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II.E. SPEECH AND CONDUCT ON COLLEGE PREMISES

II.E.1. Speech Activity on College Premises

II.E.1.01. Policy

The College recognizes and supports free speech rights and the free exchange of ideas. The College recognizes individuals’ freedom of speech, petition, and peaceful assembly rights as set forth in the United States Constitution and the Texas State Constitution. The College strives to provide a suitable environment for its faculty, staff, and students to work, study, and perform activities furthering the College’s mission without undue interference or disturbance.

The College enforces Viewpoint- and Content-Neutral speech restrictions. Disruptive acts to the College’s normal operations, in the Chancellor’s or designee’s view, are not allowed. Faculty, staff, and students engaging in acts disruptive to the College’s normal operations may be subject to disciplinary action. Academic freedom and student First Amendment rights are covered elsewhere in the Policy Manual.

Public individuals or groups may not enter College premises for the purpose of advocacy, information distribution, or for speech activity except as permitted under College policies.

II.E.1.02. Definitions

(a)   College-approved means an event held on College premises that was approved through appropriate College procedures.

(b)  College-sponsored means the College’s publications, theatrical productions, and other expressive activities that students, parents, and members of the public might reasonably perceive to bear the College’s approval and license. These activities may be fairly characterized as part of the College curriculum, whether or not they occur in a traditional classroom setting, so long as they are supervised by employee-advisors and imparting particular knowledge or skills to student participants and audiences.

(c)   Disruptive means substantially disrupting or materially interfering with the College’s central mission of educating students. This definition does not include action that merely presents the possibility of discomfort or unpleasantness that often accompanies unpopular viewpoints.

(d)  Free Speech Areas means designated areas of each College campus where Persons may engage in speech activities.

(e)   Person means members of the public.

(f)    Premises means any real property which the College possesses, controls, or owns.

(g)   Viewpoint- and Content-Neutral means speech policies or procedures that regulate speech without consideration for the speech’s content, such as regulations regarding speech’s time, manner, and place.

II.E.1.03. Respect and Conduct during Speech Activities

All persons attending a College-sponsored or College-approved event will conduct themselves with respect for the forum and the learning environment at all times. Persons will have an opportunity to express contrary viewpoints as appropriate for the forum. Expression of a contrary or dissenting viewpoint may not be undertaken in a manner that disrupts the event or attempts to create a fearful or intimidating climate.

All persons are permitted to engage in speech activities in Free Speech Areas. However, speech activities that disrupt the College’s normal operations or invade others’ rights will not be permitted. Disruption to the College’s normal operations, interference with an activity or event, threats, implied threats, physical intimidation, or any form of violent behavior will result in any or all of the following College actions: use of College disciplinary processes for students and employees, action by College police officers, or appropriate external law enforcement involvement.

II.E.1.04. Speech Activities May Not Cause Obstruction

Speech activities must not obstruct vehicular, bicycle, or pedestrian traffic. Speech activities must not interfere with ingress or egress to the College’s facilities, activities, or events.

II.E.2. Prohibited Conduct on College Premises

II.E.2.01. Policy

The College provides a suitable environment for its faculty, staff, and students to work, study, and perform activities furthering the College’s mission without undue interference or disturbance.

II.E.2.02. Prohibited Trespass and Damages

It is unlawful for any person to trespass on College grounds or damage or deface any of the buildings, statues, monuments, memorials, trees, shrubs, grasses, or flowers on College grounds.

II.E.2.03. Entering or Remaining on College Premises After Withdrawal of Consent

A person who has been notified by a College president or a College police officer that consent to remain on the campus or facility has been withdrawn pursuant to a period of disruption, who has not had consent reinstated, and who willfully and knowingly enters or remains upon the campus or facility during the period for which consent has been withdrawn, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to punishment as defined by law. This section does not apply to any person who enters or remains on the campus/facility for the sole purpose of applying to the College Chancellor, president, authorized officer, or authorized employee for the reinstatement of consent or for the sole purpose of attending a hearing on the withdrawal.

The College will establish procedures governing the notification and appeal of individuals whose consent to remain on campus has been withdrawn.

II.E.2.04. Disruptive Activities on College Premises

A person commits an offense if the person, alone or in concert with others, intentionally engages in disruptive activity on College premises. Disruptive activity is defined in Texas Education Code section 37.123. This section may not be construed to infringe on any right of free speech or expression guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or of the State of Texas. 

 

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on December 1, 2016