Expressive Activity

Board Policy 8.011

    1. Purpose of policy. The purpose of this Policy is to promote the free exchange of ideas and the safe and efficient operation of Delta College (“College”) by:
      • Fostering free speech, assembly, and other expressive activities, regardless of the viewpoint being expressed;
      • Maintaining an appropriate educational and work environment for all persons present on College property; and
      • Protecting and maintaining the security of College property, students, employees and visitors.
      1. In developing and administering this Policy, the College recognizes the freedoms guaranteed by the United States and Michigan constitutions, including freedom of speech and assembly. The College also recognizes the need to preserve and protect its property, students, guests and employees, and to ensure the effective operation of educational, business, and related activities of the College.
      2. Expressive activities on a College campus may be subject to reasonable regulation with regard to the time, place, and manner of the activities. College employees will not consider the viewpoint of expressive activities when enforcing this Policy, including by restricting  expression based on concerns about a negative reaction to the expression. 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.
      3. Expressive activities carried out under this Policy will not be considered to be speech made by, on behalf of, or endorsed by, the College.
    1. Scope.  
      This Policy applies on all College campuses. This Policy does not apply to use of any area of a College campus by or for the following:
      • By a College employee acting in the course of the employee’s job responsibilities. 
      • During official events sponsored by the College.  
      • For advertising or selling merchandise or services for commercial purposes. Any person or organization desiring to sell or advertise merchandise or services on a College campus should contact the Dean of Student Success or designee.
    2. Definitions. The following definitions apply for purposes of this Policy:
      1. Expressive Activity” means carrying or displaying of signs or placards, leafleting, campaigning, marches, rallies, parades, protests, assemblies, speeches, circulation of petitions, or any demonstration on College Grounds.
      2. Registered Student Club or Organization” (RSO) means a group of College students registered with the College Student Development Center. To register, the group must submit a statement of purpose and a current list of officer(s) or designated representative(s). Groups are also required to choose a Faculty or staff advisor to assist them. Students may contact the Student Development Center for recommendations of potential advisors. RSOs are free to invite speakers, to hear any person, and to plan programs of their own choosing, subject to the written requirements of this Policy to ensure proper scheduling and use of the facilities.
      3. Publicly Accessible Outdoor Area of Campus” means a College sidewalk or an area labeled as “publicly accessible” on a campus map attached to this Policy. 
      4. College Ground” includes, in addition to Publicly Accessible Outdoor Areas of Campus, all College buildings and facilities including auditoriums, athletic facilities, athletic fields, parking lots, garages, and driveways.
    3. Expressive Activity in Publicly Accessible Outdoor Areas of Campus.
      1. General Access
        Any person or group may use, without prior notification or permission, any Publicly Accessible Outdoor Area of Campus for Expressive Activity, consistent with this Policy, provided that the area is not being used by another person or group that reserved the area pursuant to Policy Section IV(C), below. Federal, state and local laws will be enforced, as applicable. 
      2. Large groups
        Except in the circumstances described below, any group whose use of a Publicly Accessible Outdoor Area of Campus for Expressive Activity is expected or reasonably likely to have more than twenty (20) people in attendance shall notify the Dean of Student Success (or designee) at least two (2) business days before the day of the activity. Notification shall include information as to the specific location requested to be used for the event and the estimated expected number of persons, and the name and contact information of at least one person who can be contacted regarding logistics of the event, which should include at least one person who will be personally present at the event.

        Prior notice enables the College to ensure that there is sufficient space for the large group event, that the large group event does not conflict with any another College event or use, and that sufficient College resources are available for crowd control and security. If such advance notice is not feasible because of circumstances that could not be reasonably anticipated, such as because of very recent or still-unfolding news developments, the person or group must provide the College with as much advance notice as circumstances reasonably permit.

        The College may direct groups that exceed twenty (20) individuals to areas that do not interfere with another College event or use, public safety, the educational process, and unobstructed access to the College for its students, faculty, employees, and occupants.
      3. Reserved Space
        A person or group may request to reserve a Publicly Accessible Outdoor Area of Campus for Expressive Activity. The request must be submitted to the Dean of Student Success (or designee) at least two (2) business days before the event and shall include information as to the specific location requested to be used for the event and the estimated expected number of persons, and the name and contact information of at least one person who can be contacted regarding logistics of the event, which should include at least one person who will be personally present at the event.

        A request to reserve a Publicly Accessible Outdoor Area of Campus for Expressive Activity will be granted unless the use would conflict or interfere with a previously scheduled event or activity or violate College policy. A person or group that has reserved a specific area under this Policy will have priority over any other persons seeking to use the area during the scheduled time period. The Dean of Student Success (or designee) will communicate a decision in writing to the requester within one (1) business day of receiving the reservation request and, if denied, will set forth the basis for the denial.
    4. Expressive Activity on College Grounds Other Than Publicly Accessible Outdoor Areas of Campus
      This Policy Section only applies to College Grounds other than Publicly Accessible Outdoor Areas of Campus. 
      1. Registered Student Clubs and Organizations (RSOs).  An RSO may request to use designated College Grounds for Expressive Activity by completing the Room Scheduling Request Form available on the College student portal. A request will be granted unless it would conflict or interfere with a previously scheduled event or activity or violate College policy. 
      2. Enrolled Students in General. Use of College Grounds for Expressive Activity by currently enrolled College students – other than uses described in Policy Sections IV and V(A) – are governed by the applicable College Student Rights and Responsibilities and facilities access/use rules and are subject to Policy Section VI to the same extent as other uses covered by this Policy.  Enrolled College students are free to invite speakers, to hear any person, and to plan programs of their own choosing, subject to the written requirements of this Policy to ensure proper scheduling and use of the facilities.
      3. Others. A person or group – other than an RSO or currently enrolled College student – may only use College Grounds on a reserved basis to the extent the College has determined in its discretion to make those College Grounds available for fee-based use under a separate facilities use policy or procedures. Inquiries about fee-based use/rental of College Grounds should be directed to the Dean of Student Success or designee. 
    5. Rules
      Use of College Grounds pursuant to this Policy is subject to the following:
      1. In order to maintain the security, safety and aesthetic appearance of College Grounds, and to provide for regular maintenance, improvements or alterations, Expressive Activity on a Publicly Accessible Outdoor Area of Campus may occur only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. (or otherwise on College Grounds as prescribed in a properly approved reservation form or use agreement) and shall at no time block any entrance or exit of College buildings, or impede free access to or through College buildings, parking lots, streets, and sidewalks by the Colleges students, faculty, employees, occupants, or the public.
      2. No activity on College Grounds shall substantially impede or interfere with College business, the educational process, or public access to College grounds.
      3. To provide for regular maintenance, improvements or alterations of the College grounds and in order to maintain the security, safety and aesthetic appearance of the College and College grounds, equipment, signs, banners or structures of any kind that are placed on the College grounds shall be free standing and shall not be affixed to any building, tree, monument, fixture or other College structure. The equipment, signs, banners or structures shall be entirely removed at the conclusion of the Expressive Activity, or no later than 8:00 p.m. on the day of any Expressive Activity on a Publicly Accessible Outdoor Area of Campus.  Structures (whether for shelter or for any other purpose) must be pre-approved by the Dean of Student Success (or designee).
      4. Due to the presence of underground utility, electrical and drainage lines, signs, banners or other objects shall not be driven into the ground and shall they be supported in or by any tree, monument or other structure affixed to the College grounds. Signs, banners or objects supported by freestanding devices may not be left unattended, i.e., an individual must be stationed within six feet of a freestanding sign or banner at all times to prevent damage to the property and injury to individuals.
      5. Defacing or damaging the College grounds, including but not limited to trees, shrubbery, flowers, lawns, sidewalks, parking lots, fences, lighting fixtures, light wells, fire hydrants, benches, statues, monuments, plaques, and such subterranean features as are necessary for the maintenance and operation of the College (such as lawn sprinkler systems, sewer and water mains, electrical conduit, etc.), or any other feature is not allowed. Likewise, defacing or damaging the exterior walls and surfaces of the buildings, including the entrances, porches and staircases, is not allowed.
      6. Stepping or climbing upon statues, monuments, fences, lighting fixtures, light wells, trees, or parts of the College building not intended for such purposes is not allowed.
      7. No sign located within 50 feet of a roadway, entrance or exit shall be larger than 3' x 3', and no sign shall block the sight lines of drivers entering or exiting the College grounds or traveling on a public roadway around the College.
      8. Vehicles are not allowed on the College grounds, except in areas designated for vehicular use.
      9. Camping or sleeping overnight on the College Grounds is not allowed.
      10. Alcoholic beverages or any other controlled substance shall not be possessed, dispensed, or consumed on the College Grounds.
      11. Individuals distributing literature shall remove all discarded items from the general area(s) of distribution at the conclusion of their activity.  To reduce litter, pollution, and the chance of spreading communicable disease, current College students and RSOs are strongly encouraged to use electronic bulletin boards made available by the College for Expressive Activity in lieu of hand-to-hand distribution and physical bulletin board and wall posting of written materials. Directions for posting on an electronic bulletin board are on the College student activities webpage. 
      12. Distribution/solicitation by placing any material on vehicles in the parking lots or garages is prohibited. Leaving trash, litter, materials or pollutants in any area is prohibited.
      13. Firearms, or other weapons are not permitted on any College campus, except as required by law.
      14. All persons must comply with all College policies, Campus Rules and Regulations, and local, state and federal ordinances and statutes.
    6. Enforcement
      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 covering Expressive Activity under this Policy.  Any person who violates this Policy may be subject to an order to leave College property.  Employees in violation of this Policy may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.  Students in violation of this Policy may be subject to discipline under the applicable Code of Conduct.

Board Action 5387 – May 11, 2021