II.D. Student and Community Use of System Facilities
II.D.1. Student and Community Use of System Facilities
II.D.1.01 - Fees for Use
The Board shall be authorized to fix and collect rentals, rates, charges or fees from students, including student union fees, and others for the occupancy, use and/or availability of all or any of its property, buildings, structures, activities, operations, or facilities, of any nature, in such amounts and in such manner as may be determined by the Board.
The System shall make its buildings available for use as polling places in any election that covers territory in which the buildings are located. If more than one authority requests the use of the buildings for the same day and simultaneous use is impractical, the System shall determine which authority may use the building.
II.D.1.03 - Political Party Conventions
The System shall not assess a charge for the use of a college building for a precinct, county or senatorial district convention, except for reimbursement for the actual charges resulting from use of the building for the convention. The System shall provide an itemized statement of expenses to the reimbursing authority.
II.D.1.04 - Use of Facilities and Services
The System was created to help meet the educational, cultural, and recreational needs of the North Harris and Montgomery County communities.
The System is expected to provide its students, employees, and community representatives with services appropriate to the performance of its mission as established by its founding charter or as directed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and in accordance with Texas law.
Consistent with the values and mission of the System, the facilities and grounds of the System will be available for the occasional use by employee, student and community groups, provided that:
- such use does not interfere with the instructional mission of the System and the service provided by the System is an integral part of providing support activities that enhance performance of its public service mission;
- The services satisfy educationally related needs such as System staff time, computer usage, campus newspapers, printing, bookstores, cafeterias, fitness centers or other similar services.
- Is approved in writing beforehand by the appropriate College President, Location Executive Officer (“LEO”), or their designee; and
- If System resources are used, charges for System staff time, use of the facilities, equipment and property will be determined by the System and charged on a reasonable cost basis and those costs and expenses are reimbursed back to the System;
- System staff time, facilities, equipment or property are not used to produce or distribute literature endorsing or supporting a candidate or promotes a particular position at any election issue, directly or indirectly; and
- Use or rental of System Facilities by campus communities shall require a Facilities Use Agreement approved by the System’s General Counsel.
- the educational and community service objectives of the System will be advanced; and
- the proposed use is approved by a timely and complete application to the appropriate campus official.
II.D.1.05 - Prohibited Use of System Facilities
The following activities are prohibited in System facilities, except in accordance with these procedures:
- Holding partisan political meetings or fundraising, except for party conventions held in conjunction with primary elections or meetings or activities of recognized student clubs formed to support or participate in partisan activities;
- Activities which may be injurious to the buildings, grounds or equipment of the System or that pose a risk of injury to persons;
- Conduct which violates the criminal laws of Texas or the United States; and
- Regularly scheduled meetings of external groups that may interfere with the System's educational uses of facilities.
- Conducting business or commercial activities, including the sale of products or services; however, the following shall not be considered to be a commercial activity prohibited by this policy:
- a post-performance or post-reading sale of a performer's or reader's music, dance recording, video or book; or
- the sale of art, baked goods, crafts or similar items that are produced by students or by LSCS employees and are donated to a student or college approved fundraiser which returns less than 50% of the sales proceeds to the creator.
- the sale of items by a non-profit community organization with proceeds benefiting the System.
- the sale of products or services that has been specifically appealed by the Board of Trustees and memorialized in a written contract reviewed by System's legal counsel.
- It fulfills the System’s public service mission.
- It is incidental to the performance of the System’s educational activities (e.g., concerts, theater performances or similar activities).
- It consists of recreational, cultural, and athletic events; public service radio and TV broadcasting; events or functions which have as their principal purpose the improvement of relations between the System and the public.
- It is an authorized fundraising activity; and
- Is approved in writing beforehand by the appropriate College President, Location Executive Officer (“LEO”), or their designee.
No group or individual will be permitted to serve or bring alcoholic beverages in or upon System facilities except as allowed by this Section. Alcoholic beverages may be served at a specific System event, including but not limited to an opening of a play or an art show, with (1) the approval of the LEO, (2) the submission of an appropriate plan for the sale or serving of alcoholic beverages, (3) proof of appropriate liability insurance coverage or (4) other requirments, if any, requested by the General Counsel in protecting the System. Notwithstanding the above, alcoholic beverages may be served for events and activities held at the LSC-University Park Conference/Dining Center or at other LSC-University Park reception areas as designated and authorized by the Chancellor. Procedures may be put in place implementing this policy.
LSCS Policy Manual Section revised & approved by the Board of Trustees on March 4, 2010
All other requests to use System facilities, including those to use a gymnasium, athletic facility, theater, computer and other education-related facility, and fine art spaces, will be assessed a reservation fee for each, that is sufficient to cover all costs associated with the proposed use, including:
- police, custodial, maintenance, and other support of LSCS employees;
- preparation, set up, and service of any foods or beverages to be served or sold;
- set up and use of System equipment, including computers and audio-visual aids;
- utilities and operational overhead; and,
- other costs that are necessitated by the proposed use.
Payment is required when the reservation is made unless arrangements for delayed payment are made by an authorized administrator. These reservation fees will be refunded if the System is unable to meet the reservation.
The System shall annually update the fee schedule to be used for all facilities in the System.
A request to reserve System facilities by a commercial entity for the promotion or conduct of commercial purposes will be denied unless the LEO determines that the public welfare is significantly served by such use because of the educational or cultural value of the event.
The System shall not assess a charge for the use of a college building for a precinct, county, or senatorial district convention, except for reimbursement of the actual charges resulting from use of the building for the convention. The System will also provide an itemized statement of expenses to the reimbursing authority.
At the time any reservation for building use by outside organization is made, the designated administrator will provide to and obtain a signature from an authorized contact person on a facilities use agreement that includes the following provisions:
- the facilities use agreement is not a lease or a rental, but is a commitment to permit the use of the facilities for a specific date;
- the event may be canceled or relocated at any time to accommodate a college or System activity;
- the organization must hold the Board, administrators, and staff harmless against any damages or claims which might result from such use and, if insurance is required, the organization will provide a certificate of insurance prior to the event;
- the college or System will establish security requirements appropriate for the event and the organization is responsible to reimburse the full costs of those expenses;
- the organization may not assign or delegate the facilities use agreement or reservation without the prior written approval of the same official who approved the initial reservation;
- the organization has obtained all required approval for any music or other works protected by the U.S. Copyright Act that will be displayed, performed, or sold at the event and assume all legal obligations to defend and hold the System harmless from any allegations of copyright violations resulting from their performance or subsequent sale on System property; and,
- catering by an external company will be permitted if the campus is unable to meet the catering needs for the event or if approved by the appropriate administrator.
The System recognizes and supports the rights of free speech and free exchange of ideas. This policy does not relate to the Academic Freedom and Responsibilities policy protecting faculty speech in the classroom. That policy may be found in section V-F.1.01 of the LSCS Policy Manual.
The System will protect the rights of freedom of speech, petition, and peaceful assembly as set forth in the U.S. Constitution. The System retains its right to regulate reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions concerning acts of expression and dissent. Any acts that are disruptive to the normal operations of the System or college sites including but not limited to classes and college business, or invades the rights of others will not be permitted. Faculty, staff, and students engaging in a disruptive activity may be subject to disciplinary action.
Individuals, businesses and organizations external to the campus may not enter the campus for the purpose of advocacy, distribution of information or exercise their right to free speech except through the policies established by the System and these guidelines
For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions will apply:
"College Community" means all students, faculty and staff of all locations of the Lone Star College System.
"Person" means any member of the public or the College community.
"Commercial Speech" is defined as speech (such as advertising) that proposes a commercial transaction.
"Non-commercial Speech Materials" include items such as brochures, petitions, publications or other printed or verbal information that is not defined as commercial speech.
"Free Speech Areas" the designated areas of the campus where persons may request use for the purpose of engaging in constitutionally protected speech and expression.
"Traditional Public Forum Locations" are locations on the college campus that include all non-covered pedestrian entryways from parking lots and internal roads to building entries.
II.D.1.11- Respect and Conduct for Free Expression and Speech Activities
All persons in attendance at an event sponsored by the System or college members of the College Community or members of the Public (who have been permitted to engage in speech activities on campus) will conduct themselves with respect for the forum and the learning environment at all times.
Persons will have an opportunity to express their contrary viewpoints as appropriate for the forum, such as through a question and answer period, through the distribution of literature stating a dissenting or differing viewpoint, and through peaceable assembly.
Expression of a contrary or dissenting viewpoint may not be undertaken in a manner that disrupts the event or attempts to create a climate of fear or intimidation. Acts that are disruptive to the normal operations of the System including but not limited to classes, the library, or business operations of the college, or invade the rights of others will not be permitted. Disruption to the normal operations of the college, interference with an activity or event, threats, implied threats, physical intimidation, or any form of violent behavior will result in any of the following actions by the System or college: use of its disciplinary processes for students and employees, action by campus police officers or involvement of appropriate external law enforcement authorities.
Events must not obstruct vehicular, bicycle, pedestrian or other traffic, or otherwise interfere with ingress or egress to the College, or to any System buildings or facilities, or to System activities or events.
LSCS Policy Manual Section revised & approved by the Board of Trustees on December 4, 2008
II.D.2.01 Minors on System Property
Lone Star College System is a community college system that embraces our communities and welcomes their residents of all ages. However, in order to provide for the safety of all children the following guidelines have been instituted to govern the presence of children on campus. All children age sixteen (16) years of younger must be supervised at all times by a parent, legal guardian or authorized responsible adult while at any System campus, center or facility. If admitted as a credit student, see special admission requirements (Board Policy Section VI.A.1.04) for students age sixteen (16) or younger.
II.D.2.02 Children of System Employees, Students and Visitors
All children age sixteen (16) years or younger must have a parent, legal guardian, or authorized responsible adult available at the System campus, center, or facility at all times to monitor the student's activities outside of a class, college program, or event and to be immediately available in case of an emergency. Failure to have a parent, legal guardian or authorized responsible adult on campus will cause the child to be removed from the class, college program, or event.
A parent, legal guardian, or authorized responsible adult must accompany children age sixteen (16) years or younger at the System campus, center, or facility at all times unless the child is participating in a class, college program or event. All children age sixteen (16) years or younger not participating in a class, college program or event are prohibited from entering or using computer labs, science labs, physical fitness facilities, storage rooms, equipment rooms, outdoor water features, or outdoor athletic facilities unless they are given express written permission from a System official. All System/College-sanctioned events and program must be supervised by a System employee or a responsible adult.
System employees may not supervise children at their worksite unless their job assignments relate to a formal program designed for children and with Parental and/or Guardian written permission.
This policy section does not apply to credit students. See Board Policy Section VI.A.1.04.
II.D.2.03 Additional Guidelines for Children of System Employees
Employees may not bring children age sixteen (16) years or younger to their worksite, except for a brief visit, unless the System/College has specifically designated a time or place for employee children to be present.
Should children age (16) years or younger accompany an adult to a work area or College site for a brief visit, they must remain under the continuous supervision of the adult responsible.
Children age (16) years or younger should not be left unattended or with other employees. Their presence should in no way obstruct or diffuse work or duties in the area.
A supervisor has the right to ask the adult responsible and their child to leave the work area.
Children shall not be brought to the worksite if they are ill. Other arrangements must be made to accommodate an ill child.
Children of students may not enter the classroom, even for brief visits, without the express permission of the instructor, acquired in advance of the class session or specific time. Instructors are not obligated to grant permission.
Under no circumstances are children to be admitted to activity or lab areas where dangerous substances or equipment are stored or in use unless the children are enrolled or participating in a special program. See Board Policy Section IV.A.1.04.
Children may not accompany parents or other guardians/adults on field trips unless they are enrolled in the class.
II.D.2.05 Harris County Public Libraries
Those Colleges with a Harris County Public Library operating on campus will comply with HCPL regulations regarding children in the library, unless those regulations deviate from and/or are inconsistent with Lone Star College System Policy.
In addition, children in library facilities must follow the System's regulations regarding access to computers by minors. Children under the age of 18 will not be allowed access to unfiltered computers without the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.
II.D.2.06 Conduct of Minors
Children who visit System facilities and events are subject to all relevant System policies and education codes.
Unaccompanied children will be reported to campus security and an officer will attempt to locate the parent/guardian to ask them to leave.
If minor children engage in any type of misconduct while on the campus, the parent, legal guardian or authorized responsible adult must leave the campus with the children.
The System does not staff its campuses with nurses, infirmaries, or other medical care facilities. A parent or a designated representative must bring and dispense medications, provide minor medical, or respond to a call indicating the child is ill.
A minor who behaves in a manner on campus that violates the criminal laws of the state of Texas will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate criminal procedures for minor children.
LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on May 1, 2014