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April 2001

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Subject:
From:
David Nestor <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 13 Apr 2001 11:10:50 -0400
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April 13, 2001

Dear UVM Student:

As an earlier communication from student leaders indicated, Vermont is
expected to be a staging area late this month for demonstrators going to
Quebec City to protest the Summit of the Americas, where discussions on the
establishment of an American Continent free-trade zone will be held.

Demonstrators are expected in Burlington, which has been designated as a
"convergence point," to gather, organize and engage in local activism. It
is quite possible that they may designate the UVM campus as one of their
strategic gathering places.

As an institution of higher learning, we recognize the importance of groups
and individuals having the ability to express their points of view on these
subjects in a safe and collegial environment. As activities unfold, we will
be sensitive to people's Constitutional rights to free speech and assembly.
A number of educational forums will take place on campus, where students
can fully explore these issues.

Ultimately, it is the safety of our students that is our top concern. I am
concerned because some of the activities in Burlington may involve protests
and other forms of activism. These types of activities in Seattle more than
a year ago showed that the potential is there for people who intend to
demonstrate peacefully to suddenly find themselves caught in situations
where their personal safety is placed in jeopardy. I urge you to be
cautious and exercise good judgment. From strictly a safety perspective, it
may be wise to avoid these demonstrations altogether. For your information,
we have also communicated our concerns with faculty, staff and parents.

If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, please don't
hesitate to contact me or someone on the Student Affairs staff. We would be
happy to discuss this with you.


Sincerely,

David Nestor
Vice President for Student Affairs

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