover and disseminate knowledge through research and teaching. Freedom of expression is vital to our shared goal of pursuit of knowledge. Such freedom comes with a responsibility to welcome and promote this freedom, even in disagreement or opposition. Community members are therefore encouraged to register dissent for issues and demonstrate that dissent through orderly means.  

The right to freedom of expression includes peaceful protests and orderly demonstrations.  However, the right to protest does not include the right to engage in conduct that intentionally or recklessly interferes with the university's operations or infringes on the rights of other members of the community. Faculty, students, and all other personnel who intentionally act to impair, interfere with, or obstruct the orderly conduct, processes, and functions of the university may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action by university authorities. 

With this in mind, the following administrative procedures have been formulated to guide the implementation of university policy:

A. In order to ensure that individuals or groups not intentionally or recklessly interfere with the operation of the university or the rights of others, they shall not:

1. obstruct vehicular, bicycle, pedestrian, or other traffic;

2. obstruct entrances or exits to buildings or driveways;

3. interfere with educational activities inside or outside any building;

4. harass passersby;

5. interfere with or preclude a scheduled speaker from being heard;

6. interfere with scheduled university ceremonies or events;

7. damage property, including lawns, shrubs, or trees; or

8. engage in any other activities that disrupt university business or infringe upon the rights of others. 

B. The president of the university and the senior vice president for academic affairs will have the authority throughout the university to declare a particular activity to be disruptive. The chancellors of New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden with have the same authority with regard to their respective areas. The appropriate officers as specified in (B), or a designee, have the authority to declare a behavior disruptive, and must, if possible, alert demonstrators that they are in violation of the university's disruption policy. At this point, the officer has the discretion to call upon the university police to contain the disruption. Ordinarily, the president of the university alone, or in his or her absence the senior vice president for academic affairs, will have the authority to decide that civil authorities beyond the campus are to be called upon to contain those disruptions that the university police are unable to handle. In extraordinary circumstances, where neither the president nor the senior vice president for academic affairs is available to make such a decision, the chancellors have the same authority in their respective units. 

C. Members of the university community who are aware of potentially disruptive situations are encouraged to report this to the deans of students on their respective campus. The deans of students and other university personnel may be called upon to coordinate or assist members of the academic community in ending the disruption.

For additional information, contact RU-info at 732/932-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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