As we approach the transition to a new presidential administration, protests, demonstrations or counter-demonstrations could occur on the University of Michigan campus or in the city of Ann Arbor. Both the University and the city have a rich tradition of political speech and voicing opinions.
Peaceful demonstrations and protests are protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and this applies to U-M's international community as well as to U.S. citizens. However, we encourage you to take certain precautions to ensure your personal safety and reduce the risk of violating any laws should the situation escalate. Being arrested or charged with a legal offense can affect your immigration status.
Whether you are watching a demonstration that you may or may not agree with, or would like to participate in a demonstration or a counter-demonstration, keep these personal safety considerations in mind:
- Protests/demonstrations can draw very large crowds, and we advise leaving the demonstration area should there be signs that violence, property damage, or other risks to personal health or safety will occur.
- If law enforcement officials are present, be sure to follow their instructions and leave the area if they direct you to do so.
- Please also be aware of safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic: wear a mask, bring hand sanitizer, and try to maintain six feet of distance from others at all times.
Resources to review
- U-M’s Dean of Students Office has prepared some Safety Tips During Protests
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has a guide on knowing your rights if you are stopped by law enforcement.
- Inauguration Day Safety FAQs from U-M DPSS
Important Contact Numbers (for emergencies)
- DPSS: (734)763-1131
- Dean of Students: (734)764-7420
- International Center: (734)764-9310