Freedom of Expression and Dissent


Policy Statement

Freedom of expression and dissent is protected by Dartmouth regulations. Dartmouth prizes and defends the right of free speech and the freedom of the individual to make their own disclosures, while at the same time recognizing that such freedom exists in the context of the law and in responsibility for one's own actions. The exercise of these rights must not deny the same rights to any other individual. The institution therefore both fosters and protects the rights of individuals to express dissent.

Protest or demonstration shall not be discouraged so long as neither force nor the threat of force is used, and so long as the orderly processes of the institution are not deliberately obstructed. Membership in the Dartmouth community carries with it, as a necessary condition, the agreement to honor and abide by this policy.

Freedom of Expression & Dissent Guidelines

These guidelines do not seek to supersede or amend the Freedom of Expression and Dissent Policy but to explain how that policy applies in compliance with current COVID-19 health and safety requirements. Peaceful protests and demonstrations (marches, rallies, picketing, or vigils, etc.) continue to be permitted but must adhere to those COVID-19 requirements. Thus, to ensure community health and safety, Dartmouth retains the exclusive discretion to place reasonable limitations on the time, place, manner of any speaker event, protest, or demonstration, and reserves the right to postpone, cancel, relocate, or prohibit any previously approved speaker, protest, or demonstration if it believes that the conditions of this policy or COVID-19 health and safety requirements will not be met or are not being met. 

In addition to these general requirements, the specific guidelines regarding protests and demonstrations set forth below apply to all students, staff, and faculty.

Guidelines for In-Person Demonstrations and Protests

  • All demonstrations and protests must be held outdoors. 
  • Face coverings and masks must be worn at all times in accordance with Dartmouth and town of Hanover policies. 
  • Adhere to all gathering, event, and visitor policies. 
  • The following locations on campus have been identified as reservable space for Dartmouth-recognized organizations to host assemblies: 
    • Dartmouth Hall Lawn
    • Collis Porch/Patio
    • Gold Coast Lawn
    • The Dartmouth Green
  • Organizations planning a protest or demonstration should contact Conferences and Events to file appropriate paperwork for permission to hold the event at least two (2) business days prior to the event. The paperwork must include a permit with the town of Hanover. If appropriate permission is not secured, Dartmouth reserves the right to terminate the protest or demonstration. 
  • Kemeny Courtyard is designated as a Freedom of Expression and Dissent location for spontaneous assembly. 
  • No protests, demonstrations, or any other expression/dissent activities may occur inside any campus building (based on Dartmouth's current COVID-19 health and safety standards), including, but not limited to: 
    • Dining facilities.
    • Inside or outside student residences.
    • Leverone Field House.
  • Protests and demonstrations are permitted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and between 10 a.m. and 11p.m. on weekends and holidays. Dartmouth may also restrict the date, time, and duration of an event to ensure compliance with the conditions of this policy. 

**Guidelines shall remain in effect through Spring Term 2022