Freedom of Speech and Expression
Eastern Iowa Community College District, as a public institution of higher education, establishes this policy to comply with the laws of the state of Iowa and the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and to protect free speech and expression.
The primary function of an institution of higher education is the discovery, improvement,
transmission and dissemination of knowledge by means of research, teaching, discussion
and debate. To fulfill this function, EICC shall strive to ensure the fullest degree
of intellectual freedom and free expression allowed under the First Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States.
“Campus community” means students, administrators, faculty and staff of EICC and guests invited to EICC by the College’s students, administrators, faculty or staff.
“Materially and substantially disrupts” means when a person, with the intent to or with knowledge of doing so, engages in violent or other disorderly conduct that significantly hinders a previously scheduled or reserved activity occurring on college grounds, building and facilities. “Materially and substantially disrupts” does not include conduct that is protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
“Outdoor areas of campus” means the generally accessible outside areas of campus where students, administrators, faculty and staff at the College are commonly allowed, such as grassy areas, walkways or other similar common areas. This does not include areas outside health care facilities, veterinary medicine facilities, facilities and outdoor areas used by the College’s athletic programs or teams, or other outdoor areas where access is restricted to a majority of the campus.
“Student” means an individual who is admitted and enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis at the College.
“Student organization” means a group officially recognized at or officially registered
by the College, or a group seeking such official recognition or official registration,
comprising students who are admitted and in attendance at the College and who receive,
or are seeking to receive, student organization benefits or privileges through the
The proper role of an institution of higher education is to encourage diversity of thoughts, ideas and opinions and to encourage, within the bounds of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the peaceful, respectful and safe exercise of First Amendment rights.
It is not the proper role of the College to shield individuals from speech protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States which may include ideas and opinions the individual finds unwelcome, disagreeable or even offensive.
Students and faculty have the freedom to discuss any problem that presents itself, assemble and engage in spontaneous expressive activity on campus, within the bounds of established principles of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions that are consistent with established First Amendment principles.
The outdoor areas of the College campus are public forums, open on the same terms
to any invited speaker subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions that
are consistent with established principles of the First Amendment to the Constitution
of the United States.
The outdoor areas of campus are deemed public forums. The College may maintain and enforce clear, published, reasonable viewpoint-neutral time, place and manner restrictions that are narrowly tailored in furtherance of a significant institutional interest, but shall allow members of the campus community to engage in protective expressive activities consistent with established principles of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. If the College places restrictions, it shall provide ample alternative means of expression.
Except as provided in this policy, and subject to reasonable time, place and manner
restrictions, the College shall not designate any area of campus a free-speech zone
or otherwise create policies restricting expressive activities to a particular outdoor
area of campus.
The campus community shall be freely permitted to engage in noncommercial expressive activity in outdoor areas of campus, subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions as long as the campus community member’s conduct is not unlawful, does not impede other’s access to a facility or use of walkways, and does not disrupt the function of the college.
Protected activities include but are not limited to any lawful oral or written means by which members of the campus community may communicate ideas, including but not limited to peaceful assembly, protests, speeches, including invited speakers, distribution of literature, circulating petitions, and publishing, including publishing or streaming on an internet site, audio or video recorded in outdoor areas of campus.
Protected activities shall also include the right of student expression in a counter demonstration held in an outdoor area of campus, as long as the conduct at the counter demonstration is not unlawful, does not materially and substantially prohibit the free expression of others, or impede other’s access to a facility or use of walkways.
Nothing in this policy shall be construed to grant individuals the right to engage
in conduct that intentionally, materially and substantially disrupts the expressive
activity of a person or student organization if the College has reserved space in
an outdoor area of campus for the activity in accordance with this policy.
The College may prohibit, limit or restrict expression and/or any expressive activities that are not otherwise protected by the Constitution of the United States. Non-protected activities include, but are not limited to the following:
- A threat of serious harm and expression directed or likely directed to provoke imminent unlawful actions; and
- Harassment, including but not limited to expression which is so severe, pervasive, and subjectively and objectively offensive that the expression unreasonably interferes with an individual’s access to educational opportunities or benefits provided by this College and/or violates the College’s anti-harassment policies; and
- Violence; and
- Unlawful behavior or actions.
The College shall not approve or deny benefits or privileges available to student organizations based on the viewpoint or expression of a student organization or its members protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In addition, the College will not approve or deny any benefits or privileges to a student organization based on the organization’s requirement that its leaders agree to and support the organization’s beliefs as interpreted and applied by the organization, and to further the organization’s mission. For purposes of this policy, “benefits” means recognition, registration, use of facilities for meetings or speaking purpose, use of channels of communication, and access to funding sources otherwise available to other student groups.
If a member of the college community believes they have been aggrieved by a violation of this policy, the member shall follow the College’s complaint policy and procedure. In the event the matter is not satisfactorily resolved through the appropriate complaint process, or otherwise as provided by Iowa law, the aggrieved member of the campus community may file a complaint with the EICCD Board of Trustees not later than one year after the alleged violation.
DATE OF ADOPTION: 7/15/19
LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Iowa) 260C; 261H
Questions? Call toll-free 1-888-336-3907, email email@example.com or contact the college nearest you and ask to speak to an advisor.
- Clinton Community College, 563-244-7000
- Muscatine Community College, 563-288-6000
- Scott Community College, 563-441-4000
It is the policy of Eastern Iowa Community College District not to discriminate in its programs, activities, or employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion, and actual or potential family, parental or marital status, as required by the Iowa Code §§216.6 and 216.9, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d and 2000e), the Equal Pay Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 206, et seq.), Title IX (Educational Amendments, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688), Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.). If you have questions or complaints related to compliance with this policy, please contact Debora J. Sullivan, Equal Employment Opportunity Officer/Equity Coordinator, Eastern Iowa Community College District, 101 West Third Street, Davenport, Iowa 52801, 563-336-3487, firstname.lastname@example.org or the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 West Madison Street, Suite 1475, Chicago, Illinois 60661-7204, phone number 312-730-1560, fax 312-730-1576, OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.