Free Expression and Public Assembly Provisions

Navarro College recognizes and supports the right of free expression and public assembly. This procedure informs members of the college community and the public of the manner in which they may engage in constitutionally protected speech and expression at Navarro College. It is intended to ensure the primary educational purpose of the college, which includes promoting debate and the sharing of information.

The College will protect the rights of freedom of speech, petition, and peaceful assembly as set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Navarro College maintains the right to regulate reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions concerning acts of expression and dissent. Neither acts that are disruptive to the normal operations of the college, including but not limited to classes and college business, nor acts that invade the rights of others will be tolerated. Faculty, staff, and students engaging in a disruptive activity may be subject to disciplinary action. Any participant in a disruptive activity may face criminal charges. 

The areas listed below are considered programmable space and are available on a first-come first-serve basis; however, college sponsored events have first priority on the use of campus grounds.  Typically, use of the space will be assigned to the person or organization that requests the area first. Therefore, reservations should be made at least five (5) working days in advance of the event for scheduling purposes.

CORSICANA CAMPUS

  1. Lawn area south of the Kenneth P. Walker Dining Hall.
  2. Lawn area north of Gibson Hall (across the street).
  3. Lawn area west of Caston Fine Arts Center (across the street).

MEXIA CAMPUS

  1. Lawn area on the west central side of the south parking lot near the oak tree seating area.

MIDLOTHIAN CAMPUS

  1. Center of patio on the eastern side of the building leaving free access to and from the Building 1 through the doors located at either end of the patio area.

WAXAHACHIE CAMPUS

  1. Lawn area immediately east of the Administration Building
  2. Lawn area between WAXB & WAXC

FAIRFIELD CAMPUS

  1. Parking Lot South of the Welding Shop.

A free speech area may be reserved and made available for use between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., for up to two (2) consecutive days if there are no scheduling conflicts and may be scheduled, if space is available. If a specific violation of a significant college interest or college procedure violation occurs, the right to use of the free speech designated area will be revoked (e.g., disruptive event or invasion of others’ rights).

Individuals or groups wishing to use free speech areas should request use of the space through the Student Life Office on the Corsicana campus or the Campus Dean’s office on other campuses.  The “Free Speech and Public Assembly Organized Expression” activity form should be completed five (5) days prior to the proposed event. The college reserves the right to relocate any assembly at any time to ensure that the activity does not interfere with the normal operation of the college or interfere with the rights of others.

In view of the desire of the College to promote free speech, the free speech areas of the campus are open to speakers for whom official arrangements to speak have been made with the College, following the provisions of this procedure.

The right to dissent is the complement of the right to speak, but these rights need not occupy the same forum at the same time.  The speaker is entitled to communicate his/her message to the audience during his/her allotted time, and the audience is entitled to hear the message and see the speaker during that time.  A dissenter must not substantially interfere with the speaker’s ability to communicate or the audience’s ability to hear and see the speaker. Likewise, the audience must respect the right to dissent. 

Picketing in an orderly manner or distributing literature within the free speech areas is acceptable with the appropriate activity form. Picketing is not permitted inside campus buildings or outside the free speech area. Non-commercial literature may be distributed only in the free speech areas. Distribution of commercial literature requires a separate solicitation activity form permit and is limited to the designated free speech areas on campus. 

No signs, posters or advertisements shall be nailed, tied, hung, written or otherwise affixed to any trees, bushes, buildings, walkways, posts, fences, or other college property.  Posted materials may be placed on bulletin boards but may not cover previously posted material and may not extend beyond the edges of the bulletin board.  Printed material may not exceed an overall size of 8½” x 11”. Defaced material is subject to removal. 

During a presentation, displaying a sign, gesturing, wearing symbolic clothing or otherwise protesting silently is permissible unless it is a disruptive activity or impedes access, such as acts that block the audience’s view, prevent the audience from being able to pay attention, incite immediate breach of peace, threaten the welfare of others, or violate any college regulations or local, state, or federal laws. 

Campus marches are permitted on campus. The appropriate activity form should be completed in order to prepare for and facilitate the safety of participants and bystanders.  The activity form should outline expected attendance and planned parade/march route.  The activity form should be submitted at least five (5) working days in advance of the event. 

The volume of any sound equipment may not exceed 75 decibels on the A scale at 50 feet from the source of amplification in order to keep from interfering with any academic or other program taking place in nearby buildings. 

Those who schedule and/or participate in speech, expression, solicitation or public assembly activities on campus must not:

  • Threaten, intimidate, or harass passersby.
  • Interfere with, impede, or cause blockage of the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  • Commit any act likely to create an imminent safety or health hazard.
  • Interfere with or disrupt any other lawful activity by anyone in the same general location at the same time.
  • Post materials on any walls, windows, doors, sidewalks, trees, light poles, etc., or on any other college equipment except in designated posting areas.
  • Conduct speech that includes inflammatory words, which are those words that by their very utterance tend to incite an immediate breach of peace.
  • Engage in any other speech or action that is not allowed by law.

Additionally, those involved in any form of free expression on campus must adhere to the following restrictions:

  • Public speech that is likely to incite or produce imminent lawless action or that is, under the current legal standards, either defamatory or obscene, is prohibited.
  • In accordance with the Texas Education Code, it is unlawful for any person on any property either owned or controlled by the college to refuse to identify him/herself to a college official in response to a request.  A person may identify him/herself by presenting a student or faculty/staff ID card or driver’s license or some other form of government-issued identification.
  • Individuals who damage or destroy college property shall be held responsible for such damage or destruction. This includes the campus lawns, shrubs, and trees.
  • A request for use of free speech areas may be denied if a college official determines that the proposed speech/activity will constitute a clear and present danger to the college’s orderly operation.

All applicable college policies and regulations, state and federal laws and municipal ordinances should be followed when engaging in activities on campus. Failure to do so may result in immediate removal from the campus and any other appropriate action by college officials and/or college police.

Student HandbookFree Expression and Public Assembly Provisions