Freedom of Expression

MCC is an institution that believes in the freedom of expression, freedom of speech and right to peaceably assemble. People or groups are supported when exercising these freedoms when on our grounds. The purpose of this policy is to facilitate expressive activities while ensuring that such activities do not interfere with College operations and the learning environment.

Freedom of Expression – Advocacy  – in support of the Freedom of Expression

MCC has established an advocacy policy effective January 1, 2022.  If a concern should arise in regard to the Freedom of Expression a report may be filed, or complaint submitted by clicking on Questions & Complaints link on the bottom of any Muskegon Community College public webpage.  These will be received and investigated by the Director of Compliance.

For anyone lawfully present on the College’s campuses, the outdoor common areas are designated as venues for free expression, including spontaneous expression, speeches, demonstrations and distribution of information. Anyone who wishes to engage in commercial solicitation is required to reserve time and space for such activities following the terms of this policy.

For purposes of this policy, the term “expressive activity” includes such activities as:

  • Group activities;
  • Speeches, performances, demonstrations, parades, marches, rallies, vigils and other events;
  • Distributions of informational materials, such as circulars, newspapers, leaflets and
  • pamphlets;
  • Any other expression, including spontaneous expression, protected by the First
  • Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

MCC maintains its authority to regulate the time, place and manner of expressive activities, it shall not consider or regulate the content or viewpoint of expressive activities when enforcing this policy, including by restricting students’ expression based on concerns about other person(s)’ negative reaction to that expression.

MCC will work to ensure that expressive activities transpire without interference by the College, provided the learning environment is not substantially and materially disrupted and campus safety is not compromised by the expressive activities. If persons react negatively to expressive activities occurring on campus, the College will take necessary steps to ensure campus safety while allowing the expressive activity to continue, unless the College’s operations are materially and substantially disrupted.

  • For purposes of this policy, the term “outdoor common” refers to such areas as:  Lawns, sidewalks, benches and other outdoor areas that are not otherwise reserved for use;
  • For purposes of this policy, the peaceful distribution of informational materials in the outdoor common areas does not, without more, represent a substantial or material disruption to the learning environment at the College.
  • Expressive activities, as defined by this policy, are allowed on campus during the periods that College facilities are open to the general public.

No expressive activity at MCC shall be permitted to:

  • Violate or infringe upon the rights of others;
  • Falsely defame an individual;
  • Constitute a genuine threat or harassment;
  • Invade privacy or confidentiality interests;
  • Block access to campus buildings;
  • Impede entry or exit to the College or any College property, pedestrian pathway, parking lot, building, facility or event;
  • Obstruct vehicle or pedestrian traffic;
  • Include the use of audio amplification devices, unless specifically authorized by the College;
  • Include the use of fire or pyrotechnics, unless specifically authorized by the College;
  • Affix materials to College buildings, equipment, fences, trees or property, unless specifically authorized by the College.

MCC does not assume any obligation or responsibility for the content of expressive activities or materials distributed. People engaging in expressive activities assume responsibility for damages to College property, for the cleanup of materials immediately following the conclusion of expressive activities and for remaining in compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws.