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Expressing Disagreement

 Expressing Disagreement Before, After, or During an Event
  • Lend support, reassurance and empathy to others who may be hurt by offensive messages.
  • Be sure to comply with all University policies as well as local, state, and federal regulations.   
Expressing Disagreement During an Event

Inside the room or event:

  • You may engage in peaceful, non-disruptive protest (for example, messages on shirts, turning your back to a speaker, putting tape over your mouth) if it does not create a disturbance or prevent the speaker from communicating to the audience, or otherwise prevent audience members from hearing and seeing the event.
  • Audience members may choose to leave the event as long as they do not obstruct the presentation.
  • If you disrupt or obstruct the presentation and fail to comply with the directions of University officials to cease disruption or leave the area, you will violate the University's Student Conduct Code and/or the law. These are grounds for discipline or prosecution.
  • For events held where access to the event space can be controlled/secured, event sponsors may regulate what may be brought into an event space (such as video cameras or other recording devices, signs and banners) and activities that attendees may engage in; regulations such as these are permitted as they relate to time/place/manner (i.e., conduct) and not content.

Outside the building, room or event:

  • Peaceful protest or picketing with leaflets, petitions, singing, chanting or signs are allowed as long as it occurs in a space that is open to the public and does not disturb the event or prevent attendees from entering or leaving the event.
  • Do not block entrances or exits, impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic, or prevent others from entering, hearing, seeing or leaving the event or speech.
  • Do not disrupt University functions or activities (such as nearby classes) or other events or programs using reserved space.  
Expressing Disagreement in Response to an Event

Before, after or during the event, you can respond to speech that you disagree with by sponsoring a separate presentation or event featuring alternative viewpoints, such as a:

  • Public forum
  • Workshop
  • March
  • Vigil
  • Counter-demonstration
  • Exhibit

If you are confronted with offensive speech or materials:

  • Maintain a safe distance and do not respond physically.
  • Keep in mind that even though you find it offensive, it is very likely protected free speech.
  • Consider organizing an appropriate, nonviolent response.
  • Seek assistance from a University official or the police if you feel you are being singled out or targeted or if you think that the conduct or speech violates University policy.  
Civil Disobedience

Protests and civil disobedience have played a historic role on university campuses, in bringing important and beneficial changes within society and in the development of our democracy. However, civil disobedience is not protected speech under the Constitution. The Constitution does not guarantee any right to engage in civil disobedience-which, by its very definition, involves the violation of laws or regulations-without incurring consequences. Civil disobedience may have a negative effect on the protected interests of others and may interfere with University business or threaten public safety or University assets in ways that require the University to act to protect those other interests. 

Could I be subject to disciplinary charges?

The following is apartial list of violations of University policy:

  • Destruction of, or damage to University
  • Verbal and Physical abuse or threats
  • Obstructing or disrupting University activities
  • Furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member, or office
  • Disorderly or lewd conduct
  • Failure to provide identification to or comply with directions of any University official(s)
  • Resisting or obstructing University or other public officials in the performance of their duties

View the full Student Conduct Code

What can the police charge me with?


Plan an Event

Whether you're a recognized club or organization on campus, a student group, or individual student - our goal is to ensure that you're able to plan a successful event or protest. Expressing your point of view is your First Amendment right, but there are many things to consider when using amplified sound, bringing a controversial speaker to campus, or displaying symbolic structures on campus. When planning an event, we recommend registered student clubs or organizations to make space reservations. Once space is reserved, the office of Student Leadership and Engagement can provide logistical support and guidance, including help with time, place and manner regulations.

Steps to Planning an Event in the Pond Student Union, Rendezvous, or Quad
  1. Submit an Event Request Form
  2. Reserve space on campus*
  3. Fill out appropriate forms:
  4. Hold event

To plan an event at Holt Arena or Stephen's Performing Arts Center call (208) 282-3398

To plan an event at Reed Gym, Cadet Field, or Bartz Field call (208) 282-3825

*Public Forum, reserving space on campus for an event or protest is strongly encouraged in order to ensure that a location for outdoor assembly at a specific date and time. Protests are not required to go through Scheduling and Event Services, although, an individual or group with a reservation will have priority in the use of the location.


Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions

Individuals and groups using campus grounds have an obligation to follow all University policies (guidelines), local ordinances, state and federal laws. This includes:

  • Following University policies regarding the recording of classes and ticketed events
  • Allowing the University's regularly scheduled classes, research, events, ceremonies or normal and essential operations to proceed without interference
  • Allowing parking and the flow of vehicular traffic
  • Allowing individuals to freely enter and exit to and from all buildings
  • Allowing a group that has reserved space to use it
  • Allowing a speaker or performer to be seen and heard by the audience; maintaining a noise level that allows classes, campus events and operations to occur
  • Assuring that actions do no create an immediate health or safety hazard  

The University reserves the right to immediately terminate any ongoing activity that violates time, place and manner provisions.


Emergency: 911 

Public Safety Dispatch: (208) 282-2515

Pocatello Police Department (Non-Emergency Dispatch): (208) 233-1111

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK(8255)

Hope Network Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 in the U.S.