Bradley is planning on updating its campus-wide protest policy – though it isn’t certain when those changes will be approved.
Nathan Thomas, vice president for Student Affairs, said plans to alter the university’s Emergency Operations Plan are in the works, though they haven’t been solidified yet.
“We’ve talked internally about it and gathered some ideas from other schools,” Thomas said.
Thomas said additions or updates to the plan would provide clearer outlines on how students are able to protest, and how to prevent demonstrations from getting out of hand. They would also address how protesters at campus speakers and events are handled. Thomas referenced Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, who spoke to campus in February 2017.
“Envision that presentation is going, and there’s a group – not necessarily of students – during the middle of the presentation, and they keep chanting, ‘All lives matter, all lives matter’ throughout the presentation,” Thomas said. “It is within our purview to create some guidelines, like, ‘If you want to protest, you can protest up until the speaker takes the podium, when they leave.’ What parameters might be around that?”
Thomas said campus’ Emergency Operations Plan was created by and is implemented through Student Affairs, though the office often works in conjunction with BUPD.
“We have OK policies, but as [protests have] happened at big state schools or big universities and chaos has just broken out, they have policies that are really just detailed protest plans,” Thomas said. “[BUPD Chief Brian Joschko] and I want to do something a little bit more.”
As the plan progresses, Thomas said drafts will likely be presented to University Senate, Student Senate and the Student Advisory Council.
More information on Bradley’s current policies can be found online at https://www.bradley.edu/dotAsset/59039a39-cefd-4717-8d36-1024bf8b2890.pdf