Catalog 2023-2024

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Speech: Time, Place, Manner

The students and employees of the District and members of the public shall be permitted to exercise their rights of free expression subject to the time, place, and manner policies and procedures contained in BP 3900 titled Speech: Time, Place, and Manner and these procedures. The policy and procedures relating to use of facilities, distribution and posting of literature, and preventing disruption of instructional and/or other District activities do not apply to student news media.

The colleges of the District are non-public forums, except for the following areas, which are reserved for expressive activities which do not violate District policy and which are lawful. At West Valley College, the following areas of campus are designated as free speech zones: (1) North Walk (with the exception of the creek bridge and adjacent parking spaces); (2) Campus Center Walk; and (3) Campus Quad (in front of EOPS building and behind District Services/President’s Office).

These areas are chosen so as to provide visibility and allow communication to a large number of students, administrators, faculty, and others walking or traveling on campus, but also so as not to disrupt educational and other activities of the District on behalf of students:

  • These areas are designated public forums. The District reserves the right to revoke that designation and apply a non-public forum designation.
  • The District reserves the right to designate areas as non-public forums as necessary to prevent the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the college. Areas of the college that are non-public forums specifically include campus offices, classrooms, warehouses, maintenance yards, or locker rooms, and any other area not specified above. The use of these areas reserved and open for expressive activities is subject to the following:
  • No person using the areas shall touch, strike or physically impede the progress of passersby, except for incidental or accidental contact or contact initiated by a passerby.
  • Persons using areas shall not use any means of amplification that creates a noise or diversion that disturbs the orderly conduct of the campus or classes taking place at the time.
  • Persons using the areas reserved for expressive activities shall not disrupt the orderly operation of the college. Groups or individuals using the campus for free speech shall:
  • Ensure that no speech or written materials contain language or images that are obscene, defamatory, incite violence or create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts, incite others to violate
    lawful community college regulations, or substantially disrupt the orderly operation of the College.
  • Ensure that no speech or written materials advertise controlled substances, as identified by the laws of the United States and/or the State of California.

Non-student, community groups wishing to engage in speech or expressive activities on campus, in the areas designated as public forums, must check in with the District through the Chancellor or designee prior to engaging in the activities. This does not involve an advance approval process. No illegal activities will be permitted, no activities that violate District or campus rules, including rules and laws on illegal harassment and discrimination, and none that will substantially interfere with or disrupt activities already scheduled for that day and time in the designated areas, as described above. In the event the area sought to be used for expressive activities has already been reserved for another activity so that there will be substantial interference or disruption based on noise, overcrowding, or other considerations unrelated to content, the District will offer alternative available areas or if none are available, offer alternative dates. Students, outside organizations, and others are encouraged to make reservations in advance to use the areas for their expressive activities by using the optional reservation forms.

All persons using the areas that are designated public forums shall be allowed to distribute petitions, circulars, leaflets, newspapers, and other printed matter. Such distribution shall take place only within those areas. Those persons distributing printed material must, prior to their departure from the areas that day, make reasonable efforts to retrieve, remove or properly discard material that is discarded or dropped in or around the areas other than in an appropriate receptacle.

Bulletin boards shall be provided for use in posting materials at campus locations convenient for use by students, staff, and members of the public. All materials displayed on a bulletin board shall clearly indicate the author or agency responsible for its production and shall be dated with the date of posting by the student activities office. Materials displayed shall be removed after the passage of twenty days.

Last Updated 7/19/23