UMass Boston

Protests and Demonstrations

UMass Boston recognizes the rights of members of the University community to freedom of assembly and speech, and strongly believes in fostering discourse and the free exchange of ideas at the University. However, as a matter of law and University policy, these rights and interests are restricted, and must be exercised on University property in a manner consistent with the mission and operation of the University and the rights of other members of the University community. Accordingly, the University has policies and procedures which take into account these countervailing interests. A full copy of the policy can be found at: Section XI (Protest and Demonstration Policy) of the University Space Use Policy.

Public Assembly and Free Speech Locations
The university recognizes several locations that, by tradition or policy, are available for public assembly, demonstrations and free speech.

  • University Entrance: The grass area on the south side of University Drive beginning at the Morrissey Boulevard main entrance, for a distance of approximately 200 yards.
  • Campus Center Lawn: Front of the Campus Center down to the waterfront.
  • University Hall Courtyard: Between the Campus Center and University Hall.
  • Campus Center Terrace: Indoor demonstrations will not be permitted if they cause disruption of or interference with instructional activities and other University business and campus events.

Advanced Space Reservations Preferred
The University asks all departments, registered student organizations and external entities to make space arrangements with the Office of Event Services. Any request to hold a protest or demonstration should be made 5 days in advance, in accordance with existing space request and reservation policies. Advanced notice helps the university plan, secure space/resources and helps to ensure the safety of participants. Please contact Event Services directly if you have questions regarding space arrangements: 617.287.4800 or inquire at

Demonstrations and Protests without a Space Reservation
The University fully supports and acknowledges that sometimes impromptu expression, dissent, and protest are necessary for the free expression of ideas. Not having a reservation is not a sufficient reason for the University to terminate any protest unless the impromptu protest meets the University definition of Disruptive Activities. If a demonstration proves disruptive, the University will work collaboratively with those involved to relocate protests to spaces designated for public assembly, demonstrations, and free speech. In order to ensure the safety of all participants, Public Safety may require the attendance of one or more officers.

Disruptive Activities
The right of freedom of expression at the University includes peaceful protests and orderly demonstrations. At the same time, the University has long recognized that the right to protest and demonstrate does not include the right to engage in conduct that disrupts the University's operations or endangers the safety of others. The University of Massachusetts Boston will hold accountable all persons and organizations for actions which violate University policies and regulations. Such improper actions include but are not limited to:

  • Disruption or interference with instructional activities, University business and campus events;
  • Actual or threatened physical violence, or other forms of harassment, or destruction of University, or other public or private property;
  • Interference with free entry/exit from University facilities and free movement by individuals;
  • Interference with the rights of other members of the University community to freedom of speech and assembly, and other rights;
  • Damage to University property, which shall cause the demonstrators to be responsible for reimbursing the University for the cost of the cleaning, repair or replacement of such property;
  • Acquisition, possession, transportation and consumption of alcoholic beverages, which may violate various statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, regulations of the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, or the Alcohol and Other Drugs policy of the University administered through the Office of the Dean of Students.

A full list can be found in the Student Code of Conduct at

Protest or Demonstration Concerns
The University has established several avenues for departments, student organizations, external organizations and guests that may have concerns regarding the Demonstration Policy, Procedures and Response Guidelines.