Disruption at event for admitted students in Graham Chapel

Dear Students,

This morning, a group of individuals – including WashU students – disrupted an event for admitted students and their families that was taking place in Graham Chapel. While we were able to move the event to another location and continue with the event as planned, we feel it’s important to make you all aware that what happened was a blatant violation of our Demonstrations and Disruption Policy, and that everyone who refused to leave the chapel as instructed was issued a court summons. Those students who disrupted the event will be subject to further disciplinary action. Those who are not students will be banned from campus.

We fully support the ability of members of our community to speak up and use their voices to express themselves. However, there are limits on the time, place, and manner in which we will allow these activities on our campus. Today’s disruption of the event in Graham Chapel was unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

In addition to the violation of our policy, we also feel compelled to mention that some of the language that was used at the protest was offensive and hurtful to many attendees and other members of our community. As Chancellor Martin has made clear in no uncertain terms, free speech comes with responsibility, and intimidating or threatening speech is never acceptable.

We know emotions are running high on a number of fronts these days, and we fully expect to see protest activity taking place on our campus in the weeks ahead. Please know two things: 1) We encourage free speech; and 2) We will enforce our policies. We believe these things are mutually compatible and we will take the necessary steps to facilitate both.

We continue to be proud of our students who are committed to having an inclusive community that promotes respectful engagement and dialogue with one another.

As always, our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our community. It is our great hope that we will move forward together with care and respect for one another.


Anna “Dr. G” Gonzalez
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Beverly Wendland
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs