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TRI In The News

U.Va. Limits Protests During Finals Weekend, Raises Free Speech Concerns

The University finalized a policy this summer concerning protests and demonstrations held during Finals Weekend, and a local civil liberties organization says the policy may pose a threat to free speech.

“There are aspects of the Finals Weekend regulation that are entirely too vague and overbroad and thus pose a threat to basic First Amendment freedoms,” John Whitehead, a constitutional attorney and president of The Rutherford Institute, said in a memorandum obtained Thursday by The Cavalier Daily.

The policy, entitled “SEC-039: Protests, Demonstrations and Other Expressive Activities during Finals Weekend,” restricts public demonstrations during Finals Weekend — which includes Valedictory and Final Exercises — to the open area between McCormick Road on one side and Peabody Hall and the Special Collections Library on the other.

The policy also prohibits the use of sound amplification devices and temporary structures, such as tents.