The responsible administrator for this section is the Amherst College Police Department. The Office of President has approval authority.

Protests, Demonstrations, and Peaceful Dissent

Amherst College prizes and defends the ability of teachers and students to teach and learn free from coercive force and intimidation and subject only to the constraints of reasoned discourse and peaceful conduct. The college also recognizes that such freedoms entail responsibility for one’s actions. Thus the college encourages and facilitates the expression of views by its members so long as there is no use or threat of force, nor interference with opportunities for others to express their views. 

The guidelines herein are intended to promote the safe and peaceable exchange of ideas; to transparently set forth reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that are contemplated under both the college’s Statement of Academic and Expressive Freedom and the Statement of Freedom of Expression and Dissent; to limit the ability of people unaffiliated with Amherst College to use the college as a stage for provocation; and to preserve the ability of the college to take action in situations that threaten the safety of members of the campus community or interfere with the core instructional and administrative functions of the college. 

The guidelines apply to all Amherst College students, faculty, staff, alumni, visitors, contractors, and any other person on college property. They apply to all situations, with the exception of a guest speaker invited by a faculty member to speak in an academic course, seminar, lecture, symposium, or other academic setting. Note: If there is a possibility that a speaker in an academic course, symposium, lecture, etc. will draw a large audience or occasion protests, faculty members planning the event are urged to alert the Amherst College Police Department for help in implementing safety measures.

Outside speakers who have 1) been invited by Amherst College students, faculty members, or staff members; 2) satisfactorily completed the college’s event planning and approval processes (see “Planning an Appearance by an Outside Speaker, a Protest, or a Demonstration,” below); and 3) agree to abide by college regulations and applicable laws, are welcome to speak on campus.

Acts of peaceful protest and demonstration—such as marches, rallies, sit-ins, and picketing—are permitted, under the conditions that follow, with the college reserving the right to restrict behaviors that directly interfere with core instructional and administrative functions of the college.

The full policy can be found here:

For additional information, please contact John Carter, Executive Director of Safety and Chief of Police, 413-542-2771.