Summary

This document describes the College’s policy pertaining to freedom of speech and assembly and further outlines the rule, applicability, and procedures regarding assembly, picketing, or demonstrating on College property.

Policy

Policy Statement

  1. No student, faculty member, or other employee or authorized visitor shall be subject to any limitation or penalty for expressing their views or for assembling with others for such purpose. College officials will not interfere with orderly assemblies, picketing, or demonstrations occurring on College property provided that there are no violations of law or this or other College policies.  Assembly shall be defined as three or more persons coming or gathering together in one place for a common purpose, including, but not limited to, picketing or demonstrating with respect to a particular subject matter or issue.  For the purposes of this policy, the definition of assembly shall NOT include any classes, scheduled meetings of student or faculty groups or committees, school-sponsored clubs or organizations, athletic events, or any other regularly scheduled school organization or activity.
  2. Assemblies, picketing, demonstrations, and similar expressions of First Amendment rights may not infringe upon or interfere with the rights of others, or disrupt essential operations of the College. As such, no one engaged in an assembly, picket, or demonstration may impede vehicular or pedestrian traffic (indoors and outdoors), block sidewalks or roadways, or engage in any activity that would constitute a violation of the New York State Penal Law, Vehicle & Traffic Law, other applicable statutes, or other College policies.
  3.  The use of College property for the purpose of assembly, picketing, or demonstrating does not imply Mohawk Valley Community College’s endorsement of any organization, activity, cause, or position.
  4.  If, in the judgment of College officials, an activity is not consistent with the purposes previously articulated on the application (See Procedures Step 1) by the applicant or the activity has been misrepresented, authorization to use College property will be withdrawn, and the activity in progress will be halted.
  5.  The College reserves the right to terminate any use of College property in the event that a participant or participants engage in conduct that violates any law or this or other College policies.

Background

Free speech and peaceful assembly are fundamental to the purpose of a College as a center for open inquiry in the search for knowledge and insight.  Mohawk Valley Community College is strongly committed to the protection of these rights.  However, these rights bring with them a concurrent obligation to maintain an atmosphere conducive to scholarly pursuits and respect for the rights of all individuals. 

Applicability

This policy is applicable to any individual or group wishing to assemble, picket, or otherwise demonstrate on Mohawk Valley Community College property. 

Definitions

  • Assembly, Picketing, or Demonstration – any public gathering, congregation, or exhibition of three or more persons for the purpose of conveying or displaying a message or supporting a cause
  • College - Mohawk Valley Community College
  • College Community - includes Mohawk Valley Community College students, faculty, staff, the Board of Trustees and members of recognized MVCC organizations
  • College Property – any land, building or other property that is owned, leased, or under the control of Mohawk Valley Community College or any of its affiliated 
  • Organization – recognized student government groups or clubs, alumni groups, and/or athletic teams

Contact Information

Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs

1101 Sherman Drive

Utica, NY 13501

(315) 792-5456

Director of Student Engagement & Leadership

1101 Sherman Drive

Utica, NY 13501

(315) 792-5424

Director of Events & Guest Services

1101 Sherman Drive

Utica, NY 13501

(315) 731-5840

Related Information

MVCC Policy 3004, Code of Conduct and Commitment to Civility

MVCC Policy 5003, Visitors Policy

MVCC Policy 5009, Social Media

MVCC Policy 5006, Use of College Facilities

SUNY Policy 3653, Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order

SUNY Policy 5603, Use of Facilities by Non-Commercial Organizations