Policies and practices related to student protest and demonstration

| April 25, 2024

Note: This letter originally appeared as an e-mail sent to Hopkins students on Wednesday April 24, 2024.

Dear Students:

As you know, reasoned, analytical, and open dialogue is a hallmark of our university community. With this comes an obligation to ensure each voice can be heard, including through peaceful demonstration.

Our Student Affairs and Public Safety teams have recently received inquiries from many of you and others across our Hopkins community about our policies and practices related to student protest and demonstration. To ensure that our students have access to this key information, we are writing to remind you of The Guidelines for Students in Support of Free Expression Through Protests and Demonstrations that were developed collaboratively with our students. Additionally, we have included information at the end of this message to address questions about prohibited behaviors to ensure the orderly functioning of the university and the safety of our students and all members of our community.

Our university policies and guidelines exist so that, together with you, we can maintain a safe environment that supports free expression. These resources reflect a mutual commitment to ensuring the flow of open, vibrant expression that is so essential to our academic community, and to preventing harassment, discrimination, intimidation, and threats, which are a violation of our existing policies and the student code of conduct.

Please know that we, and our colleagues, are available to support you and address any questions or concerns you may have.

As this academic year comes to a close, we are committed to continuing to partner with you to ensure the remaining weeks of the semester, especially for our students who are about to graduate, are successful, safe, and reflective of all of your hard work.

Rachelle Hernandez
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Branville Bard
Vice President for Public Safety

Examples of prohibited behaviors:

  • Occupying buildings that are closed or locked, or university buildings or grounds in ways that disrupt or interfere with university services or operations.
  • Blocking entrances and exits.
  • Assembling tents and/or temporary structures without prior approval.
  • Tampering with university property or affixing signs and banners to interiors or exteriors of buildings (other than designated areas) without the appropriate permission.
  • Disrupting or interfering with the orderly function of the university and/or disobeying or otherwise failing to comply with the directions of university officials, administrators, faculty, staff, or law enforcement acting in performance of their duties.

Please be aware that failure to abide by these policies may result in disciplinary and/or legal action, including potential suspension and/or citation for trespassing.

For more information, see