Section VI - Employment Matters

VI B 19

Employee Conduct - Free Speech and Public Assembly

To describe the College's policy for exercising free speech on campus

Randolph Community College encourages its students and the community to exercise the right to freedom of speech granted by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. In adherence to these rights, the College protects the rights of free speech, petition, and peaceable assembly. This policy informs members of the College community and the public of the manner in which they may engage in constitutionally protected speech and expression at Randolph Community College. This policy is intended to protect one’s right to freedom of speech without interfering with the primary educational purpose of the College. Interferences include any situations which may compromise the College’s ability to provide a suitable environment for students, faculty, and staff to study, conduct research, and perform activities without undue interference. Any acts that are disruptive to normal operations of the College will not be tolerated. Persons engaged in disruptive activity including students, faculty, and staff may be subject to disciplinary or criminal action. The College has adopted the following guidelines to ensure the rights of free speech while maintaining the proper educational environment.

Registration and Use of Designated Free Speech Area

The College hereby designates the following areas as Free Speech/Expression areas:

  • Main Campus: Grassy area directly behind the Learning Resource Center
  • Archdale Center: End of parking lot B to the right of the front entrance
  • Emergency Service Training Center: 25 ft to the right of the entrance gate
These areas shall be available for use by both members of the College community and members of the general public. However, events sponsored by members of the College community shall have first priority in using the Free Speech/Expression areas. Requests for the use of these designated areas will be assigned to the person or organization that requests the area first. The College reserves the right to relocate any assembly to ensure that the activity does not interfere with the normal operation of the College or interfere with the rights of others.

Requests for Free Speech

Individuals or groups wishing to exercise their free speech should submit a written and signed request using the facility usage form to the Office of the Vice President for Administrative Services at least three working days prior to the desired date. The following information will also be required.

  • Name of the person or organization submitting the request
  • Address, email, and phone number
  • Date and times requested
  • List of planned activities (i.e., speech, signs, distribution of literature)
  • Anticipated number of participants and attendance
  • Signature of requestor
Approvals are for one day only and a maximum of three continuous hours, between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Guidelines for Speech and Public Assembly

  1. Amplification Systems: Because amplification systems pose a significant potential for disruption of College operation, public address and amplification systems may not be used. This includes, but is not limited to, megaphones and PA systems.
  2. Opposing Opinions: People with opposing opinions do not have the right to disrupt an authorized public assembly. If they choose to disagree in an appropriate form, they must comply with the requirements under Requests for Free Speech.
  3. A person with an opposing opinion must not substantially interfere with the speaker’s ability to communicate or the audiences’ ability to hear and see the speaker. Likewise, the audience must respect someone’s right to disagree.
  4. Picketing and Distribution of Literature: Picketing in an orderly manner or distributing literature within the free speech area is acceptable when approved during the request process as coordinated and approved by the Vice President for Administrative Services.
  5. Picketing is not permitted inside College buildings or on College grounds outside the designated area.
  6. Symbolic Protest: During a presentation, displaying a sign, gesturing, wearing symbolic clothing, or otherwise protesting silently is permissible so long as the symbolic protest does not unduly interfere with the ability of the person or entity reserving an area for free speech/expression to express themselves and must be confined to the designated area.
Conduct and Manner

Those who exercise free speech as a part of this policy must not:

  1. Threaten passers-by.
  2. Interfere with, impede, or cause blockage of the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  3. Interfere with or disrupt any other lawful activity in the same general location at the same time.
  4. Commit any act likely to create an imminent safety or health hazard.
  5. Post materials on any walls, windows, doors, sidewalks, trees, light poles, etc., or any other College equipment except in areas designated by the Vice President for Administrative Services.
  6. Use signs or placards used in connection with the activity that contain obscene language or words that would tend to incite violence.
  7. Make record by audio or visual means (photography, video recording, etc.) of any faculty, staff, or student without obtaining written permission from the person being recorded.

Public speech or activities likely to incite or produce imminent lawless action or that is, under current legal standards, either defamatory or obscene are prohibited. Violations of the Randolph Community College Student Code of Conduct are prohibited.

Individuals who damage or destroy College property shall be held responsible for such damage or destruction. This includes lawns, shrubs, trees, etc.

A request for use of free speech areas may be denied if determined that the proposed speech/activity will constitute a clear and present danger to the orderly operation of the College.

All applicable College regulations, state, and federal laws and municipal ordinances apply when engaging in activities on College property. Failure to do so may result in immediate removal from College property and other appropriate action by College officials and/or police.

Interference with Free Speech or Public Assembly

Persons shall not physically interfere in the use of the sidewalk or address obscene, indecent, or threatening language to or at individuals to provoke them or lead to a breach of the peace.

Whenever free passage is obstructed by a crowd, the persons composing such crowd shall disperse when directed by College officials, security.


Adopted: 11/19/2009