Protest Policies and Management

Reynoso

Administration and Leadership Response Recommendation No. A-1

The Task Force recommends the campus develop a broadly accepted agreement on rules and policies that regulate campus protests and instances of civil disobedience. This broadly accepted agreement should be grounded in our campus culture and regularly communicated to students. These rules and policies should be subject to regular review.

Campus rules should:

  • Be consistent with free speech doctrine;
  • Recognize the unique circumstances of a university community and the importance of open and vigorous debate to our institutional function and identity;
  • Respect the rights and interests of non-protesting students, faculty and staff;
  • Respect the legitimate needs of the University to fulfill its educational function and operate its programs without undue interference;
  • Recognize that the legitimate purpose of protest in a campus setting is to inform and persuade, not to coerce;
  • Determine and define “non-violent” versus “active resistance” and “violent” protests and clarify the use of force and the force continuum as recommended by Kroll;
  • Accurately identify and clearly describe and communicate the legal basis for the University’s response to any protest or instance of civil disobedience;
  • Identify the consequences for breaches of the rules and policies.

UC Davis Action

A-1: On April 11, 2013, Chancellor Linda Katehi created a Blue Ribbon Committee on Freedom of Expression to review eight specific recommendations made to the university by the Academic Senate on freedom of expression and related areas, and to solicit campus input on a broad range of areas related to free speech. The Committee is chaired by King Hall Law School Dean Kevin Johnson and is slated to hold a number of public forums on freedom of speech and expression in the Fall. A final report with policy recommendations is due by October 31, 2013.

Administration and Leadership Response Recommendation No. A-2

The Task Force recommends the Leadership Team engage in (1) proactive communication and consultation with the Academic Senate, Academic Federation, Staff Assembly, Graduate Student Association, Associated Students of UC Davis, and student governments of professional schools to build relationships and identify issues early; (2) invest in prevention through engagement in community dialogue and community building; and (3) develop a structure for campus constituents to raise issues (such as holding regular office hours).

UC Davis Action

A-2: The campus administration has consistently held regular meetings with representatives of the Academic Senate, Academic Federation, Staff Assembly, Graduate Student Association, ASUCD and student governments of the professional schools to identify issues and discuss areas of mutual concern.  In addition, many of these groups have representatives on the Campus Community Council which serves as a sounding board for ongoing identification and discussion of campus issues.  Student Affairs has been asked to provide outreach to student clubs and other organizations to advise them of the administration’s willingness to provide speakers for their events and other occasions.

Robinson-Edley Review

Recommendation 1. Add to current “Free Speech” policies language formally recognizing that civil disobedience has had an historic role in our democracy, that it is not protected speech under the Constitution, and that it may have consequences for those engaging in it.

UC Davis Action

1. On April 11, 2013, Chancellor Linda Katehi created a Blue Ribbon Committee on Freedom of Expression to review eight specific recommendations made to the university by the Academic Senate on freedom of expression and related areas, and to solicit campus input on a broad range of issues related to free speech. The Committee is chaired by King Hall Law School Dean Kevin Johnson and is slated to hold a number of campus public forums on freedom of speech and expression in the fall. A final report with policy recommendations is due by Oct. 31, 2013.

Recommendation 5. Offer opportunities for the campus community to become acquainted with the applicable rules for campus protests — including rights and responsibilities, triggers for an administration or police response, the response option framework, and alternate modes for engaging with authorities.

UC Davis Action

5. The UC Davis Police Department addressed these topics in the new crowd management policy. Furthermore, the UC Davis Police Department provides a link on its website to related information authored by the ACLU. Also during a protest or a potential protest the UC Davis Police Department hands out this same material in printed form to students prior to and during the event.

Recommendation 31. Establish an internal mediation function at the campus or regional level to assist in resolving issues likely to trigger protests or civil disobedience.

UC Davis Action

31. The campus has established an “Office of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation.” The Office of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation will strengthen UC Davis as a civic-minded campus. It will serve all aspects of the campus community as a locus to support, create, convene, design and facilitate civic engagement for UC Davis. The office will work with campus partners such as Student Affairs, the Academic Senate, and the University Library to support and enhance civic engagement efforts underway as well as to pilot new and complementary programs. Programs for the Office of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation include:

  • Plan and initiate a series of training and capacity building workshops to promote the use of skillful dialogue as a means to understand and appreciate varying viewpoints. Example topics may include freedom of expression, crucial conversations, or interest-based negotiation.
  • Design custom workshops and dialogue processes for and among a range of campus partners including, for example, ASUCD, student groups, Academic Senate, Academic Federation and other campus entities.
  • Work as a member of the Engagement Team (ET) to plan and prepare for campus demonstrations and protests with an emphasis on effective communication, identification of strategic issues, accepted negotiation techniques, and emerging methods of addressing leaderless movements.
  • Support ongoing success of the ET by attending to its infrastructure needs such as training and documenting processes.
  • Assist the Freedom of Expression Committee to plan for and convene forums on freedom of expression and related issues.
  • Serve as a third party neutral mediator for group-level conflicts on campus.
  • Perform preliminary work on scoping the establishment of an engagement office on campus to resolve disputes around difficult topics, improve relations between organizations, and assist the campus community to negotiate difficult issues in an effective and productive manner.
  • Advise other campus offices including Student Affairs on implementing restorative justice and similar initiatives.
  • Provide regular reports to the Offices of the Chancellor and the Provost on engagement and dialogue efforts.

Recommendation 32. Consider deploying this mediation function as an alternative to force, before and during a protest event.

UC Davis Action

32. A member of the Engagement Team (ET) will lead the campus mediation function work. As part of the ET, this person would deploy as an alternative to force.

Recommendation 33. Beware of police tactics likely to increase tensions, and where possible, avoid them — pursue instead tactics designed to diffuse the tensions.

UC Davis Action

33. An Integrated Critical Incident Negotiations Team ensures effective communication with community well in advance of any event through honest and proactive communication.

Recommendation 34. Develop or modify existing student discipline processes as an alternative to arrests and the criminal justice system.

UC Davis Action

34. The student conduct process has been reviewed. Acts of civil disobedience that violate the UC Standards of Conduct for Students can be referred to Student Judicial Affairs.

Recommendation 40. Commission further studies on the effects of pepper spray on resisters as compared to the effects of other force options.

UC Davis Action

40. System-wide changes are the purview of the UC Office of the President.

Recommendation 41. Establish at each campus a formal program to allow designated observers to gain access to the protest site for purposes of observing, documenting, and reporting on the event.

UC Davis Action

41. UC Davis is currently organizing a Neutral Observer Program (NOP). The mission of this program is to provide trained volunteers to serve as neutral witnesses at protests and demonstrations on campus where there is the potential for illegal activity, violation of campus regulations, or police response.

  • The role of the neutral observers is to watch and report impartially on acts observed.  
  • Observers do not interpret or evaluate actions or behaviors, give advice, or mediate a conflict.
  • The Office of Campus Community Relations (OCCR) manages the NOP and is responsible for recruiting, training, and coordinating neutral observers.  
  • The NOP manager schedules neutral observers.  The manager also provides neutral observer armbands for identification, supervises neutral observer placement on site, maintains the neutral observer log, and follows up as needed on neutral observer reports.
  • Volunteer neutral observers participate in a 6-hour training session administered by OCCR.  
  • Training includes topics such as the neutral observer's role, neutrality, report writing, dealing with difficult people, police practices, complaint procedures, safety issues, and site logistics.
  • UC Davis Police Department, Student Judicial Affairs, and the Engagement Response Team are involved in a portion of the training.    
  • Written neutral observer reports are provided directly to the NOP manager.   These reports are accessible in accordance with the law and University policy.   Submitted neutral observer reports are not edited.  
  • UC Davis students, faculty and staff are eligible to become neutral observers.
  • A six-hour neutral observer training is conducted once a year.  The first training is expected to take place October 2013.  
  • When possible, the goal will be to have two or three neutral observers at an event and for those neutral observers to represent more than one role at UC Davis (student/academic/staff.)

Recommendation 45. Establish a structure and process at the system level for discretionary review of campus responses to protest activity, consistent with existing legal limitations.

UC Davis Action

45. As per UCOP, this recommendation was completed by the hiring of the Implementation Manager.

Recommendation 46. Establish a systemwide Implementation Manager to develop specific policy language in those areas where recommendations call for common or system policies or practices, and to track campus-level measures.

UC Davis Action

46. UCOP appointed Associate Vice President of Communications Lynn Tierney to fulfill this requirement.

Recommendation 47. Require status reports from each campus six months following the President’s acceptance of this Report’s recommendations concerning progress on implementation of the recommendations.

UC Davis Action

47. This six-month report was submitted to the UC Office of the President on February 28, 2013.

Recommendation 48. Require a final report and certification from each Chancellor one year following the President’s acceptance of this Report’s recommendations confirming that all recommendations so accepted have been implemented.

UC Davis Action

48. The final report and certification from the Chancellor is due to the UC Office of the President by September 30, 2013.

Recommendation 49. Establish similar reporting and certification requirements for future recommendations arising out of the event review process described above.

UC Davis Action

49. UC Davis will follow a similar reporting structure for any future recommendations. This structure includes centralized management, campus contacts, a steering committee (assigned by UCOP.)

UC Davis Academic Senate

2. Freedom of Expression Group:

The committee endorses the Reynoso recommendation that “the campus develop a broadly accepted agreement on rules and policies that regulate campus protests and instances of civil disobedience” (Reynoso, 26). To achieve this, we recommend the formal constitution of a Freedom of Expression Group. We recognize and endorse the purpose behind forming the ad hoc student response team (Kroll, 15-16). However, its ad hoc nature and lack of established charges and goals rendered it incapable of responding to the complex needs of the Occupy protests.

This newly constituted group should address the need for new policies and procedures for implementation that clearly define the appropriate time, place and manner of freedom of expression on the campus. The group should help to put into place guidelines that enable appropriate parties to recognize civil disobedience and student protest as specific categories of action (Kroll, 128). At the same time, we recognize the need for student responsibility. Administration and faculty must educate students to make clear the guidelines related to these activities and to specify the disciplinary consequences when they are violated. The group should be attentive to the needs that pertain to the special nature of a campus community. Freedom of expression in a campus environment should go far beyond the protections of the First Amendment.

Benchmark: This group should be established by fall 2012.

UC Davis Action

AS-2: On April 11, 2013, Chancellor Linda Katehi created a Blue Ribbon Committee on Freedom of Expression to review eight specific recommendations made to the university by the Academic Senate on freedom of expression and related areas, and to solicit campus input on a broad range of areas related to free speech. The Committee is chaired by King Hall Law School Dean Kevin Johnson and is slated to hold a number of public forums on freedom of speech and expression in the Fall. A final report with policy recommendations is due by October 31, 2013.