Safety Protocols for Protests
June 10, 2020
The University of Southern Mississippi is anticipating additional group protests for
upcoming weekends on the Hattiesburg campus. The University welcomes all individuals
who are peacefully exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
The following safety protocols will be in place, beginning on Friday, June 12.
- Vehicular traffic and parking will be restricted on the southern most portions of
East and West Memorial drives, from the Centennial Gateway to the information booth.
- Motorists may enter campus through other vehicular access points. Other campus parking
areas will be open.
- Pedestrian access to sidewalks and green spaces will not be restricted.
- Short concrete barriers will be placed in the roadways of East and West Memorial drives
on either side of the Centennial Gateway and on either side of the information booth
to ensure vehicles do not turn into pedestrian protesters who may be gathered in this
area. The roadway barriers will be put in place on Friday evenings and removed early
on Monday mornings.
- This is a change from the metal barricades that were placed at the front of campus
last Sunday. Although those barricades were intended to help ensure the safety of participating
protesters, they were incorrectly placed and restricted pedestrian movement. The University
does not plan to replicate the placement of those barricades and regrets that last
week’s placement contributed to a perception that USM intended to restrict freedom
- All participants are asked to take any materials they may bring with them when they
The University of Southern Mississippi takes seriously the Constitutional right of
each individual to express beliefs freely and in a peaceful manner. As public higher
education remains at the forefront of national dialogue, the University community
is committed to ensuring that these conversations continue in a thoughtful, progressive
and inclusive manner.
The University will continue to support freedom of expression, robust discourse and
the free exchange of ideas. USM will provide additional updates if safety protocols
for protests are modified moving forward.