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FEI Crisis Director on Protest Planning and Response for Campus Safety Magazine

4 Jun. 2018 Posted by aadams

Handling Ideological Divides and Protests on America’s College Campuses

Here’s a hypothetical scenario for you: A request to hold a “Free Speech for All” rally comes to your college or university from one of the student groups. Among the speakers listed is an individual that has been involved in rallies on other campuses where protests have occurred— some that have turned violent.

Several student groups have learned of the request and have already begun posting comments on social media.

The initial inclination is to deny the rally being held on campus due to safety concerns. Administration officials debate whether or not this will be perceived as an attempt to block individuals, topics, or points of view rather than a valid safety response.

The decision could open the university up to a lawsuit if someone feels the school is violating their First Amendment rights. But is it reasonable to force colleges and universities to accommodate all speakers on campus, especially when there is evidence to support the potential for violence associated with certain speakers?

Continue reading full article.

Vivian Marinelli is the senior director of crisis management services for FEI. Since 1999, Marinelli has provided support to individuals and families impacted by mass casualty disasters including aviation accidents, terrorist attacks and natural disasters. She works directly with customers’ emergency response teams to review existing emergency response and family assistance plans, bringing more than 20 years of work in direct clinical services specializing in trauma and grief counseling to her work.