‘Disruptive Activity Policy’ Causes Disruption in Michigan

By  - 
The University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Ann-Arbor distributed a draft of their new Disruptive Activity Policy, and legal groups are urging leaders to reconsider. The policy comes after demonstrators last month interrupted a university event to protest the Israel-Hamas War. 

Under the new policy students could face disciplinary action, including expulsion, for participating in what the university deems as “disruptive” activities. Faculty, staff, contractors, and volunteers of the university could also face penalties for participation. 

Published last week, the draft was circulated to incur community feedback, and there was no shortage of opinions. In a statement on their website on Tuesday, the university revealed four primary concerns that emerged in reviewing the feedback: clarity of policy language, balancing of safety and rights, protection of free speech, and rejection of hasty decisions. 

The university assured that it will “take the appropriate time to allow a robust period of engagement so any changes in policy reflect [the institution’s] mission and values.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Michigan chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (M-NLG) are among the legal groups advising the institution to reconsider the policy.  In a letter to university officials, the ACLU said that the policy would “unnecessarily limit civil liberties, particularly the right of free speech and protest.”

University President Santa J. Ono said, “We all must understand that, while protest is valued and protected, disruptions are not.” 

The policy review is expected to be a long-term process.