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Gilets Jaunes Demonstrations Update to Students

This post is a republished version of an email communication sent by AUP President Celeste Schenck to current students on January 17, 2019, about the Gilets Jaunes demonstrations. It is part of our Safety & Security blog that rounds up all the latest news and updates for our community.

Dear Students, 

Welcome back, one and all, to Orientation week and the weekend before classes begin. We are happy to have a good number of our returning students already on campus, and happy as well to welcome all of our new freshmen, transfers, visitors and graduate students.  

The Gilets Jaunes demonstrations, still scheduled for this tenth Saturday, are ongoing, but they have diminished greatly in intensity and strength since the week before the holidays. At this point, the government has responded in a number of ways, and the Parisian populace appears to be going about its business in and around what have become, for the most part, orderly marches. While we strongly advise you to stay away from the demonstrations themselves, we will not be advising you to remain indoors all day as we did in the fall. Because we worked together closely as a community, we had no incidents during the most difficult weekends in the fall. It continues to be critical to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time, so do not take risks, avoid large gatherings of crowds, and be attentive to your surroundings. Campus buildings scheduled to be open this weekend will remain so.  

May I remind you again to: 

  • Update your Student Profile ( with your current cell phone number so that we can reach you by text using our mass communications system in case of emergencies. 
  • Add emergency number 06 11 68 76 44 to your cell phone contacts and use it only for appropriate purposes.
  • Finally, install the International SOS app on your phone (, so that with a simple swipe you can call for help 24/7. 

It is unlikely this weekend that you will need any of this, but be prepared nonetheless. Take a moment to do each of these three things now.   

Henceforth, beginning this week, our updates on the Gilets Jaunes demonstrations will appear on the Safety and Security Updates page of our public website on both the student and parent pages: digital library of the fall communications appears there, as well as ongoing updates each week pinpointing the location of the demonstrations and laying out the University’s advice to students week by week. We invite you to review these updates each Thursday or Friday, for as long as the demonstrations last. If the security situation is heightened, we will push our messages to you in advance of the demonstrations. Should we sense the need to update our advice during the Saturday demonstrations, we will text you with additional information or warnings about particular locations to avoid. 

Wishing each of you a lovely rentrée, a safe weekend, and some relief from the January gray!  


Celeste Schenck