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Protest permits needed for demonstrations

What to expect when planning a protest on campus

By Kiara Alfonseca - EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
On December 6, 2016

Before Thanksgiving break, Tyler Bessinger created a Facebook page to gather The College at Brockport students and community in protest of President-elect Donald Trump. 

When college administration caught wind of the protest, Director of Student Union and Activities Kimberley Haines worked with Bessinger to ensure the protest and march went smoothly.

Notice of Planned Assembly, Picketing or Demonstration: a permit — although not a requirement for a protest on campus — based on the draft by the SUNY Board of Trustees is recommended to provide security, management and keep the community “in the loop,” according to Haines. 

Bessinger, unaware a permit might be needed to get University Police protection and navigation, was able to get the notice in the day before the event, Tuesday, Nov. 15. 

Reservations for assembly space must be submitted before 3 p.m. the day before the demonstration is expected to take place.

 The counter-protest that was present that night, composed of demonstrators who are not students or faculty, also submitted their reservations.

UP was present to direct the protest around campus, keeping them on the sidewalk to avoid blocking traffic, as well as to keep the conflicting protests protected when the two diverged on the marching trail of the anti-Trump demonstration.

Permits obtained must be compliant with the State University of New York policies concerning Freedom of Speech and Assembly (Section 4b in the Rules and Regulations for the Maintenance of Public Order on Premises of State-operated Institutions.) and the State of New York’s Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations (Part 535.4b, Chapter V of Title Eight). 

Notices legally cannot obstruct protesters’ First Amendment rights, whether they be students, village residents, or third-party citizens. 

As a state-funded, federally-funded institution, codes, rules and regulations must allow for freedom of expression condoned under the First Amendment. Protests in the village may be subject to regulations based on village ordinances.



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