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Fort Lewis College Official Seal

Policy identification number: 11-10

File: Facilities & Physical Plant Policies > Facilities Policies

Public Speech and Peaceful Assembly

Policy Summary

This policy acknowledges the right of individuals to engage in public speech and to peacefully assemble and provides guidelines to exercise individual’s First Amendment Rights. 

Policy Owner

Vice President for Student Affairs

Approval Date

November 29, 2017

Effective Date

November 29, 2017

Search Terms

vpsa, speech, assembly, 11-10, p

Scheduled for Review

Spring 2022

I. Policy Statement

  1. Fort Lewis College (FLC) acknowledges the right of individuals to engage in public speech and to assemble peacefully.  At all times, the college expects the rights and privileges of all persons to be respected, the health and safety of the campus community members and property not to be endangered, and the normal college educational and business activities not to be disrupted.

  2. FLC facilities are first and foremost for use by faculty, staff and students for activities and programs that directly relate to the educational mission of the college.  However, FLC's generally accessible, open, outdoor areas on campus and non-academic publicly accessible facilities are open to individuals or groups for all non-commercial expressive activities, whether planned or spontaneous, including the distribution of material and collection of signatures, as long as those expressive activities do not disrupt the normal functioning of the college, or materially disrupt previously scheduled or reserved activities.

  3. Coordination of Activities for Health and Safety

    1. Any individual or group planning an assembly that is expected to attract a crowd of more than 50 people is required to notify the Student Union Operations & Facilities Scheduling Office of its plan and is strongly encouraged to coordinate its plan with the Office well in advance of the scheduled assembly.  The purpose of the notification and coordination is to facilitate orderly operation of such an assembly within reasonable regulations regarding the time, place, and manner of exercising First Amendment rights, to prevent disruption of the normal college educational and business activities, and to protect the health and safety of the campus community members and property.

    2. Any individual or groups sponsoring an assembly must assume responsibility for compliance with all state and municipal laws and college policies, including the Student Conduct Policy, the Colorado statute on riot offenses (C.R.S. § 23-5-124) and the Colorado statute on students’ right to speak in a public forum (C.R.S. § 23-5-144).

    3. Any individual or group wishing to utilize college space for commercial solicitation and vending may do so through the approval process set forth in Policy 11-4: On-Campus Solicitation and Vending Policy.

  4. Prohibited Areas
    Public speech and peaceful assembly are not allowed inside or within 100 feet of any residential building, inside any special-use facility (e.g., Chapel, Concert Hall, Gymnasium, Library, laboratories, Student Life Center), inside classrooms during academic hours, or in any instance that disrupts the college’s normal educational and business activities.

  5. Prohibited Activities
    Any assembly that impedes the flow of foot-traffic across campus or access to a building, or disrupts normal college educational and business activities, or constitutes defamation, incites violence, or is not protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article II, Section 10 of the Colorado Constitution, is prohibited.

  6. Enforcement
    Individuals and groups who refuse to vacate premises when directed to do so by a college employee or a law enforcement officer may be arrested under any applicable criminal law or municipal ordinances.  Additionally, individuals and groups who violate this policy may be charged with violations of college policy and disciplined, which may result in suspension, expulsion, or employment termination from the college.

II. Reason for Policy 

To protect the health and safety of the campus community members and property. 

III. Responsibilities 

For following the policy: All FLC Community Members and Visitors

For enforcement of the policy: Chief of Police

For oversight of the policy: Vice President for Student Affairs

For notification of policy: Policy Librarian

For procedures implementing the policy: Student Union Operations & Facilities Scheduling Office

IV. Cross-Referenced Policies

11-4: On-Campus Solicitation and Vending Policy

V. Consequences of Non-Compliance

Criminal prosecution and/or the College’s disciplinary process.

VI. Cross-Referenced Policies 

VII. Revision History

Policy 11-10 Public Speech and Peaceful Assembly was originally issued in September of 1993 and was revised in December of 2012.