Statement on Peaceful Participation in Protests

We recognize that many high schools students from across the country are engaging in peaceful protests following the tragic high school shooting in Florida. Many of these students represent the classes of 2022 at colleges and universities across the country.  Some of these students are asking questions about whether disciplinary action associated with peaceful participation in these protests would negatively affect their acceptance to their university of choice.

The University of San Diego would encourage disclosure of disciplinary action, but in this particular case, would not view such peaceful participation and associated disciplinary action as negatively impacting admissions decisions to our university.

As a Changemaker Campus, the University of San Diego’s approach to educating civility is grounded in our rich Catholic intellectual tradition, which not only tolerates, but welcomes creative tensions that exist when complex and sensitive issues are thoughtfully discussed and considered, enabling ongoing dialogue and discovery.

Such peaceful activism is at the heart of what a university should provide for students, where understanding and reflecting upon many different perspectives beyond our own is framed in the context of trust, respect and civil discourse. 

Peaceful protests and conversations should emanate from a place of love and establish a basis for action and change. It requires us to move outside of our own comfort zone and demonstrate empathy as we seek to understand the world around us through the multiple lenses, life experiences, environments, and struggles that shape each person’s opinions and views.

It is in this vision of the University of San Diego’s founders that we encourage our students to engage in civil dialogue, which is a natural expression of our tradition and what we should expect at a Catholic university educating the next generation of engaged citizens and global leaders.


Stephen Pultz
Assistant Vice President of Enrollment