At South Central College, freedom of expression is vital to our shared goal of the pursuit of knowledge, as is the right of all members of the College community to explore new ideas and learn from one another.
To preserve an environment of spirited and open debate, we should all have the opportunity to contribute to intellectual exchanges and participate fully in the life of the College.
This policy is effective on the campuses of South Central College and any other property controlled by the College. Members of the College community, including employees, students, guests and visitors, are subject to this policy
Members of the South Central College community may exercise their First Amendment rights of free speech on the campus. While the College respects the rights and freedoms of every individual, the College encourages individuals to be guided by the principles outlined in the “Civil Behavior in a College Setting” section of this document.
The College maintains its right to place reasonable restrictions on time, place and manner of expression and prohibits any acts that disrupt the normal operations of the College (e.g. teaching, study, research, administration, meetings and/or other authorized and permissible use of College facilities), infringe on the rights and privileges of others, endanger the safety of any person(s) and/or cause damage to property. While the interpretation of these factors may be subjective, the College must reasonably act in order to protect the members of the College community and any College property. Any member of the College community who engages in disruptive conduct will be subject to disciplinary action and any disruptive guests will be referred to local law enforcement.
In accordance with Minnesota State law, participants in a protest or demonstration must not obstruct the free movement of persons about the campus or block access to and from College offices and/or buildings. In the interest of public safety, attention must be paid to the occupancy limits in the space used. Adherence to building closures is expected of people participating in a protest or demonstration within a College building and College officials will require that protestors or demonstrators leave at the time of building closure.
Application of this policy does not preclude the application of other College or Minnesota State policies or regulations that may be warranted by a situation. Furthermore, a protest or demonstration that significantly disrupts the operations of the College or fails to adhere to building closures may lead to arrest and prosecution for violations of City or State ordinances or State or Federal statutes. Members of the College community may also be subject to disciplinary action.
Civil Behavior in a College Setting
The ideas of different members of the College community will frequently conflict, and we do not attempt to shield people from ideas that they may find unwelcome, disagreeable or even offensive. Nor, as a general rule, does the College intervene to enforce social standards of civility. There are, however, some circumstances in which behavior so violates our community's standards that formal College intervention may be appropriate. The College may restrict expression that violates the law or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the College. In addition, the College may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression to ensure that it does not disrupt the ordinary activities of the College.
Advance Arrangements for Public Expression
South Central College recognizes that campuses are marketplaces of ideas. Advance notification enables the College to ensure participants’ safety and to assist organizers so the event takes place in a constructive and peaceable manner and does not disrupt the normal functioning of the College.
For events occurring on the campus of South Central College or any other property controlled by the College, organizers are required to request approval from the VP of Finance and Operations at least 48 hours prior to the requested start of any event. Events shall be held in the following designated spaces only:
- North Mankato – White Parking Lot
- Faribault – South Parking Lot outside of Door 15
Placards, Banners and Signs
Placards, banners, and signs are generally allowed but may not be dangerous for others or impede the participation of others in the normal life of the College. If the use of placards, banners, and signs are deemed to be dangerous or impede the participation of others, College officials will require the individuals carrying the placards, banners, or signs to move to a different location or remove their materials.
Protest and Demonstration Duration
Protests and demonstrations are normally permitted until or unless College officials determine that College operations have been compromised and/or the rights of others have been significantly infringed. Interference with instruction or regular scheduled events is viewed as particularly disruptive to the College. While the interpretation of these factors may be subjective, the College must reasonably act in order to protect the members of the College community and any College property.
A protest, demonstration or event on campus may invite another form of protest, demonstration or event by persons with views that differ. The College respects the rights and freedoms of every individual and the expression of all parties is important. If protected speech activities combine to become disruptive, the College reserves the right to relocate one or both activities or to maintain a perimeter to promote physical safety.
Speech That Is Not Protected
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution does not protect conduct that threatens the health, safety or welfare of persons. Any speech that inflicts or threatens harm, causes a breach of the peace, incites an individual(s) to commit a crime or causes panic is not considered protected speech. While the interpretation of these factors may be subjective, the College must reasonably act in order to protect the members of the College community and any College property.
In keeping with its long-standing traditions and policies, South Central College considers students, employees, applicants for admission or employment, and those seeking access to College programs on the basis of individual merit. The College does not discriminate with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or other protected classes as required by law (including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972).
The Chief Human Resource Officer is the College official responsible for coordinating compliance with this Notice of Nondiscrimination.
Date of Last Review: 10/13/2020