Number: CW 010
Effective: March 3, 2016
Department: Human Resources and Student Affairs
Last Revision: September 27, 2016


The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for orderly Free Speech Activity on CWI’s campuses.


This policy applies to all CWI registered students, student organizations, employees, and visitors.


Free speech activity: includes constitutionally-protected pure or symbolic speech, assembly, meetings, demonstrations or rallies, marches, picketing, petitioning, distribution of written materials, mime and theater, music and singing, survey research, and religious or political activity.


CWI has a deep commitment to constitutionally-protected Free Speech Activity. The welfare and strength of CWI and of society at large depend upon the ability to engage in free expression in the search for meaning. These ideals help to create the stimulating and challenging learning environment that should characterize higher education. In the spirit of a true educational environment, individuals are encouraged to invite, rather than inhibit, discourse on ideas. CWI is committed to providing a forum for free and open expression of divergent views by students, student organizations, employees, and visitors. To this end, CWI recognizes and protects full freedom of inquiry, discussion, study, publication, and for artists, the creation and exhibition of works of art.

CWI also recognizes its responsibility to provide a secure learning environment that allows members of the community to express their views in ways that do not disrupt the operation of CWI. Reasonable limitations may be placed on the time, place, and manner of Free Speech Activity as deemed necessary by CWI in order to serve the interests of health and safety, prevent disruption of the educational process, and protect against the invasion of the rights of others. This policy does not permit expression that is unlawful or otherwise prohibited by law. Such expression includes, but is not limited to, defamation, incitement to unlawful conduct, imminent threats of actual violence or harm, obscenity, fighting words, copyright or trademark violation, harassment, trespass, and false advertising. CWI will vigilantly protect individuals’ rights against discrimination or harassment.


Designated Speech And Demonstration Areas 

CWI has identified locations at our owned facilities (map) to support this free expression of ideas. Though prior approval is not required it is encouraged that individuals seeking to use the space to obtain prior approval to minimize the possibility of scheduling conflicts. On occasion, other areas and other times may be authorized, and CWI reserves the right to modify the designated speech and demonstration areas based on the operational needs of the institution.

Reservation Procedures For Use Of Designated Speech And Demonstration Areas

Individuals or organizations seeking to use designated speech and demonstration areas are encouraged to complete a Free Speech Zone Request form to ensure that the space has not previously been reserved and that participants do not violate other CWI policies. Free Speech Zone Request must be submitted to Facilities Planning and Management ( for reservation scheduling.

There shall be no restrictions on legal Free Speech Activity based on the content of such speech or expression or on the political, religious, or other affiliations of speakers.

An individual, organization, or department hosting an event is responsible for all reasonable costs associated with the event. These costs may include but not limited to those related to security and cleanup. For questions and options related to any health, safety, fire or other regulations that must be observed by users of a facility please contact, Facilities Planning and Management.

In addressing all complaints and reports under this policy, CWI will take all permissible actions to ensure the safety of students, employees, and visitors while honoring individuals’ rights to engage in Free Speech Activity.

Guideline Enforcement

In order that persons engaging in Free Speech Activity not interfere with the operation of CWI or the rights of others, all Free Speech Activity must meet the following criteria:

  • Free Speech Activity must not interfere with the free flow of traffic, vehicle or pedestrian, or the ingress and egress to buildings on campus.
  • The use of microphones, bullhorns, or any sound amplification device is not permitted.
  • Free Speech Activity must not interrupt the orderly conduct of CWI classes, scheduled college ceremonies, events, or other CWI activities.
  • CWI employees may not engage in Free Speech Activity during work time or allow their Free Speech Activity to interfere with the work time of other CWI employees.
  • Pamphlets, handbills, circulars, newspapers, magazines, and other written materials may be distributed on a person-to-person basis in the speech and demonstration areas designated above, as long as the reservation procedures for use of the free expression areas have been completed.
  • The individual or organization that reserves the speech and demonstration area shall be responsible for seeing that the area is left clean and in good repair. Persons or organizations responsible for the event may be held financially responsible for cleanup costs or destruction of property owned or operated by CWI.
  • Individuals and programs using the speech and demonstration areas must comply with all applicable state and federal laws and institutional policies, rules, and regulations.

Violations of this policy may result in one or more of the following:

  • A request of an individual or organization to cease and desist, relocate, or vacate the premises or property owned or controlled by CWI by law enforcement or an authorized representative of CWI.
  • Commencement of institutional disciplinary proceedings by the appropriate department or academic unit.
  • Arrest and prosecution for violation of local, state, and federal law(s).
  • Restriction of future use of, or access to, the CWI campus or free expression areas.