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Freedom of Expression

Office of Origin: Administrative Services
Date Adopted: 10-24-08
Date Reviewed:
Last Date Modified & Approved: 08-24-10

Policy Statement:
Freedom of thought and expression is essential to any institution of higher learning. Uncensored speech - which does not include a right to harass, injure, or silence others - is essential in an academic community. Members of the College community should understand those standards of civility, consideration, and tolerance must shape our interactions with each other. Infringing upon the expression of views, either by interfering with a speaker or by defacing or removing properly posted or distributed notices or materials, will not be tolerated.

Controversial Events and Speakers
Lake Michigan College reserves the right to control the time, place, and manner of events that occur on campus. The College does not seek to censor the expression of ideas, but rather to maintain campus safety and order. Protesters may be assigned to particular places on campus by College staff or their representative. Demonstrations by members of the College community may occur on campus but must not disrupt the regular operation of the College. The scheduling of a speaker or event known or considered to provoke public controversy requires adequate notice. In addition, the event sponsor must consult with the Vice President, Administrative Services and Special Assistant to the President (for a department or employee-sponsored event) or the Executive Dean, Student Services (for a student or student organization event) regarding the logistical arrangements. Outside client events must consult with the Executive Director, Mendel Operations.

Guidelines for Dissent and Protest
1. Reasoned dissent is welcome at Lake Michigan College; disruption of College activities will not be tolerated.
2. Students, staff and College guests and visitors are free to support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt College operations or activities.
3. Individual members of the College community speak only for themselves in their public expressions or demonstrations. Lake Michigan College Marketing Services coordinates institutional response to the media.
4. Members of the College community are welcome to distribute literature where it will not interfere with classes or other College functions. However, literature may only be posted on the public bulletin board space located in each facility. Political campaign posters and placards are not allowed to be installed on College property.
5. Protesters may neither impede nor harass people wishing to attend an event or to see or hear a speaker.
6. Protesting will only be permitted outside of any Lake Michigan College facility. Assigned space will be at least one hundred feet from the entrance of any College building.
7. Disruption, force, or threat of force is not an acceptable form of protest at Lake Michigan College and will not be tolerated.
8. Any individual who the College deems to violate these guidelines is a trespasser.
9. Lake Michigan College may, in its discretion, call upon local law enforcement agencies for assistance and/or may impose its own disciplinary sanctions upon person(s) who violate these guidelines.

Responsibility: Vice President, Administrative Services and Special Assistant to the President; Executive Dean, Student Services; Executive Director, Mendel Operations

References: