Weather Alert:

When Controversy Comes to Campus: Gators, Haters & The First Amendment

Drawing on lessons learned by the University of Florida, this conference will inform participants on actions needed for a unified response composed of university, local, state, and federal partners when a known controversial speaker or event comes to campus.

Description:

In October of 2017, a controversial speaker rented a venue on the University of Florida campus requiring a significant, unified response from university, local, state and federal agencies. The event precipitated a state emergency declaration, mutual aid support from agencies throughout the state and national media attention. As a result of high levels of preparation, coordination and luck, the day passed without incident. Learn how officials planned for and managed this event as well as lessons learned.

Emergency Management, Police, and Student Engagement of the University of Florida, along with Florida Highway Patrol, will share their experience & insight of preparing for a large scale event where passion and politics are raised, safety & security capacities are challenged, and media attention is heightened.

Key takeaways:

  • Prepare, and then prepare more.
  • Coordinate communications through a central funnel.
  • Identify a single spokesperson before, during and after the event.
  • Develop messages based on your values.
  • Create and maintain a dedicated website about Free Speech rather than creating about the event or using your homepage.
  • It takes a team.
  • Bring together your communications resources across campus and keep them informed.
  • Define clear roles for everyone who is helping.
  • Get ready for the media frenzy.
  • Be able to act quickly.
  • Be prepared to take the criticism.
  • Commit to supporting each other, especially during the chaos.
  • It’s not over when it’s over – it’s our history to write, not the speaker’s.

 

This conference is open to emergency management, law enforcement and administrators of colleges and universities in Massachusetts, and local, state and federal emergency management, law enforcement, fire and EMS. Due to the sensitive nature of information shared attendance is limited to these disciplines. All registrants will be placed on a waitlist and will be notified via email of acceptance. Thank you for your understanding.

The conference will be held at UMass Amherst on Thursday, January 10, 2019. The conference is free and food will be provided. Sign-in and continental breakfast will begin at 7:00 am. Welcoming remarks will begin at 8:00 am.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Please complete the form below to register. An email will be sent to confirm your registration status.

  • Food will be provided. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions so we may make accomodations
  • Please inform us of any reasonable supports or accomadations you may need