Public Expression Form
Messiah College Public Expression Policy
Definition of public expression
Freedom of expression is encouraged at Messiah College. However, in order to ensure an atmosphere in which open communication can occur without disrupting the academic mission or the daily functions of the College, this policy shall govern all forms of public expression activity on Messiah College property, defined for this purpose as including activities such as, but not limited to: campus meetings and forums; public assembly and demonstrations; public speeches; and the distribution and/or posting of written materials or other forms of communication carried out in connection with these activities.
Definition of members of the on‐campus college community
For the purpose of this policy, “members of the on‐campus college community” are defined as currently enrolled students, currently employed members of the faculty, administration and staff.
Definition of visitors
Individuals who do not belong to any of the above identified groups are considered campus visitors.
Public expression by members of the on‐campus college community
Messiah College affords all members of the on‐campus college community with substantial privileges with respect to freedom of public expression on Messiah College property. As a private college, this privilege, however, is subject to reasonable restrictions and regulations of time, place and manner as described below, so that the activities do not intrude upon or interfere with the academic mission and daily functions of the College, or with other rights of members of the on‐campus college community as defined by College policies.
Note: These policies and guidelines refer to non‐educational activities on college property and not to the conduct of academic or co‐curricular activities that are governed by their own college policies and standards. These policies do not refer to other officially approved college events that must follow established campus event protocols.
Procedures for public expression activities by members of the on‐campus college community
- Members of the on-campus college community must apply to the Office of the Dean of Students at least five business days prior to their requested date of activity. Office hours are between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Once the form is received by the dean of students, she/he will process the application with the appropriate/relevant campus leadership, based on factors including, whether the application is from a student or employee, specifics of the public expression requested, etc.
- The dean of students has two business days in which to act on a request and communicate a decision to the person or organization making the request. Decisions will take into account both any special circumstances that may relate to college activities and/or the burden the requested activity may place on the College’s safety and administrative staffs.
- Public expression activities are authorized to occur only at one or more of the following locations as assigned by the dean of students (dependent on availability):
- Larsen Student Union patio
- Brick courtyard area outside of Kline, Jordan and Frey Halls
- Designated common area inside the Larsen Student Union
- Eisenhower Campus Center Commons (lobby outside of the Falcon, Career Center and Campus Store)
Note: if an indoor location is approved by the Dean of Students Office, the event organizer must then reserve the space through the Office of Conference and Event Services.
- The number of occasions on which specific individuals or groups will be permitted to engage in public expression activities will be limited to three times during an academic year.
- The total number of people engaging in public expression activities at any one location on campus may be limited by the dean of students according to concerns related to space capacity, safety or potential disruption of the College’s other daily activities.
- Any signs, placards or banners that are displayed must be respectful, may not use profanity or other defaming language, and in general must be in the spirit and meet the standards related to the treatment of others as described in the College’s Community Covenant.
- No microphones, bullhorns or other amplification devices may be used.
- No sidewalks or building accesses may be blocked, nor may normal College operations be impeded.
- Physical or verbal harassment of members of the College community, or public expression activities outside of the hours or locations for which permission has been granted, will be cause for the immediate revocation of privilege for those involved.
- Any act of disorderly conduct or the failure to respect any of the above procedures will result in appropriate intervention by authorized campus personnel.
Public expression activities by campus visitors
As a private college, Messiah College’s policy is that visitors do not share the same privileges and rights as members of the on‐campus college community to participate in public expression activities on Messiah College property. Thus, campus visitors who wish to engage in public expression activities are subject to the following restrictions.
- Specifically, campus visitors are not permitted to be involved in public expression on College property except as invited participants at official, approved College events, and in a manner consistent with the intent of the event as determined by officials of the College. Furthermore, visitors’ presence on campus is not merely contingent upon their compliance with standards maintained by the College, and as such, visitors may be asked to leave the campus at any time by an authorized official of the College.
- Visitors may not engage in activities which hinder or obstruct approved public expression or affect the College’s ability to provide an educational environment for its members.
- Visitors acting in violation of this policy and/or the related guidelines or failing to accept the directions of authorized College authorities will be required to leave campus and may be referred to the local public authorities in the event of violations of applicable laws. Any police arrests and criminal charges are separate from judicial actions at Messiah College.