As warm weather arrives and we enter the final weeks of the semester, you may notice increased activity of free expression or the distribution of literature by University organizations or even the general public. Montclair State University must take all necessary steps to ensure public safety while allowing expressive activity to continue, even if it is contrary to our community beliefs, as it is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While we cannot stop free speech and protests on our campus, the University has the right to determine where these may occur and for what duration, often called “time, place and manner.”
Although we recognize that most people expressing their views on campus are respectful of others and are doing so to raise awareness for a cause or something they strongly believe in, we must be aware that others may be looking for people to fall victim to a scam or are hoping to incite an opposing reaction from spectators.
Should you be approached by any organization that is not connected to Montclair State University, please exercise caution when engaging. Be aware of your surroundings and it is suggested to not engage unauthorized solicitors or spontaneous demonstrators who are simply trying to get a reaction out of you under the guise of free speech or to possibly recruit members. The best way to combat demonstrators who may have opposing views to yours is to ignore their comments and go about your day on campus.
Important Safety Tips
These crime prevention tips will help you when dealing with aggressive solicitors:
- Report solicitors to University Police by calling 973-655-5222. Provide a description of the solicitor and what direction they were headed. They may be permitted to be on campus, they may not – let us find out.
- Don’t be afraid to say “No thank you” and walk away.
- Do not get into a conversation with a solicitor. They will try to converse with you but engaging in conversation of any kind only encourages them to pressure you into continuing the conversation. If the solicitor does not go peacefully on their way, call University Police for assistance.
- Do not travel with or agree to meet anyone at unfamiliar places.
- Follow identity theft prevention guidelines by never giving personal information, credit card information or a personal check to anyone who solicits you. It is often very difficult to determine if someone is legitimately representing a real organization or charity. Never show your wallet or amounts of cash you may have on you.
- Report suspicious behavior such as looking in car windows, testing doors for locks, or entering unauthorized spaces.
The University Police Department is available 24 hours a day and we encourage you to contact us at 973-655-5222 immediately when you encounter any suspicious activity or a crime in progress. Download the Rave Guardian App and submit a tip or use functions for immediate contact with University Police on campus. To learn how to use the Rave Guardian App.
Chief Kieran Barrett
Interim Chief of Police
Montclair State University Police Department