Statement on Cross Campus encampment

Late this afternoon, student protestors calling for Yale to divest from military weapons manufacturers set up tents on Cross Campus (the lawn in front of Sterling Memorial Library) and began chanting and blocked walkways. This space is adjacent to residential colleges, where many students are studying for final exams. Student protestors have since been asked to remove these tents as they violate the university’s policy, and they have been reminded of the university's policies on the use of outdoor space, postering and chalking, and the use of amplified sound. As President Salovey outlined in his message to the Yale community last week, Yale fully supports peaceful protests and freedom of speech, but it does not tolerate the breaking of its policies, which are designed to keep the university functioning and protect the safety and welfare of the entire Yale community. Administrators have communicated these policies and the possible disciplinary actions directly to the protest marshals in person and in writing.

Students who continue to occupy Cross Campus without regard for university policies risk university discipline, arrest, or re-arrest. Discipline could include suspension.

These actions by students echo a similar protest on Beinecke Plaza less than a week ago. In that case, students also erected tents. Students were told repeatedly that their actions violated university policies and, after they refused to comply, the university cleared the site on April 22.

Yale provides detailed guidance on free expression, peaceable assembly, and requesting the use of on-campus outdoor spaces. These policies state that permission must be applied for and obtained before groups may conduct their events in any outdoor space on campus or erect or place any structure, wall, barrier, tent, sculpture, artwork, or other object on university outdoor space.  Secretary and Vice President for University Life Kimberly Goff-Crews outlined and clarified these policies in an April 22 message to the community.

Since the protests began, the university and the Yale Police Department have worked to reduce the likelihood of confrontations and arrests.

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