Related University Policies and Guidelines
Disruption of University Operations and Events
The right of peaceful student protests within the university community needs to be preserved. The university however, has the responsibility to ensure the safety of individuals, the protection of property, and the continuity of the educational process. Accordingly, the university will not permit any individual, or individuals, to disrupt or attempt to disrupt the operation and functioning of the university. (See Code of Conduct.)
University officials will determine when disruptive conditions exist and have the authority to take necessary and reasonable actions to quell or prevent the disruption. This section is not to be construed to infringe on any right of free speech or expression guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or of this State. The excerpts below are from the Texas Education Code, relating to disruptive activities.
Disruptive Activities – (Section 51.935, Texas Education Code)
A person commits an offense if the person, alone or in concert with others, intentionally engages in disruptive activity on the campus or property of an institution of higher education.
For purposes of this section, disruptive activity is activity described by Section 37.123 (b)
Obstructing or restraining the passage of persons at an exit, entrance, or hallway of a building without the authorization of the administration of the school;
Seizing control of a building or portion of a building to interfere with administrative, educational research, or other authorized activity;
Preventing or attempting to prevent by force or violence or the threat of force or violence a lawful assembly authorized by the school administration so that a person attempting to participate in the assembly is unable to participate due to the use of force or violence is likely to occur;
Obstructing or restraining the passage of a person at an exit or entrance to the campus or property or preventing or attempting to prevent by force or violence or by threats of force or violence the ingress or egress of a person to or from the property or campus without the authorization of the administration of the school.
An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.
Any person who is convicted the third time of violating this section is ineligible to attend any institution of higher education receiving funds from this state before the second anniversary of the third conviction.
This section may not be construed to infringe on any right of free speech or expression guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or of this State.
Refusing or Failing to Leave Building Closed to Public – (Section 51.242, Texas Education Code)
“No person may refuse or fail to leave a building under the control and management of a public agency, including a state-supported institution of higher education, during those hours of the day or night when the building is regularly closed to the public. Upon being requested to do so by a guard, watchman or other employee of a public agency, including a state-supported institution of higher education, controlling and managing the building or property, if the surrounding circumstances are such as to indicate to a reasonable person that the individual or individuals have no apparent lawful business to pursue.”
Unauthorized Person: Refusal of Entry, Ejection, Identification - (Section 51.209 Texas Education Code)
“The governing board of a state institution of higher education or its authorized representatives may refuse to allow persons having no legitimate business to enter on property under the board’s control, and may eject any undesirable person from the property on his refusal to leave peaceably on request. Identification may be required of any person on the property.”
Trespass, Damage, Etc. – (Section 51.204, Texas Education Code)
“It is unlawful for any person to trespass on the grounds of any state institution of higher education of this State or to damage or deface any of the buildings, statues, monuments, memorials, trees, shrubs, grasses, or flowers on the grounds of any state institution of higher education.”