Demonstration on the Main Quad

April 29, 2024

Dear Members of the University Community,

As you may have seen, a group of students and supporters today began a protest, with actions that include setting up tents on the Main Quad.

As part of our free expression principles, the University is fundamentally committed to upholding the rights of protesters to express a wide range of views. At the same time, University policies make it clear that protests cannot jeopardize public safety, disrupt the University’s operations, or involve the destruction of property.

Setting up tents on the Quad or erecting other structures and obstructions without prior approval, as happened in this case, is a violation of University policy and will result in disciplinary action. We are monitoring the situation closely. The individuals involved are on notice that the University is prepared to take further action in the event of continued violations of our time, place, and manner policies governing protests, threats to public safety, disruption of operations or academic activities, or destruction of property.

Deans-on-Call are in contact with students on the Quad. Their role is limited to advising protestors on University policy and procedures, and providing information and support as needed. Safety Ambassadors and officers with the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) also are present and available to uphold public safety. 

It is vital to remind all members of our community that the University of Chicago does not tolerate violence, threats, intimidation or harassment directed at individuals or groups, as reflected in University Policy. We will continue working to uphold a safe, obstruction-free environment for everyone on the Main Quad, free from harassment or discrimination. Reports of discriminatory conduct will be investigated under longstanding University processes and possible violations will be subject to disciplinary action if warranted by the facts.

As President Alivisatos noted in a message last fall to the University community, the University’s commitment to free expression is particularly important “during times marked by intense disagreement when individuals in our community are experiencing profound grief and struggle. In moments such as these, the ability to speak freely across difference is more important than ever.”

We recognize that there is a wide range of views in the University community, including debates about how to respond to protests. We will continue working to balance the University’s deep commitment to free expression and open discourse with the need to uphold safety and carry on the vital work being done across the University every day.



Michele Rasmussen
Dean of Students in the University

UChicagoSocial: Campus and Student Life