Your Rights in School


When we say “on campus” we mean on the land or in a building of a college or university. A place where higher learning is experienced on all levels, private and


When we say “on campus” it is important to understand not all higher learning institutions are the same.Therefore, INTERACTION WITH POLICE ON CAMPUS It may seem that you should have more liberties being “on campus” because you are an adult and especially because, in most instances, you are paying to be there. However, Encountering law enforcement “on campus” can be a very confusing event.There can be a many as three different types of policing going on at any given time.You have campus security, campus law enforcement and local police.That is not including the policing styles the administration may implement.

Being stopped and questioned can become an every day occurrence.That does not change the fact that your rights still cannot be violated and your best defense is to REMAIN SILENT.You should know, no matter who is stopping you and asking questions or what the strategy is, they are fact finding.

If you can understand and appreciate that when you are stopped and questioned, the authority is merely fact finding, then you will quickly realize it is in your best interest to remain calm and silent. The longer you are there may mean they are very suspicious of At any time you may ask and should ask, “Am I free to go?” If yes, then go.If you are attending a state school, your dorm is the property of the state. Therefore, your dorm can be searched at the discretion of the administration and campus police. Private school dorms are owned by the institution.

Keep in mind, a lot of resource get invested into these institutions of higher learning in an effort to secure campuses and deter illegal activity such as drug use. For this reason sanctions are imposed such as arrest, removal from campus, suspension, urine testing, WHAT THEY CAN LEGALY ASK YOU TO DO STOP “you on campus”On campus, you may encounter one or more types of law enforcement. It can be Campus security, campus police or law enforcement from the jurisdiction in which the campus is located. Because they are governed by different bodies, the encounter could include anything from soliciting your identification to arresting you.Remember colleges and universities have eyes and ears everywhere. This is to protect QUESTION you “on campus” You must always remember, a campus or a dorm are private property. Yes, you may pay to be there, however be sure to read your lease, agreement, etc.......You still have rights. The right to remain silent is the best way to invoke your rights. Do not let campus security or local law enforcement make you believe, because you are on the property of the institution, invoking has any less or no impact.DETAIN you “on campus”

You can be detained by the administration, campus security, campus police.....Be sure you ask for, read and understand the policies, procedures, regulations, etc. the college or university have established pertaining to reasons and circumstances for which You can be detained on campus or you can be taken to the local police station depending on the outcome of the questioning phase. This is why you must remember that you have the right to ask, “am I free to go?”PAT DOWN/SEARCH YOU “on campus”

Unfortunately, because being “on campus” or in your dorm room will create for you limitations of your “expectation of privacy.” ARREST you “on campus” Under this circumstance, continue to remain silent, remain calm, do not protest, do not resist. If you do these things, there is always a chance that once your situation is resolved, you could get suspended, expelled, lose your scholarship, etc.


Stop It is crucial as a student or visitor to remain calm. Immediately ask why you have been stopped. This may be one of those rare occasions, being “on campus” if you are stopped by the administration or even campus security, the issue can be resolved quickly without it is always a good idea to carry your campus identification or identification with a photowhen on a campus. They realize missing class time is important to you and maybe a quick flash of who you are and a quick question “am I free to go?” will keep you on your


Do not respond with sarcastic remarks or questions back except I do not wish to answer any questions and am I free to go? With so many activities going on at one time and so many people in one location at one time, you could easily be mistaken for someone or wrongly identified. Your best protection is to say, I have the right to remain silent.


The flip side of being detained from class or on your way to work is that you will have a valid excuse. Allow the process to run its course so suspicion does not take root by who it is detaining you. Listen carefully and do not over-react. This could extinguish suspicion and shorten the time you would be detained.


It will be easy for you to be made to believe it is okay or normal for your backpack, etc. to be searched. It is never okay. Even if you know you have nothing to hide you must remember to say, “I do not consent to a search.”