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Freedom of Expression (Policy)

Office of Origin: Marketing
Executive Director of Marketing 
Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs 
Vice President, Student Affairs 
Executive Director, Mendel Center Operations  
Original Date Adopted: 10-24-08 
Dates Reviewed: 8-5-20, 8-20-21(C), 10-20-21 (C) 
Last Date Board Approved: 8-5-20 

This policy is applicable to faculty, staff, students, student employees, visitors, and contractors.  

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 Lake Michigan College (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.  

The 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 100 feet from the event 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.  

In addition, the event sponsor must consult with the Executive Director, Marketing for an employee-sponsored event, the Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs for an academic event, or the Vice President, Student Affairs for a student organization event regarding the logistical arrangements.  Outside client events must consult with the Executive Director, Mendel Operations. 

Guidelines for Dissent and Protest 

  • The scheduling of a speaker or event known or considered to provoke public controversy requires adequate notice.  
  • Dissent is welcome at the College; disruption of College activities will not be tolerated.  
  • Students, employees and guests are free to support causes by orderly means that do not disrupt College operations or activities.  
  • Individual members of the College community speak only for themselves in their public expressions or demonstrations. College Marketing Services coordinates and issues all institutional response to the media.  
  • Individuals may distribute materials, including printed political and advocacy materials related to First Amendment activities and political demonstrating, where it will not interfere with classes or any other College function. Literature may only be posted on the public bulletin board space located in each facility. Political campaign posters and other such materials are not allowed to be installed on College property.  
  • Protesters may neither impede nor harass people wishing to attend an event or to see or hear a speaker.    
  • Protesters will be assigned to a particular place 100 feet from the event on campus by a College employee or representative. Protesting is only permitted outside of a College facility. Assigned space will be at least 100 feet from the entrance of a College building.  
  • Disruption, force, or threat of force is not an acceptable form of protest at the College and will not be tolerated.   
  • Any individual whom the College deems to violate this policy will be considered a trespasser, and the appropriate law enforcement will be notified.  
  • The College may, at its discretion, call upon law enforcement agencies for assistance and/or may impose its own disciplinary sanctions upon person(s) who violate this policy.  

Process for Filing a Complaint or Reporting a Violation of This Policy 

If an individual or organization wishes to file a complaint or report a violation of this policy, they should submit the information in writing to the President within five business days of the underlying situation, stating the basis for their conclusion and the relief sought. The President, or their designee, will investigate and respond, in writing, within five business days of President’s receipt of the information.  

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