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Demonstrations & Protests

There are no new rules here, simply a bringing together of information that already exists in multiple locations. All standard student code of conduct remains in place. Protest should not harm, demean, or otherwise endanger others. It also is essential to recognize that involvement in protests and demonstrations off-campus could result in arrests by local police and that statistically would disproportionately affect BIPOC students. We are not sharing these to discourage you from exercising your right to free speech by participating in protest, but rather to make sure you are informed about possible outcomes and thus prepared to engage as safely as possible.

Campus Policies

Should you plan to participate in protests or demonstrations, we have compiled the resources below:

  • COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Protest
  • General Protest Safety Tips & Assessing Risks
  • Special Considerations for International Students and/or Those Without Documentation

The following tips will hopefully help keep you safe and avoid arrest.

If you are symptomatic or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19:

  • Do not participate in community protests if you feel ill, have active respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, fever (or other symptoms of COVID-19), or have recently been exposed to a close contact with COVID-19.

If do not have symptoms and plan on joining a protest:

  • Wear a mask or facial covering that fully covers your nose and mouth.
  • Strongly consider wearing or having ready access to goggles or eye protection for added protection (avoid wearing contacts).
  • Bring hand sanitizer and use frequently.
  • Avoid carrying other's signs, sharing drinks, or touching objects that others have touched.
  • Attempt to limit your group size and maintain six feet of physical distance whenever possible during the activity.
  • Try to avoid crowded activities that involve shouting or singing near others and avoid those who are not wearing masks or face coverings if possible.
  • Bring your own signs, water, food, or other personal items.

After participating in local protests:

  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after this activity. If you develop even mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19, do not go to school/work, self-isolate, and contact the Student Health Center to get tested for COVID-19.
  • If others who participated in the protests, such as household members, close contacts or those who you had close contact with for more than 15 minutes in an enclosed space (e.g., a car) are diagnosed with COVID-19, or if you receive a call from Public Health about a possible exposure, follow recommendations for self-isolation and call your doctor to get tested for COVID-19.

Recommendations are adapted from the University of Washington Medicine's "How to Protest Safely During the Pandemic" Guide

Additional guides and resources for protesters and organizers:

Before protesting: Consider the level of risk you are comfortable with assuming, including the possibility of getting arrested and understanding long-term impacts. Be sure to communicate these with the friend or group you plan to attend the protest with. For example:

  • "I would like to go to the protest today, but:
    • I would like to leave before dark so that I limit my chances of getting arrested."
    • Will be following all of the rules and staying on the sidewalk because I cannot risk getting arrested."
    • Am worried about getting arrested because of XYZ; can we make sure to do the following to be extra prepared?"
  • Risks to consider:
    • Will I lose my job? Some professions (teacher, military, public servants, etc.) are prohibited from protesting and other private employers may have internal policies against protest.
    • Will I jeopardize my immigration status? Those in the U.S. without documentation, on DACA, or with visas face the possibility of deportation or having their resident status revoked.
    • What are the potential health consequences? Make sure to bring any prescription meds with you and understand that there are emotional and physical challenges of being arrested.
    • What are the legal consequences? Depending on the charges, being arrested may be put on your permanent legal file; that can make seeking future employment difficult.
    • Can I financially afford it? Do you have the funds (or know someone who does) to cover your bail (~$100 - $10,000) and any additional legal fees?

General Safety Tips

  • Don't take pictures.
  • Bring water and snacks.
  • Wear closed-toe comfortable shoes and comfortable clothes.
  • Stay on the sidewalks.
  • Follow COVID-19 Safety Guidelines above.
  • Trust your gut and do only what you are comfortable with.

Additional Resources

Everyone in the US has the right under the US Constitution to free speech and freedom of assembly; this includes citizens and foreign nationals. As an international student or someone in the US without documentation/secure residency status, you may have more to lose should you end up being arrested during a protest (depending on the charges filed). If you decide to participate in protests or demonstrations, be aware that arrest could lead to your student visa being revoked or you could even be permanently barred from coming to the US. Adapted from Washington University in St Louis.

Along these lines, International students studying at CC with an F-1 or J-1 visa have immigration regulations to follow which may impact their eligibility for off-campus community engagement or volunteer experience. Before participating in an off-campus community engagement or volunteer activity, please consult International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS). ISSS may be reached by email ( or phone (719-389-6024), or in-person walk-in advising or appointments.

Want to learn more as you consider whether to in demonstrations or find other ways to contribute to US movements and moment in history? Here are a few additional resources:

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/17/2020