Freedom of Expression

Dear Seniors,

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! We look forward to celebrating all of your accomplishments from the past four years at Commencement 2023. As we approach this exciting time, I wanted to take a moment to remind you of certain campus guidelines related to freedom of expression and the concerns many of you have noted about this year’s chosen speaker.
At Colorado College, we understand that freedom of thought and expression are essential to any institution of higher learning and are vital components of academic freedom. Please see the CC Freedom of Expression Policy for complete guidelines. At the same time, we need to maintain the regular operations and the safety and security of individuals on our campus.
In line with that intentionality, we want to make you aware of what you can and cannot do.
Entrance to Graduation
You may NOT bring anything with you to the graduation ceremony except your phone. Students who choose to protest disruptively may face code of conduct infractions and their transcripts may be held by a leadership committee. Attendees and graduates may be subject to search before entering Robson Arena as part of our security protocol. For further details regarding entrance policies, see the arena’s FAQs.
Demonstrations or Protests Outside the Arena
The college encourages its members to be engaged citizens of their community and the nation, which may include participation in protests and demonstrations. However, the exercise of these rights should not endanger others, disrupt the normal business or activities of the college, damage property, or constitute illegal activity.
For graduation, any external protests must stay on the sidewalks. Tejon Street and Cache La Poudre will be shut down for the graduation ceremony and security will guide protestors to Cascade Ave. or Nevada Ave.
Demonstrations or Protests Inside the Arena
We recognize that not all our CC community will agree with the positions, philosophies, or political leanings of our speakers. However, because we believe in freedom of expression, we ask that everyone respect that right for the speaker as well as the rights of others in the audience. We will not allow audience members to interrupt, shout down, or otherwise disrupt an event. It is also a violation to obstruct anyone’s view of the speaker with banners or placards.
Upon the conclusion of Liz Cheney’s keynote speech, graduating seniors will walk up to the stage to receive their diplomas. If a graduate leaves their seat for any other reason during the ceremony and misses their name being called, the ceremony will continue without delay and the student will have missed their moment to cross the stage.
For those interested in exercising their right to peacefully protest, please visit Rosalie Rodriguez on the second floor of Worner Campus Center, room 234. She can instruct you on ways to protest peacefully, including raising money for peaceful causes.
I look forward to celebrating your big day with you and the rest of the Colorado College community.
Congratulations, Class of 2023!

Pedro de Araujo

Dean of the College

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