VCU Campus Update

Share this story

VCU upholds and protects free speech. On Monday, individuals set up encampment structures that impacted campus operations, safety and violated our Reservation and Use of Space policy (summary below).

University staff and police respectfully and repeatedly asked individuals to comply with policies throughout the day. After the tents and structures went up, officers provided four mass warnings to individuals who chose not to leave the encampment.

Officers from VCU Police, Richmond Police and Virginia State Police were on the scene, and RPD declared the gathering an unlawful assembly.

Individuals who chose not to leave threw objects and used chemical spray on officers. Officers used pepper spray to disperse the crowd. VCU Police report that officers did not use other chemical agents, such as tear gas.

Overall, 13 individuals were arrested and charged with unlawful assembly and trespassing. Six of those arrested were students; these students will proceed normally through the university’s student conduct process.

VCU will enforce its directive that prohibits encampments, including the installation of structures and stockpiling items that could be used to build a structure or aid an encampment. This will be done to comply with our policies and to support allowing students, faculty and staff to complete the semester successfully.

This is a challenging time for universities across the country, and VCU has resources available to help our community. Student resources include TimelyCare and University Counseling Services, available 24 hours a day. Faculty and staff resources can be found through VCU's RamStrong program.

VCU’s priority remains the well-being and safety of everyone in our university community as we move forward together.

Summary: Reservation and Use Space policy

All Major Events require advance notice and permission from the university because they may disrupt university functions or activities, destroy property, or present insurmountable or unreasonable logistical or security challenges.

A Major Event is an event, other than an academic course, program, or curriculum approved by the provost, which involves any one of the following risk factors:

  • Expected attendance over 150 persons unless the approved seated occupancy load of the space is greater than 150 persons, in which case any of the other factors render the event a Major Event.
  • Installation of any structure, such as a tent, stage, scaffold, bleacher, bounce house, or carnival-style ride.
  • Outdoor amplified sound, including but not limited to bullhorns, Bluetooth speakers, etc.

Full policy: