Published: Feb. 27, 2014

Dear CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff:

For the past two years, CU-Boulder has closed the campus to non-affiliates on April 20. We have taken these steps to ensure that our research, creative work, teaching, studying, residential and student support services, and official business – which occurs on the campus seven days a week – are not compromised by the unwanted 4/20 gathering. For a third straight year, I am announcing that the campus will be closed to non-affiliates on April 20.

On that day from 12 to 6 p.m., CU faculty, staff and students will be asked by security staff, including University of Colorado Police, to show their Buff OneCards to enter the campus. Please know that all CU faculty, staff and students are welcome on campus, and our security staff and police officers will take special care and consideration to make sure your entry to campus is as smooth as possible. Our goal is to conduct this closure in a professional manner that minimizes the impact on our affiliates and authorized visitors. On April 20, all campus facilities that are normally open on Sundays will remain open for use by students, faculty and staff. The Norlin Quad will be closed to everyone. Visitors with official business on the campus will need to obtain a visitor’s pass to enter the campus. More details on that process will be announced soon via CU-Boulder Today.

You may ask why this move is necessary after two successful years of curtailing the large 4/20 crowd. It is imperative that the public knows we are serious about eliminating this disruptive gathering. I hope at some point in the near-future that campus closures will not be necessary, and we can go about daily business on campus as we normally do. I have also heard feedback from CU Student Government leaders, who have passed along students’ concerns that the police presence on campus makes some feel intimidated and unwelcome. I want to reiterate that this presence is designed to simply ensure that you can go about your business without disruption. Our officers will be courteous and professional to all, and you should know that over the past two years, the CU Police Department has not received a single written complaint about its conduct or presence on 4/20.

I thank all of you in advance for your patience and cooperation in helping us to end the 4/20 gathering at CU-Boulder. We are ensuring that our students, who pay tuition for the privilege of attending the university, and our faculty and staff who educate and serve them, can all engage in their most basic work without material disruption.

I also want to specifically thank representatives of the CU Student Government for their input and engagement in this process. They, too, are opposed to the large, disruptive 4/20 gatherings we’ve seen in past years. But they want to keep alive debate and dialogue on federal and state drug policies. I support this. Please be on the lookout for an announcement coming soon on a CUSG-led drug policy symposium in March or April.

If you have any questions, suggestions or complaints, we encourage you to contact us at


Philip P. DiStefano, chancellor
University of Colorado Boulder