Expressing disagreement

Expressing disagreement before, after or during an Event

  • Write guest editorials or send letters to The Nevada Sagebrush, ASUN or GSA, political representatives, groups, individuals, administrators or responsible parties.
  • Lend support, reassurance and empathy to others who may be hurt by offensive messages.
  • Be sure to comply with all University policies and local, state and federal regulations.

Expressing disagreement during an event

Inside the room or event:

  • You may engage in peaceful, non-disruptive protest (for example, messages on shirts, turning your back to a speaker, putting tape over your mouth) if it does not create a disturbance or prevent the speaker from communicating to the audience, or otherwise prevent audience members from hearing and seeing the event.
  • Audience members may choose to leave the event as long as they do not obstruct the presentation.
  • If you disrupt or obstruct the presentation and fail to comply with the directions of University officials to cease disruption or leave the area, you will violate the University's code of conduct and/or the law. These are grounds for discipline or prosecution.
  • For events held where access to the event space can be controlled/secured, event sponsors may regulate what may be brought into an event space (such as video cameras or other recording devices, signs and banners) and activities that attendees may engage in; regulations such as these are permitted as they relate to time/place/manner (i.e., conduct) and not content.

Outside the building, room or event:

  • Peaceful protest or picketing with leaflets, petitions, singing, chanting or signs are allowed as long as it occurs in a space that is open to the public and does not disturb the event or prevent attendees from entering or leaving the event.
  • Do not block entrances or exits, impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic, or prevent others from entering, hearing, seeing or leaving the event or speech.
  • Do not use amplified sound unless allowed by applicable University sound policies.
  • Do not disrupt University functions or activities (such as nearby classes) or other events or programs using reserved space.    

Expressing disagreement in response to an event

Before, after or during the event, you can respond to speech that you disagree with by sponsoring a separate presentation or event featuring alternative viewpoints, such as a:

  • Teach-in
  • Public forum
  • Workshop
  • March
  • Vigil
  • Counter-demonstration
  • Exhibit

If you are confronted with offensive speech or materials:

  • Maintain a safe distance and do not respond physically.
  • Keep in mind that even though you find it offensive, it is very likely protected free speech.
  • Consider organizing an appropriate, nonviolent response.
  • Seek assistance from a University official or the police if you feel you are being singled out or targeted or if you think that the conduct or speech violates University policy.  

Civil disobedience

Protests and civil disobedience have played a historic role on university campuses, in bringing important and beneficial changes within society and in the development of our democracy. However, civil disobedience is not protected speech under the Constitution. The Constitution does not guarantee any right to engage in civil disobedience-which, by its very definition, involves the violation of laws or regulations-without incurring consequences. Civil disobedience may have a negative effect on the protected interests of others and may interfere with University business or threaten public safety or University assets in ways that require the University to act to protect those other interests. 

Could I be subject to disciplinary charges?

The following list of violations is taken from the Student Code of Conduct. For a full list and student disciplinary procedures see the Student Code of Conduct website.

  • Knowingly furnishing false information to any University or NSHE official, faculty member, or office. (Section iii, A, 5)
  • Failure of the student to present proper credentials, student identification card, driver's license, or parking registration, to University officials upon their request. (Section iii, A, 10)
  • Disorderly conduct (Definition 6). (Section iii, A, 11)
  • False reporting of any emergency situation (Definition 9). (Section iii, A, 14)
  • Unauthorized or unlawful entry or access to University or NSHE facilities, including buildings and grounds. (Section iii, A, 16)
  • Willful incitement of individuals to violate the Code, University policy, or policy of the NSHE. (Definition 30) (Section iii, A, 18)
  • Verbal abuse, intimidation, coercion or bullying which is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive so as to interfere with or limit another student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational services, activities or opportunities offered by the University. (Section iii, A, 21)
  • Interference by force, threat or duress with the lawful freedom of movement of persons or vehicles on University or NSHE property. (Section iii, A, 22)
  • Resisting or obstructing University or other public officials in the performance of their duties. (Section iii, A, 23)
  • Failure to comply with the directions of University officials acting in accordance with their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so. (Section iii, A, 24)
  • Violation of University policies and regulations governing: (1) residence in University owned or controlled property; or (2) access to and use of all University facilities. (Section iii, A, 25)
  • The use of, or threat to use, force or violence, intimidation, coercion and/or conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any member or guest of the University Community. (Section iii, A, 26)

What can the police charge me with?