A Department of Public Safety officer was dispatched to University Hall Tuesday morning in response to roughly 100 fliers posted on the building by five members of the environmental advocacy group Sunrise Brown, the members alleged.
Vice President for Campus Safety Rodney Chatman confirmed in an email to The Herald that DPS officers “responded to address the issue of posters that were placed around campus” in violation of the University’s Poster and Banner Policy.
The posters were put up as part of Sunrise’s DIRE campaign, which calls for the University to “dissociate” from the fossil fuel industry and increase its investment in the Providence community, The Herald previously reported. Sunrise members hung approximately 600 fliers throughout Monday night, according to Gus Konigsmark ’26, one of five members present when DPS arrived at University Hall Tuesday.
The five students hung posters at University Hall Tuesday morning, as they believed “there was a high likelihood of the posters getting taken down in the middle of the night,” said Moz Marchini ’26, another Sunrise member present when DPS arrived.
According to the five students, a DPS officer approached them at approximately 8:30 a.m. and informed them that they were not permitted to place posters on the building. Organizers alleged that an officer told them an employee in the Office of the President had called DPS, a claim that Chatman did not directly respond to.
The Poster and Banner Policy states that the approval of posting fliers on most buildings, including University Hall, is left to the discretion of building management.
“All individuals to whom the policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy,” Chatman wrote.
“We knew going in that you're not allowed to post on University Hall,” Konigsmark said. “Without a doubt, every single one of the five of us involved were aware of that risk.”
Isabella Garo ’24, a co-founder of Sunrise, acknowledged that the group was aware that students “are not technically allowed to post” fliers on University Hall. But she added that the campaign is “willing to engage in actions that garner what we think is the appropriate response from the administration.”
“We were hoping that this would be a moment of … high visibility,” Garo said.
She additionally noted that other student organizations often post content in prohibited locations.
DPS took personal information from all five members present, “including dorm building and room number,” said Sawyer Strasberg ’26, one of the five Sunrise members. Marchini added that many of the group’s posters across campus were taken down shortly after.
Garo added that the encounter will make the group “even more motivated to pursue our goals and our demands for the university.”
“If the way that admin is going to listen and take us seriously is disruptive actions,” Konigsmark said, “then I think that would definitely be a part of the plan in the future.”
Owen Dahlkamp is a first-year student from San Diego, CA studying Cognitive Neuroscience and Political Science. In his free time, he enjoys creating spreadsheets at Dave's Coffee.