Forms of Expression

Princeton supports the rights of its members to participate in acts of peaceful dissent. In addition to protests and demonstrations, community members have utilized the following forms of expression:

Before, During, and After a Program

  • Write letters to the speaker, sponsoring University group or department, public representatives, or Princeton administrators.
  • Write an op-ed in various campus publications.
  • Hang protest posters (see ODUS Poster Policy and Rights, Rules, Responsibilities 1.2.4)
  • Offer support to friends, classmates, and others who might feel hurt, marginalized, or offended by a speaker or topic being discussed.

Outside the Venue

  • Groups and individual members of the University community may decide to engage in peaceful protest, picketing, or assembly while distributing leaflets and literature or encouraging the signing of petitions. This may include singing, chanting, and the holding of signage which is not affixed and may not make a direct or specific threat.
  • Individuals and groups may not:
    • Disrupt the program.
    • Block entrances or exits, impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic, or prevent others from entering or leaving the program.
    • Use amplified sound without the permission of ODUS.
      • Activities that take place in the vicinity of University residences, classrooms, the library, the chapel, and similar facilities must be conducted in such a way as to respect the necessity for maintaining a reasonable degree of quiet in such areas. As such, amplification in these outside areas is strictly prohibited 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Events likely to generate substantial crowd noise may also be restricted.
      • Where noise may extend outside the University community, the organizing group or individual must submit an application for a noise permit from the local Princeton municipality at least two weeks in advance of the event. Information regarding noise permits and a PDF of the application can be found on the Princeton municipality website in the "Forms, Permits, Licenses" section with the Princeton Clerk’s Office.
    • Disrupt regular and essential operations of the University.
    • Camping in vehicles, tents, or other structures as well as sleeping in outdoor space of any kind on-campus is generally prohibited.

Inside the Venue

  • Individuals and groups may engage in peaceful, non-disruptive protest. Examples include:
    • Holding cards which indicate disagreement (or agreement) with the speaker’s points and views.
    • Holding signs which are not affixed and do not make a direct or specific threat.
      • Signs may not obstruct the view of others.
    • Putting tape over one’s mouth.
    • Staging a non-disruptive or obstructive walk-out.
    • Turning one’s back on the speaker.

Responding to a Program

  • Counter speaker, panel, or demonstration
  • Public Forum
  • Teach-in
  • Vigil
  • Exhibit, including the Frist Marquee
  • Peaceful Marches and Public Assemblies
    • Routes should be discussed with ODUS so as not to disrupt University operations while ensuring public safety as well as continuity of pedestrian and campus vehicle traffic.
      • Where marches extend outside of the University community, the organizing group or individual must submit an application for a Public Assembly and Event Permit from the local Princeton municipality at least two weeks in advance of the event. Information regarding public assembly permits and a PDF of the application can be found on the Princeton municipality website in the "Forms, Permits, Licenses" section with the Princeton Clerk’s Office.

 

Symbolic Structures

Protests may also take the form of symbolic structures. Student groups may construct or erect temporary displays and symbolic structures with University approval. Examples include exhibitions, interactive displays, walls, models, and other symbolic structures. Such displays should include attribution, including contact information for the sponsoring group. ODUS will work with the group to obtain approval and identify an appropriate location and mechanisms to secure the display, secure reservations, and liaise with University offices, such as University Scheduling, Facilities, Grounds, and the Office of the University Architect. To initiate the review and approval process, please contact Dean Jarrett Fisher or register a request for a temporary display in OSERF.

In addition to these policies, there may be other University policies governing the use of grounds and buildings that apply.