Free Speech, Expressive Activity and Public Forum
Policy 1062 and Procedure 1062.1
Students, employees, and members of the public shall be free to exercise their rights of free expression, subject to the requirements of the policy and the corresponding Board procedure.
Schoolcraft College campuses are generally non-public forums, except for those areas that are designated public forums available for the exercise of expression by students, employees, and members of the public. The President or designee shall enact such administrative procedures as are necessary to reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of the exercise of free expression in the limited public forums.
This policy does allow the College to regulate hate crimes or harassing expressions directed at students that have the intent or effect of reasonably denying their participation in the educational process so long as the regulation conforms to the requirements of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and of Section 5 of Article I of the Michigan Constitution. Students may be disciplined for harassment, threats or intimidation, unless such speech is determined to be constitutionally protected.
The students and employees of the College and members of the public shall be permitted to exercise their rights of free speech and expressive activity subject to reasonable regulations with regard to the time, place and manner of the activities adhering to Board Policy 1062 and Board Procedure 1062.1.
This procedure applies to all College campuses. It shall not apply to any person or organization desiring to advertise or sell merchandise or services for commercial purposes on campus. For these guidelines, refer to Policy 5013—Solicitation and Sales.
Expressive Activity Defined
Expressive Activity is defined as the carrying or displaying of signs or placards, leafleting, campaigning, marches, rallies, parades, demonstrations, protests, assemblies, speeches, circulation of petitions, and/or any public demonstration on College grounds.
While the College values freedom of expression as a vital component of any learning community, the College also recognizes the need to preserve and protect its property, students, guests, and employees by prohibiting speech and activities that are disruptive to College operations, College activities, and/or other authorized non-College activities which occur on College-owned or controlled property. No policy can address every possible activity or situation that may occur on College property, and the College reserves the right to address such situations as circumstances warrant.
Examples of prohibited forms of speech include:
- Speech that is illegal under Michigan law.
- Harassing speech that is not protected under the First Amendment.
- Speech that is not protected because it constitutes a threat, defined as speech that a reasonable person would interpret as a serious expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon specific individuals.
Schoolcraft College campuses have designated the following areas as -public forums for activities that do not violate College policy and that are lawful.
These areas are:
- the Livonia campus courtyard area which is surrounded by the Waterman Wing, Forum Building, Grote Center, and the Library;
- the lawn area on the north side, just west of the main entrance, of the Academy Training Center (31777 Industrial, Livonia, MI 48152);
- and the walkway directly east of the Radcliff Center (1751 Radcliff St, Garden City, MI 48135).
These areas are depicted on campus maps and have been chosen to provide visibility and allow communication to a large number of students, administrators, faculty, and others walking or traveling on College campuses, while minimizing disruption to the educational and other activities of the College.
The College reserves the right to revoke the designation and apply a non-public forum designation.
Prior to use and to facilitate planning and security, registered students or student organizations wishing to use these public forum areas must check in with the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer. Members of the public who are not registered students must receive permission before engaging in free speech and/or expressive activity on any College campus. These requests must be submitted using Form – Procedure 1062.1 to the VP/CFO office at least 48 hours prior to any activity on campus. If there is a conflict with the use of the specified area, an alternative site may be offered.
Areas of the College that are non-public forums specifically include classrooms, campus offices, warehouses, maintenance yards, parking lots, driveways, locker rooms, and any other area as determined by the College.
DISTRIBUTION OF LITERATURE
College Bulletin Boards
Recognized campus organizations, students, faculty, staff members or members of the public may post, circulate, or distribute literature in those areas designated as public forums on the Schoolcraft College campuses in accordance with existing laws and regulations. Advertising or distribution of alcohol or any other drug literature is strictly prohibited.
- The Student Activities Office must stamp all postings. Materials cannot exceed 8½” X 11”, must clearly identify the group responsible and will remain posted for no longer than three weeks.
- Posting on brick, glass, wood, and painted surfaces is prohibited.
- Local businesses are prohibited from posting on the bulletin boards (campus related posting only).
Materials and Literature
- When distributing materials, all materials must include the name of the co-sponsoring organization or individual.
- Distribution of materials that are obscene as defined by state law, are defamatory, or that incite students to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on the College premises, or the violation of lawful community college regulations or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the College is prohibited.
- Materials may not be forced upon passersby, nor may the individual(s) distributing materials follow students to their classroom, or impede the process of, or in any way harass, passersby. No person distributing materials shall touch or strike passersby, unless contact is initiated by a passerby.
- Advertising of alcohol or any other drug is prohibited.
- Any literature that is discarded or dropped, (rather than in a trash receptacle), must be retrieved and removed, or properly discarded in a trash receptacle, by those persons distributing the material, prior to their departure from the area.
- Parties distributing literature may provide their own table and chair(s) from which to distribute, but the placement of such must not impede the flow of foot traffic through the area.
The following requirements and restrictions are in place to respect the integrity of the educational process and prevent disruption of the learning environment and operation of the College. The following applies to amplification equipment/systems:
- Amplification is permitted in the public forum area on the Livonia campus only. For the hours of permitted use of amplification, please contact the Vice President/CFO or designee. Amplification is not permitted during the final week of each semester. Levels of amplification must not exceed a volume of 65 decibels at a distance of 50 feet.
- In the event there is more than one user in the area, only the user first requesting amplification shall be entitled to use amplification. In the event that the first user does not wish to use amplification; the second user shall be entitled to use amplification. Under no circumstances shall there be joint amplification systems or more than one amplification system in use in the same area.
- The College has no responsibility to provide any equipment or supplies.
The College reserves the right to stop any activity that substantially interferes with or disrupts the normal activities of the College, interferes with the educational process, or violates any of the conditions under the College Policy or this procedure. Any person or persons who violate any of the rules listed above will be advised of the violation and may be removed from College property by Schoolcraft College Police or local police in accordance with the Schoolcraft College Procedures and Regulations on Trespassing. Such persons shall also be subject to appropriate legal action. Students may be disciplined for violation of this policy as it relates to the Student Code of Conduct and Judicial Procedures.
Free Speech, Expressive Activity and Public Forum Procedure
Schoolcraft College respects your need to engage in expressive activity on campus. Expressive activity is defined as the carrying or displaying of signs or placards, leafleting, campaigning, marches, rallies, parades, demonstrations, protests, assemblies, speeches, circulation of petitions, or any public demonstration on the grounds of the College. Expressive activity inside College buildings is prohibited.
For more information on how to request for permission to engage in expressive activity on College grounds, call 734-462-4325. Permission is subject to Board Policy 1062 and Procedure 1062.1.