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Expressive Activity Policy


  1. The purpose of this policy is to set out the policy and procedures that will govern all expressive activities on CVCC campus properties.
  2. Policy:
    1. This policy applies to all buildings, grounds, and other spaces owned or controlled by a college. The term “expressive activity” includes:
      • Meetings and other group activities of students and student organizations;
      • Speeches, performances, demonstrations, rallies, vigils, and other events by students, student organizations, and outside groups invited by student organizations;
      • Distributions of literature, such as leafleting and pamphleting; and
      • Any other expression protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
    2. This policy does not apply to instances when the speakers, performers, groups, etc. are approved and invited by the college or to external groups that arrange to use college space through a Facilities Use Agreement.
    3. College property is primarily dedicated to academic, student life and administrative functions. But it also represents the “marketplace of ideas,” and especially for students, many areas of campus represent a public forum for speech and other expressive activities. It is our desire to foster an environment that engages the community and promote educational enlightenment. However, our first commitment remains with promoting an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning for our faculty, staff and students.
    4. CVCC will not interfere with the rights of individuals and groups to the free expression of their views or impermissibly regulate their speech based on its content or viewpoint. Nevertheless, CVCC may establish reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on expressive activity.
    5. No event or expressive activity shall be permitted to violate or hinder the rights of others within the campus community or substantially disrupt normal college operations.
  3. Responsibilities:
    CVCC's Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police coordinate the college's efforts regarding this and all concerns, comments and/or questions should be directed to his office.
  4. Procedures for Reserving Campus Facilities:
    1. If students, student organizations, or college employees desire to reserve campus facilities, they shall submit their requests to Student Activities Coordinator. Requests must be made with at least 24 hours' notice. Additional notice may be required to allow for sufficient logistical support and to ensure the safety and security of the campus.
    2. Individuals or organizations who are not members of the college community (i.e. students, student organizations, or college employees) who desire to reserve campus facilities, must be sponsored by a recognized student organization or the college to conduct expressive activities or events on campus. These individuals or organizations should contact the Vice-President of Finance and Administration if interested in being sponsored by the college.
    3. CVCC will assess appropriate fees for equipment and facility use to individuals or groups who are not members of the campus community. Security fees may be assessed to defray the actual costs of providing security when the size of the audience may pose a risk to safety.
    4. Facilities available for use for speaking, peaceful demonstrations and other forms of expressive activities are restricted to the hours between 9:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M., Monday – Thursday and 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M, on Friday when the college is in session, except during the three (3) days prior to and during exam periods.
    5. Students, student organizations, and college employees may request to reserve campus facilities on a first-come, first-served basis. These requests may be denied for the following reasons only:
      1. The requested venue is an indoor facility that the college has designated as not available for expressive activity under section F of this policy;
      2. The requested venue is an indoor facility and the request conflicts with restrictions enacted pursuant to section D(4) of this policy;
      3. The venue is already reserved for another event1;
      4. The activity will attract a crowd larger than the venue can safely contain;
      5. The activity will substantially disrupt another event being held at a neighboring venue2;
      6. The activity will substantially disrupt college operations (including classes);
      7. The activity is a clear and present threat to public safety, according to the college's police or security department assessment;
      8. The activity will occur during college examination periods; or
      9. The activity is unlawful.
    6. During an event, the student, student organization, or college employee requesting the reservation is responsible for preserving and maintaining the facility or property. The person(s) or organization (and its officers, if applicable) shall assume responsibility for damage to the facilities or property.
    7. CVCC will not consider the content or viewpoint of the expression or the possible reaction to that expression. The college will not impose restrictions on students, student organizations, or college employees due to the content or viewpoint of their expression or the possible reaction to that expression. In the event that other persons react negatively to a student's, student organization's, or college employee's expression, CVCC officials (including CVCC police) shall take all necessary steps to ensure public safety while allowing the expressive activity to continue.
  5. Spontaneous Expressive Activity
    1. CVCC outdoor facilities and areas, students, student organizations, and their sponsored guests may freely engage in spontaneous expressive activities as long as they do not (a) block access to campus buildings, (b) obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic, (c) substantially disrupt previously scheduled campus events, (d) substantially disrupt college operations, (e) constitute unlawful activity; or (f) create a clear and present threat to public safety, according to the CVCC's police department.
    2. The Student Center located in Amherst Hall is exclusively the indoor location available for spontaneous expressive activity.
  6. The following areas are Not Available for Expressive Activity. The following indoor areas/facilities are not available for expressive activity:
    • Library
    • Administrative/business offices
    • Classrooms (during instructional hours)
    • Dining area (The Spot) during operating hours
  7. Banners and Distribution of Commercial Materials.
    1. Banners used in expressing speech should comply with the provisions of this policy and cannot be used to block, obstruct or otherwise deny access to any pedestrian or to block or obstruct vehicular traffic.
    2. Distribution of commercial advertising or the placement of commercial material is prohibited in the following areas:
      • Administrative offices
      • Classrooms, computer rooms, laboratories, and other places where instruction takes place
      • Libraries
      • Parking Lots to include placement of materials on vehicles

1In the event that multiple individuals or organizations submit conflicting reservation requests, the following order of precedence shall govern: (1) official college sponsored activities and events; (2) recognized student organization activities and events; (3) student activities and events; and (4) all other activities and events.

2The expression of competing viewpoints or multiple speakers in proximity to each other does not, without more, constitute a substantial disruption.

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