Generally, peaceful, non-obstructive demonstrations should not be interrupted. However, the college has the responsibility to ensure the safety of individuals, the protection of property, and the continuity of the educational process.
If any of the following conditions exist, College Police will terminate the demonstration. Failure to terminate the disruptive activity will result in disciplinary action.
- Interference with normal operations of the College
- Prevention of access to office, building, or other College facilities
- Threat of physical harm to people
- Threat or actual damage to College property
To promote the orderly distribution of ideas expressed by those assembling, demonstrations or assemblies on campus are permitted only at a time and place approved by the Dean of Student Development.
Those persons desiring to assemble and meet in such areas shall obtain a permit from the Dean of Student Development to ensure that all those who wish to hold meetings shall have the opportunity and to prevent conflicts with other campus activities.
The use of placards and signs carried by persons shall also be restricted to the assembly areas.
- In case of a serious crisis requiring law enforcement intervention, persons/students should be dismissed and requested to leave the room to a safe area. Assist disabled persons on leaving.
- Notify Campus Police at 281-476-9128 or 5555 from a campus phone. If the crisis is outside the classroom, close and lock the door and stay inside to await Campus Police. A cellular phone may be required to request police assistance. If safety permits, proceed to the nearest telephone, away from any danger area, to make the call.
- If you are not able to make the call, ask another person to call for you. Return to the scene, out of any danger area, to await the arrival of Campus Police.
- If safely possible, obtain the names of witnesses and those involved in the disruption prior to Campus Police arrival.
- Refer to the Media Relations procedure for any statements requested by the media.
How to Manage a Disruptive Person
From time to time you may find yourself face-to-face with an agitated or disruptive individual. Use the following tips to try to deescalate the situation. Remember that if you feel that your, or your peers, safety is at risk do not hesitate to call campus police.
- Be confident during contact with the person and display courtesy at all times.
- Remain calm and do not touch the person. Keep at a reasonable distance and leave yourself an escape route.
- Allow the angered person an opportunity to vent.
- If a meeting is scheduled with a person whom you feel may display anger, meet in a neutral, protected location.
- Have another staff member join you for the meeting. Notify Campus Police to standby in case the meeting deteriorates. Use the word “we” and not “you” when speaking with the person (i.e. “How can we work together to come to a solution?”).
- If danger is sensed during the meeting, get to a secure area, such as a locked office or classroom, and contact Campus Police for assistance.
Who is a disruptive individual?
- An individual who makes threats of physical harm to you, others, or themselves.
- An individual who has a weapon. (Refer to Active Shooter procedure.)
- An individual who behaves in a bizarre manner or exhibits unstable behavior patterns.
- An individual who appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance.
What action should you take?
- Contact Campus Police.
- Give your name and campus location with a brief explanation of the situation.
- Take note of the individual’s age, personal appearance, clothing, vehicle or any other information that would help identify the individual.
Express your authority with non-verbal cues:
- Sit or stand erect.
- Square your shoulders.
- Smile and make eye contact.
- Speak clearly and distinctly.
- Maintain a constant voice volume – not too loud.
Cues to avoid:
- Observe the individual’s personal space – do not stand too close.
- Do not touch the person.
- Do not slouch, glare or sigh at the individual.
Anger management tactics:
- Get their attention: use their name, ask them to sit down.
- Acknowledge their feelings: paraphrase what they say so they will know you are listening.
- Get them moving: offer a chair, move them to a private area if possible.
- Offer assistance: use the word “we” to include them in the solution process.
- Tell them exactly what you can do for them and when.
- Offer an alternative if appropriate.
- Advise co-workers of the potential problem if possible.
- Call for aid immediately if you sense the situation is getting out of hand.