References: Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Authority: Wright State University Code of Regulations; General Faculty Meeting (May 19, 1992); Office of the President; Division of Student Affairs
4007.1 General Statement
Wright State University recognizes the exercise of the rights of expression, affiliation, and peaceful assemblage. Wright State University students and personnel may express their views by demonstrating peacefully for concepts they wish to make known, and the university will make every reasonable effort to protect those rights. The university also has an equal and simultaneous obligation to protect the rights and freedoms of those who do not choose to participate in a demonstration. Additionally, the university has an obligation to protect its property and to assure continuation of the activities of students, university faculty and staff, and guests on campus.
This policy is not applicable to situations arising within the context of normal classroom instruction and discussion.
Wright State University (the "university") permits, promotes, and supports the free expression of ideas, views, and opinions by its faculty, students, staff, administrators, and visitors (hereafter "members of the academic community"). The university is committed to rights of expression, affiliation, and peaceful assemblage. Faculty, staff and students should be free to discuss, debate and express ideas and opinions in public or private forums as long as they do not disrupt university functions.
The university also has an equal and simulataneous obligation to protect the rights and freedoms of those who choose not to participate in free speech or peaceful assemblage activities. Additionally, the university has an obligation to protect its property and to assure continuation of the activities of students, faculty, staff, and guests on campus.
Demonstrations and marches and other forms of expression may be legitimately regulated with regard to time, place and manner. This is especially so when they have the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the educational environment, disrupting the function of the university or inciting an immediate breach of peace. Disruptions may include but are not limited to: Interfering with, impairing, or impeding university teaching, research or administration; interfering with, impeding, or blocking the flow of vehicular, wheelchair, or pedestrian traffic on any paved street or path; interfering with, impeding, or blocking any entrance or exit to any building; violating any federal, state, or local law, regulation or fire code, including the University Code of Regulations; interfering with an event by blocking views or making sufficient sounds to mask a speaker or performance from being heard; using voice or amplifications systems without prior approval by the university for the use of such systems; destruction of university or personal property; any act or behavior which prevents a listener from attending or leaving any event; and/or failing to comply with the orders or directives of identified university officials, police, or any other law enforcement officers acting in consideration of the health, welfare, and safety of all concerned.
Conduct, the purpose or effect of which is not frightening, coercing, or intimidating specific individuals but is merely deemed offensive to certain groups, will not be grounds for regulation or punishment.
The university is committed to the elimination of all forms of bigotry on campus.
The university will consider each alleged violation of this policy on a case by case basis and will examine the time, place, pattern of conduct, and, where relevant, the existence of a specific relationship between speaker and target.
The university encourages all faculty, staff, and students to exercise their free speech rights responsibly. Categories of speech should be consistent with the inclusive language in Policy 4001.23 (Equal Educational and Employment Opportunity Policies and Affirmative Action Plan).
4007.3 Regulation of Time, Place, and Manner
Any individual or group may use, without prior notification, on any day of the week during daylight hours, any publicly accessible outdoor area of the university's Fairborn and Lake campuses to collect signatures, distribute materials, and/or speak, as long as they do not disrupt the functioning of the university.
Academic departments, programs and other units and registered student organizations may schedule university space to bring speakers and programs of their choice to the Fairborn and Lake campuses on a space available basis. Sponsored speakers shall have the same access to the university facilities as their sponsor.
4007.4 Operational Procedures
Sponsors of marches and demonstrations are to register their events with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. This is necessary for the following reasons:
- To assure assistance in planning and in using university facilities
- To ensure that other activities are not adversely affected
- To protect the rights of all members of the university community
- To protect the rights of participants and nonparticipants in demonstrations and marches
Sponsors should register their events not less than 24 hours in advance of the event. Information necessary to complete this process includes:
- Desireed location
- Desired date and time
- Route of march (if applicable)
- Estimated attendance
- Sound devices to be used
- Security plans
- Name and contact information of sponsors
4007.5 Prohibited Actions
The laws of the state of Ohio and Wright State University's Code of Regulations prohibit the following:
Obstructing or disrupting university teaching, research, or administration;
Causing, or threatening to cause, injury or harm to persons or property;
Incitement of riot;
Obstructing the free flow of pedestrians or vehicular traffic;
Illegally possessing or using firearms, explosives, or other weapons, chemicals, or fire extinguishers;
Failing to comply with the orders or directives of university officials, police, or any other law enforcement officers acting within the scope of their duties.
Use of sound amplification equipment within 500 feet of university buildings, or in a manner obstructive or disruptive of university functioning is prohibited.
Individuals or groups utilizing tables, platforms, displays, and similar items must reserve space on campus for their use.
Demonstrations and marches may not take place inside university buildings without explicit permission from the president or the president's designee and at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the planned activity.
The president of the university or the president's designee shall resolve any dispute between any individual or groups regarding the use of space for any free speech activities subject to this policy. The university may, if deemed necessary, enact a procedure (e.g. creation of a "speech grid"; requiring minimum spacing between speakers; granting permission on a "first come, first serve" basis, etc.) whereby such disputes are addressed. Such procedure shall be content neutral regarding free speech activities involved in the dispute.
In the event of an emergency situation in which, in the judgment of authorized police department personnel, riot or harm to persons or property is imminent, the on-duty supervisor may order dispersal and cancellation of the demonstration or march prior to obtaining an order from the president or the president's designee.
Any individual or group who believe that arbitrary, unlawful, or unreasonable limitations have been imposed upon any demonstration under the provision of these regulations may appeal to the president or the president's designee.