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Student Lounge: by students, for students

2nd floor, Downtown Library

student activism


Participation and involvement in activism and protests are not a violation of the Student Conduct Code and Discipline Procedure for the Main Campus of West Virginia University. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct that occur as part of a protest or similar event could be pursued for response by the University. The WVU Board of Governors rules include helpful details in the BOG Governance Rule 1.8 – Freedom of Expression.

Recognized student organizations or campus community members can work with Student Life to properly coordinate and successfully partner to maintain safe and peaceful assemblies and activities. Student organizations can find forms for reserving spaces, hanging banners in the Mountainlair student union, Brick Area Guidelines, and more at the Student Engagement's Forms and Resources page.  

Protesting and demonstrations are not the only form of activism, but they can often be a powerful part of movements. Other forms of potential events that may occur on campus include, but are not limited to march/rally, peaceful protests/assembly, public forums, vigils, workshops, and other applicable events that may fit a specific cause/purpose. Protesting and demonstrations require preparation and planning, including understanding how to keep everyone safe, making sure everyone knows their rights on campus and off campus, and putting protocols in place to protect those who participate.

Learn more about students’ rights as they engage in activism with the resources below.

take action

Places to volunteer or show up to make a difference

selected student issues

Sexual violence


Food insecurity


selected resources

Selected movies from Kanopy about activism

Parkland Rising (2021) 1:32
Documents the 2018 teen-led gun reform movement which followed the mass shooting at a Florida high school. With exclusive footage and intimate access to students survivors and victims' parents, the film shows how ordinary citizens rose up to create the March For Our Lives movement and inspired millions of people around globe to fight for positive change through protest.

Dear Future Children (2021) 1:28
With global protests on the rise, a film about the new generation at the heart of this seismic political shift. We will watch as Rayen protests for social justice in Chile, Pepper fights for democracy in Hong Kong and Hilda battles the devastating consequences of climate change in Uganda. Facing almost impossible odds and grappling with the staggering impact of their activism on their personal lives, we will be asking these three young women why they keep fighting.

Generation Greta (2020) 53 Minutes
They are aged between 12 and 24. They have grown up in a world with increasing droughts, floods, fires. And they share a common fight: the climate emergency. In spite of their cultural and geographical differences, nine young female activists are united under the same struggle: raising awareness about the climate emergency, fighting against the inaction of politicians, and promoting radical societal change, so that nature and social justice become our top priority. In the wake of Greta Thunberg, the most famous of them all, these young women, aged between 12 and 24 years old, already possess the charisma and assurance of some of the history’s greatest political personalities. Who are these activists, set on changing the world? How can we understand their anger? What hopes do they carry? ‘GENERATION GRETA’ recounts the story of these nine incredible young women, combining moving eyewitness accounts and breathtaking archive footage.

John LewisL Good trouble (2020) 1:38
An intimate account of legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis’ life, legacy and more than 60 years of extraordinary activism. After Lewis petitioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to help integrate a segregated school in his hometown of Troy, Alabama, King sent “the boy from Troy” a round trip bus ticket to meet with him. From that meeting onward, Lewis became one of King’s closest allies. He organized Freedom Rides that left him bloodied or jailed, and stood at the front lines in the historic marches on Washington and Selma. He never lost the spirit of the “boy from Troy” and called on his fellow Americans to get into “good trouble” until his passing on July 17, 2020.

free speech and the First Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


from the First Amendment Encyclopedia

A Trump Supporter Finds a Surprising Ally at an Anti-Trump Rally
Play to hear the 2+ minute story and view more text and photos at StoryCorps

The Keshia Thomas story

The Right To Record Police

"’Recording Police: Know Your Rights’ explains that recording police officers in public is a First Amendment right, but also gives citizens the tools they need to navigate such situations and not get arrested,” said Free Speech Center Director Ken Paulson. “It can be a delicate balance.”