Policy 1311 – Campus Speech and Demonstration Policy
Effective Date: 9/12/2018
Responsible Office: Executive Vice President and Vice President for Student Advancement
Reference: Policy 4105 – Facilities Usage Policy
The Universities of Louisiana are fully committed to free speech among students, faculty, staff, and visitors. To fulfill our primary role of discovering and disseminating knowledge, a free interchange of ideas is necessary. We pride ourselves on being bastions of free expression and believe a culture of intense inquiry and informed argument generates lasting ideas. This freedom comes with a responsibility to welcome and promote expression for all people, even in disagreement or opposition. The right is inclusive of peaceful protests and orderly demonstrations but does not allow any conduct that disrupts University operations or endangers the safety of others. Louisiana Tech University unequivocally supports and endorses free speech and free expression among its students, faculty, and staff. The University strives to ensure the fullest degree of intellectual freedom and free expression on campus. It is not the proper role of the University to shield individuals from speech protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution of Louisiana, and other applicable laws, including, without limitation, ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Students and faculty have the freedom to discuss any topic that presents itself, as provided under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution of Louisiana and as other applicable laws permit, in a manner which does not materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the University and within the limits on time, place, and manner of expression stated herein.
The “Public Areas” of Campus mean all Outdoor Areas. The “Outdoor Areas” mean outside areas generally accessible to the majority of students, administrators, faculty, and staff such as grassy areas, walkways, or other similar common areas, and do not include areas where access is restricted. The Public Areas of campus are deemed by State law as traditional public forums and are open on the same terms to any speaker. On Public Areas, students and faculty may assemble, distribute literature, and engage in spontaneous expressive activity as long as such activity is not unlawful and does not materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the University. Any person lawfully present on campus in a Public Area may protest or demonstrate there. Protests and demonstrations that infringe upon the constitutional rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity by creating a substantial and material disruption to the functioning of the institution or to someone’s expressive activity shall not be permitted. University Facilities are not Public Areas under this policy. Certain Facilities are made available for reservation in accordance with Policy 4105 – Facilities Usage Policy. Further, this policy does not apply to University-sponsored activities.
Time, Place, and Manner Limitations
In order to maintain safety, security, and order, the University reserves the right to limit such activities by the following regulations regarding time, place, and manner of such activities. Except as allowed by law, the University shall not apply these restrictions in a discriminatory manner toward the content of the view being expressed or the speaker, or in any manner that otherwise infringes on any form of speech or conduct that is protected by the First Amendment.
Large Group Expression:
If an individual or group of individuals attracts a group of 20 or more persons, then a representative from the group is encouraged to contact the Student Development Office or University Police as soon as circumstances reasonably permit. The University reserves the right to direct a group of 20 or more persons to another available Public Area in order to ensure the safety of campus members, to provide for proper crowd control, and to limit disruption of the academic and other operations of the University. Any relocation must not be based on the content or viewpoint of the expression.
The following equipment limitations and prohibited activities apply to all expressive activity in Public Areas:
No musical instrument or sound amplification equipment of any kind, including stereo speakers, turntables, stationary or mobile public address systems are allowed on Public Areas without the advance approval by the office of the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Student Advancement.
Expressions, assemblies, or demonstrations may not:
- Engage in provocations by fighting words or incitements to engage in immediate violence;
- Make threats which demonstrate a serious expression of intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals;
- Interfere with the free and unimpeded flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on campus or the entry or exit into and out of University facilities;
- Materially and substantially disrupt the normal activities of the University;
- Express or exhibit obscenity as defined by law;
- Advocate the deliberate violation of law by preparing the group addressed for imminent action and seeing it to such action.
- Engage in commercial or for-profit activities absent a prior written agreement with the University authorizing such activities.
Administration, enforcement, and appeals: These regulations shall be administered and enforced by the office of the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Student Advancement, the University Police, and such other University officials as shall be designated. Visitors to the campus and all others violating these regulations regarding time, place, and manner of speech and demonstration will be subject to immediate eviction or removal from the campus without further warning by appropriate University agents or officials and may be subject to appropriate legal action. Individual students violating these regulations may, upon written complaint to the office of the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Student Advancement, be subject to action by the University Behavioral Standards Committee. Student organizations violating these regulations may, upon written complaint to the office of the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Student Advancement, be subject to action by the University Student Organizations Committee.
Nothing in this policy is intended nor should be understood as an endorsement or approval by Louisiana Tech University of any speech or demonstration, an invitation or license to speak or demonstrate, or the granting of any right or permission to speak or demonstrate on campus beyond the rights existing under federal and state law.
For more information, contact the office of the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Student Advancement.
Any person aggrieved by a violation of this policy may file a written appeal of the decision or action to the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Student Advancement or his or her designee within fourteen (14) calendar days of the decision or action. The Executive Vice President and Vice President for Student Advancement shall provide a written response to the appellant within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the appeal unless, for good cause, additional time is needed to ascertain facts or speak with the appellant or relevant officials. If additional time is needed, such time shall not exceed an additional fourteen (14) days and a notice of additional time needed shall be delivered to the appellant in writing before expiration of the original fourteen (14) day response time. The decision of the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Student Advancement shall be final.
This policy supersedes and nullifies any provision in the policies and regulations of the University that restricts speech on campus and is therefore inconsistent with this policy on free expression.