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University Policy Office

Shelly Bachus, Policy Director
Administration 208
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4730
sgonzalez@ucmo.edu



Public Speech Activities Policy
Board of Governors Policy 1.2.160
Approved by the Board of Governors on February 12, 2016

I. Purpose

The freedom to assemble and exchange views is an essential component of the education process. This policy is intended to clarify the rights and responsibilities of the University of Central Missouri, members of the university community, visitors and guests regarding public speech activities.

Note: For the purposes of this policy “public speech activities” may include demonstrations (individual or collective), picketing, distribution of leaflets/publications, sit-ins, marches, mass gatherings and all other similar gatherings.

II. Policy

A. The University of Central Missouri will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the campus is free from material and substantial disruptions to the functioning of the institution.

B. Members of the university community, visitors and guests will engage in the exercise of public speech activities without engaging in conduct that constitutes harassment or discrimination as defined in applicable University policies, that is otherwise prohibited by law, or that materially and substantially disrupts the functioning of the institution.

C. Members of the university community, visitors and/or guests planning a public speech activity will give prior notice to university officials in accordance with the procedures established in Section III of this policy. University officials must be given an opportunity to determine if the functions of the institution will be materially and substantially disrupted by the planned activity. In turn, university officials will work with activity organizers to relocate or otherwise modify the planned activity before a disruption occurs.

D. The university may deny permission for a public speech activity (or may regulate or cancel an ongoing public speech activity) if it materially and substantially disrupts the functioning of the institution, or involves conduct that constitutes harassment or discrimination as defined in applicable University policies, or that is otherwise prohibited by law.

E. Public speech activities may not:

  1.  materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the institution, examples of which include, but are not limited to:

    a. impeding the flow of traffic on campus;
    b. impeding the ability of persons to move freely between buildings on campus;
    c. the volume of the activity is such that it disrupts the ability of students to participate in coursework;
    d. the time and volume of the activity is such that it prevents students living in the University’s housing facilities from sleeping;
    e. the activity incites physical violence or threatens physical violence; or
    f. the activity damages the University’s property;

  2. involve conduct that constitutes harassment or discrimination as defined in applicable University policies, or that is otherwise prohibited by law; or

  3. interfere with another organization that has reserved the same space for the same time, in which case, ample alternative means of expression will be made available.

F. The University may restrict the time, place, and manner of such assemblies in service of a significant institutional interest.

G. Students, faculty and staff are subject to law, ordinances and university policies when they engage in public speech activities, and violations will be addressed through university and/or law enforcement forums. Visitors and guests are subject to law and local ordinances and will be subject to university policies when using university facilities.

H. The authority to make decisions on behalf of the university regarding compliance or noncompliance with this policy, and the authority to make exceptions to this policy, rest with the director of public safety. This official may also consult with officials in the division of student experience and engagement when making decisions regarding issues addressed in this policy. Decisions of the director of public safety pursuant to this policy shall be immediately appealable to the president.

III. Procedure

A. Members of the university community, visitors and/or guests planning to hold or sponsor a public speech activity should provide the Office of Public Safety with notification of the desired time, location, expected attendance of the activity, the type of activity planned and at least 24 hours advance notice of the activity.

B. Members of the university community, visitors and/or guests wishing to use a public address system for a public speech activity must submit a request specifying the type of equipment, intended location, and time and duration of planned use to the Office of Public Safety at least 24 hours prior to the anticipated event. The standard to be applied in granting or denying requests will give primacy to needs for preventing material and substantial disruption to the functioning of the institution.

C. Participation in public speech activities which are disorderly or unlawful will subject a student to possible disciplinary action, which could include suspension from the university.

Approved by the Board of Governors on December 13, 2002
Formatting updated on August 1, 2007
Revised and approved by the Board of Governors on February 12, 2016