Policy for Freedom of Expression
MCC places a high value on freedom of thought, speech, expression and assembly, which are essential to any institution of higher learning. The College supports the rights of individuals, faculty, staff and student organizations to demonstrate provided such activities do not disrupt normal activities or infringe upon the rights of others.
Please read the full Freedom of Expression policy below. You can also find it listed in the MCC Policies and Procedures Manual.
Demonstrations on Campuses
The college shall ensure that demonstrations on the campuses of the college do not threaten persons or property.
Any demonstration on any campus of the college must occur with minimal threat to the safety and security of persons or facilities through proper planning and scheduling. Occasionally, events take place which demand immediate public outcry, and it is not the intent of this procedure to limit individuals’ rights to protest such events.
The college supports the rights of individuals, faculty, staff and student organizations to demonstrate provided such activities do not disrupt normal activities or infringe upon the rights of others.
The College will not condone behavior that violates the freedom of speech, choice, assembly, or movement of other individuals or organizations. Responsible dissent carries with it sensitivity for the civil rights of others.
The college will take whatever steps it deems necessary to:
1. Protect the right of any individual or organization to demonstrate and publicly proclaim any view, however unpopular.
2. Protect the freedom of speech, assembly, and movement of any individual or group that is the object of the demonstration.
The following guidelines apply to all demonstrations, rallies and/or equivalent activity:
1. Persons may not block or otherwise interfere with the free flow of vehicular, bicycle or pedestrian traffic. The right of way on streets and sidewalks must be maintained.
2. Persons may not block or otherwise interfere with ingress and egress to campus buildings.
3. Persons shall not disrupt or attempt to force the cancellation of any event or activity sponsored by the college or by any users authorized to use college facilities.
4. Persons shall not engage in harassing, physically abusive, threatening or intimidating conduct toward any person.
5. Persons shall comply with the directions of college officials performing their duties.
6. Classes or other scheduled activities shall not be disrupted.
7. Use of public address systems and amplified sound will not be permitted without prior written approval from the campus Dean of Student and Community Engagement or similar representative.
8. Where an invited speaker is the object of protest, persons may demonstrate outside the building where the speech is taking place. Persons who wish to enter the building must do so as members of the audience and must give the speaker a respectful hearing. Failure to grant the speaker a respectful hearing may result in the offending persons being asked to leave. Signs, placards or similar paraphernalia associated with a demonstration will not be carried into the building.
9. The safety and well-being of members of the campus community collectively and individually must be protected at all times. The college maintains the right to define the time, place and manner in which activities occur on campus. The campus Dean of Student and Community Engagement will identify appropriate spaces for planned and spontaneous demonstrations.
10. College property must be protected at all times.
11. Persons engaging in activities on college property are subject to and expected to comply with all applicable college policies and procedures as well as with city and county ordinances regarding noise and demonstrations.
Individual students or student organizations sponsoring or organizing demonstrations, rallies or equivalent activities will be held responsible for compliance with this policy. Student organization sponsorship in no way relieves participating individuals of responsibility for their conduct. Complaints of violation of this procedure, or with federal and state law, may be grounds for disciplinary action against individuals and/or the sponsoring or participating student organizations and their officers.
Recognized college organizations, full or part-time students, current employees and individuals of the community who wish to schedule a demonstration, rally or equivalent activity, may submit a written request to the campus Dean of Student and Community Engagement. Any such request must be made no less than five business days in advance of the activity. The office of the campus dean will respond within two business days to any reservation request. In the event a request is denied, an appeal may be made to the college President who shall respond within two business days to any such appeal.
Unscheduled demonstrations, rallies, or equivalent activities may be held by recognized college organizations, full or part-time students, current employees, and individuals of the community on the campus provided that the activity does not interfere with any functions for which that space has been reserved in advance. It is inappropriate for events that have been planned to circumvent the procedures by claiming to be spontaneous. In deciding whether a demonstration is spontaneous or planned, the college may consider any relevant evidence, including:
(a) whether signs or placards used at the demonstration were commercially produced.
(b) whether participants used amplification equipment.
(c) whether security was alerted, or media contacted, substantially in advance of the demonstration.
(d) whether other circumstances demonstrate advance planning by one or more organizations.
Posting and Distribution of Flyers/Signs
The college shall regulate the posting and distribution of flyers and signs on the campuses of the college.
Recognized student organizations and college departments may place posters on stands and/or easels with the written permission of the campus Dean of Student and Community Engagement or similar representative. Posters in this instance shall be defined as signs, advertisements, handbills, announcements, banners, cards, and other informational devices. Posters may be placed on designated bulletin boards and other areas approved by the campus dean. The information displayed should be in good taste and not depict in written or graphic form any information that is demeaning or discriminatory to any individual or group of persons. There shall be no signs or posters placed on trees, utility poles, doors, or walls of the campus buildings, or on any painted surface of campus facilities.
The college allows for spontaneous distribution of literature in a public forum if the activity is lawful and does not disrupt the functioning of the college.
The following person may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin any violation of
Title 15, Chapter 14, Section 6 of the Arizona Revised Statutes:
1. The attorney general
2. A person whose expressive rights were violated by a violation of ARS 15-1861 through 15-1869
If the course finds that a violation of this statue occurred, the court shall award the aggrieved person injunctive relief for the violation and shall award reasonable court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees. The court will also award damages of $1000 or actual damages, whichever is greater.