6.13.1 Freedom of Expression Procedure

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Chapter 6: Facilities

6.13.1 Freedome of Expression Procedure

Related Minnesota State Board Policy:

1B.1 – Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education

3.1 – Student Rights & Responsibilities

Related Minnesota State Board Procedure: 6.7.2 Use of College and University Facilities

Introduction: Normandale protects freedom of speech expression, petition, and peaceful assembly.

Part 1: Facilities Use at Normandale

Subpart A: In recognizing the tradition of the ‘public square,’ Normandale has established the following outdoor areas for public expression:

• The front entrance of the Partnership Center/Kopp Student Center
• Fine Arts entrance (Door 13) coming from the parking ramp

Other outdoor areas may be available after receiving approval from the Vice President of Finance and Operations or a designated official at least 48 hours in advance. The designated public expression areas above are open to the public and do not require an advance reservation during business hours on Monday-Friday (available at www.normandale.edu/service-hours). However, notification of the intent to use the space is strongly suggested in order to ensure that a location is available. A facilities request form is available at http://www.normandale.edu/community/rent-facilities.


Subpart B: Indoor areas for public expression require a reservation and approval. Space on campus may be reserved at least 48 hours before use and with the confirmation of the Vice President of Finance and Operations or a designated official. A facility request form is available at http://www.normandale.edu/community/rent-facilities.


Subpart C: The College and its officials reserve the right to relocate unauthorized events to the public expression areas as designated above. Any activities that occur outside of the College business hours on Monday-Friday (available at www.normandale.edu/campus-service-hours) will be considered disruptive and those involved could be subject to both criminal charges and College disciplinary action.

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Part 2: Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions

Subpart A: The College will use the following guidelines to manage events, speakers, and other public activities. Additional College policies and procedures may be utilized by campus officials in addition to those listed in this procedure.

  1. Legal Authority: Individuals participating in events are expected to comply with State and Federal law, municipal ordinances and Normandale Community College policies. Failure to do so may result in immediate removal from the campus and other appropriate action by College officials and/or the police, which could include being cited for trespassing.

  2. Demonstration: Gesturing, wearing symbolic clothing, or otherwise protesting is permissible unless it is disruptive to College operations or impedes access. If protected speech activities combine to become disruptive, the College reserves the right to relocate activities or to maintain a perimeter to promote safety.

  3. Disruptive/Unsafe Demonstrations: A demonstration is disruptive or unsafe if it includes any activity that:
    1. Denies or unreasonably interferes with the rights of other students, faculty, or staff of the College, including the rights of others to demonstrate.
    2. Occurs in a way that blocks entrances, exits, or passageways from or to any College building, vehicle traffic on or to the campus, or interferes with the daily business, traffic flow, and ingress/egress patterns.
    3. Does not cease in case of an emergency or building evacuation.
    4. Violates any ordinance or law, places the health or safety of any member of the College community at risk, employs force/violence, or threatens force/violence against any persons or property.
    5. Creates a volume of noise that prevents members of the College community from carrying on their normal activities.
    6. Fails to comply with any other College policy or other lawful directive, including a directive to cease the event.
      Disruptive or unsafe demonstrations will be suspended immediately at the discretion of the Associate Vice President of Operations or a designated official. The Associate Vice President of Operations reserves the right to determine what constitutes a disturbance, obstruction, or unsafe activity/event.
  4. Banners and Signs: The carrying or display of posters, signs, placards or banners in a way that inhibits the normal movement of any vehicular traffic or pedestrian movement or presents safety hazards, on College property is prohibited.

  5. Temporary Structures/Displays/Exhibits: Structures may be constructed only upon authorization by the Associate Vice President of Operations.

  6. Use of Fire: Any torches, flammable outdoor displays, or open fires must be approved by the Director of Public Safety. Use of candles is only permissible in an outdoor area with the permission of the Director of Public Safety.

  7. Responsibility Toward Property: Care must be taken to insure that College and personal property is not damaged, destroyed, or left littered. Those responsible for such damage will be liable for any clean-up or repair costs.

  8. Preference for Student and College Events: Normandale may, from time to time, at its discretion, reserve areas designated for public expression exclusively for students or for College sponsored events.

  9. Preference for Scheduled or Reserved Purposes: Activities in designated public expression areas must be conducted so as to avoid interference with the regularly scheduled or reserved functions of that space and the College.

  10. Available Time for Events: Events may occur only during the College’s Business Hours (available at www.normandale.edu/service-hours).

  11. Sound Levels: Noise levels should not interfere with classes, meetings, campus events or operations, and activities in progress. Event noise heard within buildings may be determined disruptive and in violation of this policy. While the interpretation of the sound level may be subjective, Normandale and its representatives must err on the side of caution in order to reasonably protect the College’s operations. City ordinances may also apply.

  12. Speech That Is Not Protected: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution does not protect speech or expression that threatens the health, safety or welfare of persons in the College community. Any speech that has the effect or is designed to cause a breach of the peace; incite an individual or individuals to commit a crime; threatens to do harm; or speech that causes a panic is not considered protected speech. While the interpretation of these factors may be subjective, Normandale and its representatives must err on the side of caution in order to reasonably protect the College community members and property.
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  Procedure History:
Date of Adoption: 2020
Procedure Owner: Dara Hagen/Jason Cardinal
Date and Subject of Revisions: 1/9/2020
Next Review Date: 1/21/2023
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