Policy on Freedom of Expression

The College respects the right to freedom of expression for individuals or groups within the College community. The College, however, does have an obligation to protect its facilities. For this reason it is the general policy of Northwest-Shoals Community College that no person, company, or other organization will distribute literature, post signs, sell merchandise, or promote religious, commercial, or political activities on the campus of this institution without first obtaining permission from the Assistant Dean. All requests must be in writing and submitted to the Assistant Dean at least five (5) business days before the event.

Circulating Petitions

Any individual desiring to promote petitions of a political, religious, commercial, or other issue-oriented nature will be restricted to a designated area. Petitioning is restricted to one-day with a renewal option on a one-day basis.

Commercial, Political, Promotional, and Religious Activities

College facilities and off-campus sites for College activities may be used for commercial solicitation, advertising, political, promotional, and religious activities only when such activities are sponsored and requested by a college employee or an officially recognized student organization. These activities may not interfere with or operate to the detriment of the conduct of college affairs.

All political organizations or persons representing such will be provided space in a designated area. Political activity will be restricted to one-day with a renewal option on a one-day basis.

Distribution of Literature

Distribution of literature is limited to a specific area. A copy of literature to be distributed must be filed with the office of the Assistant Dean at least two days prior to distribution. All literature must bear the name of the sponsoring organization and/or person. Anonymous literature may not be distributed on campus. Distribution of literature will be limited to one-day and may be renewed on a one-day basis.

Guest Speakers

For the purposes of this handbook, guest speakers are persons invited to Northwest-Shoals Community College by a registered student organization or for the purpose of addressing a college audience. The President of the College has the authority to cancel any speaking engagement when the appearance is deemed to constitute a clear and present danger to the orderly operation of the institution. The College has set up the following procedure for guest speakers.

Registered student organizations must obtain the approval in writing of the club advisor and the Assistant Dean when sponsoring a guest speaker. The organization must obtain and submit the required approval form to the Assistant Dean before submitting an invitation to the speaker. Responsibility for the selection of appropriate speakers rests with the student organization. When questions of appropriateness are involved, the club advisor and the student organization should confer with the Assistant Dean.

No publicity concerning speakers may be released before approval of a guest speaker has been given by the Assistant Dean and the event has been scheduled on the college calendar. Room arrangements for meeting with speakers must be made in the Office of the President. In keeping with the traditions of the community college, guest speakers should, if at all possible, allow a reasonable opportunity to receive and answer questions from the audience.

The speaker alone is responsible for the views presented in his or her address. Invitation to speakers to speak on campus does not necessarily imply the approval of the expressed views by the sponsoring group, the College, or any official of the College.

News Releases and Off-Campus Publicity

News releases and off-campus publicity regarding upcoming events on campus must be submitted to the Public Relations Office at least three weeks prior to the date of the event.

Poster Registration and Television Monitor Ads

Only student organizations chartered by the College or groups authorized by the College administration may advertise through posters and literature.

An exception will be student elections, for which candidates may advertise one week prior to election day. This gives the candidate an opportunity to campaign and present their platform to the student body.

Posters or literature may be placed on campus at locations approved by the Assistant Dean.

Signs, posters, or literature are prohibited from:

  • Restrooms
  • Glass panels, windows, doors and ceilings
  • Library buildings
  • Any surface that could be damaged by tape or tacks

No flyers or pamphlets should be distributed on campus without the approval of the Assistant Dean.

Under no circumstances may materials be distributed on windshields of vehicles.

All posters that relate to students must be approved by the Assistant Dean. All posters that are to be displayed must bear a stamp indicating approval. Unregistered posters, signs, announcements, etc. are subject to removal. The recommended poster size is 11” x 17”; however, larger posters will be allowed if permission is granted. Appearance of all posters, signs, etc. will be expected to exemplify the members’ interest in an organization and the function which they are advertising. Lettering will be expected to be clear and uniform, permitting easy readability. The College reserves the right to refuse to register a poster, sign, etc. which is deemed inappropriate for public display.

Event posters should be displayed for a period not to exceed seven days before the event which they publicize. All posters should be removed by 1:00 p.m. the afternoon following the advertised event. In case of weekend functions, all posters should be removed by 1:00 p.m. the following Monday Nonevent posters also have a seven-day limit.

Use of College Equipment or Facilities

Individuals are prohibited from unauthorized use of the College’s equipment or facilities. Equipment may include but is not limited to copiers or duplicating equipment. Authorization for such must be secured through the Instructional Dean's Office.