Policy 1A.15: Expression and Assembly


Policy 1A.15 Expression and Assembly




    Anoka Technical College recognizes the vital role that freedom of expression plays at an institution of higher learning and is committed to protecting that right. The College acknowledges the importance of providing members of the Anoka Technical College community with the opportunity to hear speakers and to be heard. The primary mission of the College, however, is to provide educational services to students. This policy informs students and the public of the manner in which they may engage in constitutionally-protected expression at the colleges, while ensuring continuity of educational services.


    Anoka Technical College retains the right to establish reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions concerning acts of expression in order to preserve the educational and business functions of the colleges. This policy does not apply to expression that falls outside Constitutional protection, such as libel, slander, obscenity, "true threats," or speech that incites imminent violence or law-breaking.




    In accordance with Minnesota State Policy 3.1 Student Rights and Responsibilities, Anoka Technical College recognizes the following principles:


    1. Freedom to Learn 
      In addition to the basic constitutional rights enjoyed by all citizens, students at colleges and universities have specific rights related to academic freedom and their status as students. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends on appropriate opportunities and conditions in all learning environments, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students are expected to exercise their freedom with responsibility.


    2. Freedom of Expression
      Individual students and student organizations shall be free to examine and to discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. They shall be free to support causes by orderly means that do not substantially disrupt the regular and essential operation of the College.


    3. Freedom of Association
      Students shall be free to organize and join organizations to promote their common and lawful interests, subject to college policies, procedures, or regulations.





    For purposes of this Policy, the following definitions apply:


    1. “Student” means a student enrolled in one or more classes during the academic term in which expression occurs.


    2. “Non-affiliated organization” means an organization not affiliated with the College. This includes members of the public, use of College facilities by faculty, staff or students for personal use and collective bargaining units of the College not in good standing.
    3. Recognized student group” means a student group officially recognized by the College. See Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (“Minnesota State”) Policy 2.1.


    1. Classrooms


      Students shall be free to take reasoned exception to the information or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled. Enrolled students who engage in expression that is disruptive and interferes with teaching, prevents learning from taking place, or is otherwise prohibited by Policy 3F.1 Student Conduct Code may be directed to leave class for the remainder of the class period.


    2. Designated Expression and Assembly Areas


      The College has designated the following areas for students to engage in expression and assembly outside of the classroom:


      • Cafeteria
      • South Hallway
      • Northwest corner of frontage road, in the grassy area


      Students or student organizations who want to use the designated areas are required to register with the dean of students at least two days prior to using the area. Permits will not be denied based on the subject matter of the expression. Where expression or assembly is raucous or threatening, inciting of violence, or harassing such that it disrupts college activities, students will be directed to cease activities and disperse or leave the premises. No sound amplification is allowed.


    3. Student-Sponsored Forums


    Recognized student groups shall have the right to assemble, to select speakers, and to discuss issues of their choice. Recognized student groups who want to use College facilities that fall outside of designated expression and assembly areas shall reserve and use facilities pursuant to Policy 5.3 and Procedure 5.3.1 Facilities Reservations and Rental. The College President or designee may prohibit any forum when there is a likelihood of harm to individuals or damage to property if the event is held. Prior to any such prohibition, the College President shall consult with the student group, where practicable.




    1. Designated Expression and Assembly Areas


      The College has designated the following areas for non-affiliated organizations and individuals to engage in expression and assembly:


      • Northwest corner of frontage road, in the grassy area
      • Upper level of east parking lot, on the east side of the stairs (literature distribution only)


      See appendix Assembly Area Map.


    All non-affiliated organizations (regardless of size) who want to use the designated areas are required to request a permit from the Office of Public Safety no less than one week prior to using the area. The permit will designate the area in which a group may assemble, and groups are required to stay within that area.


    All expression and assembly areas for use by non-affiliated organizations are external to campus buildings, and are designated based on size, availability, and other                                   operational considerations. Permits will not be denied based on the subject matter of the expression.


    At no time may any group engage in activities to obstruct or disrupt teaching, research, administration, or college activities. Where expression or assembly is raucous or threatening, inciting of violence, or harassing such that it disrupts college activities, organizations and individuals will be directed to cease activities and leave the premises. No sound amplification is allowed.


    Impeding access to entrances or parking lots or otherwise interfering with the free flow of pedestrian or automotive traffic into and out of campus buildings and grounds is prohibited.


    Non-affiliated organizations may not have access to or be permitted to enter facilities, unless authorized by the Office of Public Safety.


     Non-affiliated organizations may distribute materials but may not solicit or proselytize.




    1. Chalking
      1. Registration

        Officially recognized student groups, College departments, and individual students or employees can register to chalk. Non-affiliated organizations and individuals are not allowed to chalk. Sponsoring of non-affiliated organizations is prohibited.

        Registration with the dean of students is required to chalk. Failure to register will result in the chalk being removed at the expense of the individual(s). A “Request to Chalk” form must be submitted to the dean of students no less than one week before the requested date of chalking. The request will be approved or denied within two working days. Requests to chalk will not be denied based on the subject matter of the expression.

      2. Chalking Areas

        The College has designated the following areas for chalking:

        • The sidewalk outside of the main college entrance

        No chalking is allowed on any steps or non-sidewalk surface, on or in any building, or on any other college property except for the sidewalk area listed above. All other chalking will be washed immediately at the expense of the responsible individuals.

      3. Restrictions

                          All chalk must be washable “sidewalk” chalk.

                         Overwriting, erasing, defacing, or altering the chalking of another person or group is prohibited.

                         The sponsor of the chalking must be identified alongside the chalked message.

                         Content that is by law not protected speech is prohibited, and will be erased by the College. 

                       d. Timeframe.

                         Chalking must be removed by the sponsor three [3] days after the initial day it appears. The expiration date will be provided upon approval of the “Request to Chalk” form.

                        The date of chalking must appear alongside the chalked message, as “Posted __/__/__.”

                      e. Appeal

     Determinations made concerning chalking requests or erasure may be appealed to the vice president of finance and administration. The decision of the vice president is final.

  1. Commercial Activities and Charitable Contributions

          Except as expressly allowed pursuant to this Policy or another College policy or agreement, non-affiliated organizations are prohibited from engaging in commercial activities on campus. Charitable contributions and other fundraising activities by foundations or recognized student organizations are covered by Minnesota State Policy 5.15 Fundraising.

  2. Dissemination of Written Materials

          Individuals and groups affiliated with the College are permitted to disseminate non-           commercial written material via hand distribution in open spaces on campus provided they do not otherwise obstruct the flow of traffic on campus.

          Non-affiliated organizations and individuals have the freedom to distribute information       and products on outdoor college property that is defined “public” by law. This includes      sidewalks along the service roads and outwards through parking lots to streets. “Public”       does not include the grounds between college buildings and sidewalks, sidewalks leading        to entrances, nor the buildings themselves.

          Placement of products or information on vehicles is discouraged.  Such action may   result in a fine or trespass notice from the city, pursuant to municipal ordinance, where   applicable.

  3. Posting

    Posting of signs, flyers, and notices must be made pursuant to Policy 5.2 On Campus Posting Policy.

  4. Election Activity
  1. General Principles

          As a state supported, public institution of higher learning, the College is required to remain neutral concerning partisan political activities. 

          The College recognizes the rights of members of the College community to engage in partisan political activities in their individual capacities, separate and distinct from their standing as     members of the Anoka Technical College community.


  1. Partisan Political Activities on Campus

          Anoka Technical College shall not endorse a candidate for partisan political activity, nor shall any individual affiliated with the College do so on behalf of the College.

          Political campus organizations shall have access to campus facilities as described in this Policy on the same basis as other recognized student groups. 

          Recognized student groups and individual members of the College community may participate in partisan political activity but shall disclaim doing so on behalf of Anoka Technical College by including the following statement at any event or in any publication: “Anoka Technical College does not sponsor or endorse this event/publication.”

  2. Precinct Caucuses

    The College shall make their facilities available for the holding of precinct caucuses and legislative district or county conventions as required by Minn. Stat. Ch. 202A.

    The College will not schedule any event after 6:00 p.m. on the day of a major political party precinct caucus without the permission of the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State.

  3. Polling Places
            The College shall serve as a polling place, when requested to do so by the County.



Related Documents:

Designated Expression and Assembly Area Permit

Registration for Use of Designated Expression and Assembly Area

Request to Chalk

Designated Assembly Area Map





9/23/2020    Adopted.