Chapter 3357:10-7 Public Use of Grounds

3357:10-7-11 Public use of college grounds.

(A) Purpose.

(1) The purpose of the policy is to promote the free exchange of ideas and the safe and efficient operation of Marion technical college by:

(a) Fostering free speech, assembly and other expressive activities on college property by all persons, whether or not they are affiliated with the college.

(b) Maintaining an appropriate educational and work environment for all persons present on college property, including but not limited to students, faculty, employees, customers, and visitors.

(c) Maintaining the personal security of all persons present on college property and protecting the property of the college and of persons present on college property.

(2) In developing this policy, the college recognizes the constitutional freedoms guaranteed by the United States and Ohio constitutions, including freedom of speech, press, and assembly. The college also recognizes the need to preserve and protect its property, students, guests and employees of the college, and to ensure the effective operation of educational, business and related activities of the college. Expressive activities on the college's campus may be subject to reasonable regulation with regard to the time, place, and manner of the activities. College employees will not consider the content of expressive activities when enforcing this policy. No policy can address every possible activity or situation that may occur on college property, and the college reserves the right to address such situations as circumstances warrant.

(3) This policy does not apply to use of college facilities and grounds for official events sponsored by the college. Expressive activities carried out under this policy shall not be considered to be speech made by, on behalf of, or endorsed by the college. This policy supersedes any provisions in any other earlier-adopted college policies that address similar or overlapping issues, such as use of outdoor spaces.

(B) Outdoor areas of campus generally available for use.

(1) General access.

(a) Any person or group may use, without prior notification, any publicly accessible outdoor area of the college's campus except parking lots, garages, and driveways. Federal, state, and local laws will be enforced as applicable. The use of walkways or other common areas may not block the free passage of others or impede the regular operation of the college.

(b) Use of the general access areas may include speaking, nonverbal expression, distributing literature, displaying signage, and circulating petitions. There is no limit to the number of times a month a person or group may access those areas.

(c) During work and class hours or if the area is currently in use for an official college event, amplification may be restricted if it unreasonably interferes with college operations or noise ordinances are violated.

(2) Large groups.

(a) Except in circumstances described below, any person or group whose use of an outdoor area is expected or reasonably likely to have more than one hundred people must notify the Marion campus public safety office at least two business days before the day of the expressive activity, including information as to the specific location to be used for the event and the estimated expected number of persons, and the name and contact information of at least one person who can be contacted regarding logistics of the event, which shall include at least one person who will be personally present. Security and clean-up costs will not be charged to the person or group.

(b) Prior notice is necessary to ensure that there is sufficient space for the large group event, that the large group event does not conflict with any other scheduled use of the outdoor space, and that sufficient college resources are available for crowd control and security. If such advance notice is not feasible because of circumstances that could not be reasonably anticipated, the person or group shall provide the college with as much advance notice as circumstances reasonably permit.

(C) Student use.

(1) In addition to the general right of access to outdoor areas of campus described above, any student or student organization may seek to reserve the use of specific outdoor areas by contacting the office of student activities and recreation.

(2) Any request by a student or student organization to reserve such area or space shall be made at least one business day prior to the event. A request will be granted unless it would conflict or interfere with a previously scheduled event or activity or violate this policy.

(3) A student or student organization that has reserved a specific area or space under this policy will have priority over any other persons seeking to use the area or space during the scheduled time. Any decision denying a request shall be promptly communicated in writing to the requester and shall set forth the basis for the denial. The content of the anticipated speech or other expressive activity shall not form the basis for a denial.

(D) Prohibited activities.

(1) Any event or activity that disrupts the ability of the college to effectively and peacefully teach students, provide client services, or conduct any of its other business and support operations is prohibited. Examples include but are not limited to excessive noise, impeding vehicle or pedestrian traffic, and conduct otherwise unlawful.

(2) No activity may damage college property. Prohibited actions include but are not limited to driving stakes or poles into the ground, hammering nails into buildings, and attaching anything to sidewalks, paved areas, or any part of any building, structure, or fixture.

(3) Distribution/solicitation by placing any material on vehicles in the parking lots or garages is prohibited. Leaving trash, litter, materials, or pollutants in any area is prohibited.

(E) Enforcement.

The Marion campus public safety office and local law enforcement shall enforce the provisions of this policy. Any person who violates paragraph (D) of this policy may be subject to an order to leave college property. Employees in violation of this policy may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

(F) Dispute resolution.

Any person or recognized student organization who believes unlawful, unreasonable, or arbitrary limitations have been imposed on any of their speech or other expressive activities under this policy may file a complaint with the college president's office.

The president may adopt procedures to administer this policy.

Effective: 3/26/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 3357.09
Rule Amplifies: 3357.09