Demonstrations or Protests

Approved by:  Safety and Risk Committee

History:  Revised 2016 | 2018 | 2020

Related Policies:  

Related Forms, Procedures and References:  

For Questions Contact: Dean of Students Office | 414.382.6118 |


Alverno College respects the right of students to express, explore, and discuss matters of interest or concern, whether that relates to events/actions on campus or off-campus - locally, nationally or globally. This expression may include voicing opinions publicly and/or joining to demonstrate those concerns in a peaceful manner. 

Students are encouraged to utilize and reflect on the eight abilities when planning or participating in a demonstration or protest.

  • Analysis - What is the goal of the demonstration/protest? Who is the intended audience? What are the desired outcomes?  Will a demonstration/protest be an effective strategy to meet the identified outcomes?
  • Valuing – What personal or societal values are supporting the desire for demonstration/protest?
  • Problem solving & Communication – What messages/ideas will be conveyed and what are the most effective method(s) of communication?
  • Social Interaction – What measures can be taken to decrease the risk of personal or physical harm?
  • Effective Citizenship – How does this demonstration/protest contribute to the welfare of others or the community? 
  • Aesthetic Engagement – Are the protest signs legible, have they been proofread, and are they visually engaging?

Planned Events

A demonstration or protest is considered planned if the College has received a Protest/Demonstration Event Form, and it has been approved by the Director of Student Activities & Leadership or the Assistant Dean of Students.  The Request to Demonstrate form must be submitted 2-business days prior to the proposed demonstration/protest date.  The college may extend this approval period and delay the event if additional planning or preparation is needed.

Once the event has been approved, the student organizer is required to meet with Campus Safety regarding the date, time, location, approximate attendance expectation, and any safety considerations.  If at any point the safety of others becomes a concern, Campus Safety and/or College Administrators reserve the right to disperse the event.  Campus Safety Office: 414-382-6158, cell 414-382-6911, e-mail

Emergency Approval

Student Development & Success understands that students may want to respond to breaking news campus, local, or national events where time for extensive pre-planning is not available.  In those cases, please initiate a fast track approval process by contacting the Campus Safety mobile number at 414-382-6911.  The process will originate with Campus Safety because their office is available 24 hours a day and they will contact the appropriate offices after hours.  This process should only be used for newly arisen situations that require response and not as a substitute for advanced planning.

Examples of demonstrations requiring emergency approval:

  • Demonstrations in response to breaking news events.
  • Demonstrations in response to events happening after college business hours.
  • Any demonstration requiring less than two business days for response.

Requests Not Approved

In the event a Request to Demonstrate is not approved, the student organizer can submit a written appeal to the Dean of Student Development and Success.  The Dean or designated representative may schedule a meeting to consult with the organizing students.  The appeal decision will occur within five business days of the appeal and/or meeting.  Dean of Student Development and Success appeal decisions are final.

Spontaneous Demonstrations

If a spontaneous demonstration occurs without notice, leaders/organizers will be connected to the Dean or Assistant Dean of Students to discuss the goals of the protest or demonstration, and to work toward a solution.  Students can expect the Dean of Students or designee and Campus Safety will want to speak with organizers to ensure safety of all involved.

Non Alverno Community Event

A demonstration or protest that is organized by a group un-affiliated with Alverno College will be instructed to stay on the public sidewalks and to not enter or impede Alverno property or thoroughfares.  A leader of the event may be asked to meet with Alverno Leadership to determine the reason for the event and any potential solutions.

  • Example: A group of Milwaukee citizens designate Alverno as the meeting/starting location for a Black Lives Matter march.  In this scenario the group may be asked by Campus Safety to stay on public sidewalks.  However, if an Alverno student organization is partnering with city-wide activists on a BLM march, and submits a Request to Demonstrate form, approval may be given for the group to further utilize spaces as a student group sponsored activity.
  • Example: A student organization organizes a trip to a demonstration event elsewhere in the city put on by a local non-profit.  Because the trip is being organized by a student organization, campus spaces and resources can be used to promote the event and gather.

Following Demonstration/Protest Events

Event organizers and sponsoring organizations will be responsible for all clean-up and any facilities issues associated with their event.  This may include physically cleaning spaces, paying to have spaces cleaned, or responsibility for any damages that occur during the event.

Related Policies

Demonstrations must be in keeping with the Alverno College mission statement and the college’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Compassion, both of which are included in this handbook.  Depending on the event, student organizers should also familiarize themselves with college policies on outside vendors, our weapons policy, residence hall guest and safety policies, and campus sidewalk chalking policies.  All can be found in this handbook or can be clarified by contacting Campus Safety, Student Activities, or the Dean of Students office.