"Reed College considers the right of free speech, and therefore that of dissent to be fundamental to its life as an academic community. The exercise of the right of dissent is not something to be grudgingly tolerated, but actively encouraged. The boundaries to dissent stop at the point where the exercising of it, and the decisions accompanying the exercise, are denied to others. Accordingly, protests or demonstrations shall not be discouraged as long as neither force nor the credible threat of force is used, and so long as the orderly processes of the College are not deliberately obstructed. Physical obstruction, the credible threat, and use of force in the interest of dissent are things which cannot be tolerated in an academic community."

(Adopted by the Community Senate and endorsed by the faculty and the board of trustees in 1969. Reaffirmed by the faculty in 1986. Amended by the Student Senate and endorsed by the faculty in 2019.)

Guidelines and Considerations for Dissent

While free speech and assembly are protected, when protests and demonstrations become unsafe or interrupt the operation of the college, Reed may intervene or place limitations on the time, place, and manner of the event, protest, or demonstration. The following examples may result in intervention:

  • Amplified sound that disrupts classes or the work of employees
  • Restricting the free movement of students or employees
  • Blocking doorways or stairways
  • Violating public health guidelines
  • Destruction or removal of property
  • Making credible threats of violence
  • Making credible and specific threats of criminal activity against the campus or people affiliated with the college
  • Individual physical violence
  • Group physical violence