Freedom of Expression
Learn Your Rights and Responsibilities
In the following sections, persons/groups/department personnel wishing to share a message at LBCC will find guidance on the many times, places and manners by which expression is fully supported and protected in a content-neutral manner. While individuals are welcome to share diverse viewpoints, the college expects attempts to also keep our expression of disagreements both constructive and respectful (see "Respectfully Engage" below to understand how to disagree with respect and to find expressive workshops, club gatherings, and events.)
Also see headings below for information on inviting or organizing “Speakers & Events,” using designated spaces and guidelines for “Posting Content;” including use of bulletin boards, whiteboards, digital signage, field signs and the like; information on appropriate spaces/means of protesting or demonstrating on campus.
Learn our three types of spaces, each with its own expressive guidelines/rules:
- Non-Public Forum — Classroom and offices, for example. Are there speech rights in these spaces?
- Limited Public Forum — Library, Learning Center, theaters, and spaces where scheduled events occur. What are the rules for these spaces?
- Open Public Forum — Where do we have the greatest freedoms?
Understand how the college will respond to situations when "Protected Speech Contradicts College Values." And learn the "Exceptions", which are the types of speech that will never be protected and may be subject to interruption or consequences under our Student Rights, Responsibilities & Conduct Code. Finally, learn what the college has committed to do when “Protected Speech Contradicts LBCC Community Values.” (See Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression.)
The college and its student clubs offer several resources for learning about respectful engagement with viewpoint diversity. These resources include:
- Join Us for Expressive Events Coming Soon in Our Community
- Student Clubs and co-curriculars
- LBCC Civil Discourse Club
- Other Club/Co-Curricular Opportunities to Gather around Shared Interests
- Yearning to Learn or Read More on Free Expression
Times, Places, & Manners of Speech
Bringing My Message to Campus
LBCC Art Galleries are either Non-Public Forum or Limited Public Forum where art is displayed by permission of the college and/or any recognized student group appointed to select and hang art. No individual, employee, student or public person has a right to post in these galleries except through the art submission processes established by each gallery and the art department or gallery sponsor. The college will generally refrain from interfering with the selection processes established by those who manage the art galleries and will refrain from judging the content or message of the artist in terms of right to post. Individuals wishing to offer art for gallery display should contact art faculty. For rules on Non-Public Forum and Limited Public Forum, see those headings in Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression. Art galleries may display art that is controversial or only for adult viewing. Parental discretion is advised in these areas. Galleries are strongly encouraged to post signs at all entrances to notify students and the public when they are entering a gallery which may contain content not suitable for children. In addition, galleries are encouraged to be thoughtful to post mature art in locations where students and the public (including children) may opt in, rather than be forced to opt out.
Individuals or student groups wishing to post art in Open Public Forum may use the public bulletin boards and other Open Public Forum spaces to share their art so long as they comply with all rules for those spaces.
Reminder: If there is no rule, the space or method of communication is generally not permitted. Questions may be referred to the Office of Student Development.
See the section on Banners in Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression.
See the section on Collection Bins in Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression.
For information about where you can post flyers, look at the Bulletin Boards section of Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression.
Electronic monitors are for college and student organization use only. Whiteboards and digital signage for communications in public or limited public spaces will be treated otherwise as bulletin boards and are designated for user at time of placement.. To add a whiteboard, bulletin board or digital signage for college department use, the building manager must consent. To add these for student, student organizations or public use, must be approved by Dean of Students and the relevant building manager. In some cases, the College will consult student leaders on the addition of or removal of these communication tools.
Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression defines the three types of forums, with particular rules and expectations. Please direct any question about these types of forum to the Dean of Students.
For information see the Partisan Endorsement section of Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression.
Construction of Structures for Expression
Persons or organizations wishing to place a temporary structure are to consult with the Office of Public Safety and Risk Management and Facilities to ensure the structure is safely constructed, and properly maintained by the sponsor for the duration of the demonstration. The College reserves the right in a content-neutral manner to direct such persons to Open Public Forum or Limited Public Forum locations as an alternative to approval of erecting a structure. Any approved structure shall be placed pursuant to a negotiated agreement and published standards of the College and shall remain on campus no longer than two hours past the time approved for the event. No person may camp or habituate in the structure. Risk Management shall have primary voice in determining safety and other issues in the approval or disapproval of a structure. Structures may be on display for no more than 30 consecutive days. The sponsor may contact Public Safety about the availability of a location for a structure to learn if other planned uses of the space would reduce the time the structure could be on display.
Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression. contains rules about student publications. Rob Priewe and the Dean of Students are good resources for understanding these policies.
Administrative Rule 7030-01: Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct Code (Section B) discusses the freedom to create student publications.
Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression. contains rules about college and community publications. Please direct questions to Marketing and Office of Data and Decision Support.
See the section on Sandwich Boards in Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression.
Students, Staff, and the Community can schedule open and limited forum spaces throughout the college for Freedom of Expression activities. To schedule a location in Open Public Forum, contact the Public Safety Office at 541-917-4440 or at email@example.com.
To schedule a table in Takena Hall, contact Dean of Students Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To schedule other spaces, contact Food & Conference Services at
College and student organizations may offer social media and create rules for engaging within the platforms. More details are are available in the Social Media section of Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression.
Speakers and Events
See the section on Speakers and Events in Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression.
See the section on Table Tents and Flyers in Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression.
What Will The College Do When Protected Speech Contradicts College Values
November 6, 2018
We at Linn-Benton Community College are first and foremost an inclusive teaching and learning community that values and seeks to uphold the freedom, dignity, and potential of each of our members. Because of this, we actively affirm the right to Free Expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution and further defined and delineated by our own Policies and Administrative Rules. These policies reflect and affirm the central tenant of higher learning that its success depends on the freedom of thought, the freedom to explore and express new ideas, the promotion and practice of critical thinking, and the ability to contribute to and expand collective knowledge.
Nevertheless, protecting Free Expression does not preclude our ability and responsibility to respond to expressions that are antagonistic to our Values, nor does it exempt us from our responsibility to understand and respond in a manner that reflects an awareness of and sensitivity to those systemic biases of our culture that add significance to such expressions for those who have been historically marginalized. Therefore, we at LBCC establish that expressions of intolerance based on status, religion, and/or ideology, and all other expressions that are intended to divide us or demean any one or any group of us are antithetical to the Values by which we have chosen to define and unite ourselves. Therefore, while we will protect the rights of all to express themselves, we will also challenge those expressions that work to undermine our capacity to serve the inclusive “ALL” of our Mission.
We recognize that protecting some of the more extreme examples of Free Expression while at the same time actively upholding our core commitment to Inclusiveness creates an inherent tension, and we acknowledge that efforts to examine, clarify, and affirm our college’s Values in the context of this tension require examination on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, we have established these principles and guidelines.
- For the purposes of this document, we define “Speech” as including all forms of expression that are protected by and subject to the First Amendment to the Constitution as well as the Policies and Administrative Rules of LBCC.
- For the purposes of this document, we define and delineate Speech into three categories:
- Speech that is not protected
- Protected Speech that is congruous with our Mission and Values
- Protected Speech that is incongruent with our Mission and Values
- Speech that is NOT protected:
- Speech that is not protected by law
The protection of Speech does NOT extend to behaviors, images, or words that cross the line into targeted harassment or intimidation, personal threats, damages to property, or that create a pervasively hostile environment for students, employees, or the LBCC community. This is a high standard but, where it is clear that Speech crosses this line, it should be referred to Campus Safety immediately, who will then notify appropriate campus offices, oversee removal of the Speech, and refer to law enforcement where appropriate.
- Speech that is not protected due to non-compliance with LBCC’s rules
Some otherwise protected speech may not be protected on the LBCC campuses due to LBCC’s rules regarding Time, Place, and Manner. Refer to AR 1055-1 for details noting that violations should be reported to the Dean of Students through the online reporting system.
- Protected Speech that is congruous with our Mission and Values
This is a broad and inclusive category, including expressions of experiences, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and questions that reflect the full range of an inclusive community. This Speech should be respected, encouraged, and engaged with as a source of viewpoint diversity, an invaluable resource in teaching and learning critical thought and cultural competency, and a foundation for developing human character.
- Protected Speech that is incongruent with our Mission and Values
While we will unequivocally defend Speech within the guidelines of the Law and our Policies and Rules, including even those expressions that are in conflict with our Values, we will challenge expressions of intolerance based on status, religion, and/or ideology, and all other expressions that are intended to divide us or demean any one or any group of us. Our purpose in challenging such Speech should be to advance mutual understanding while at the same time affirming our Mission and core Values and defending the inclusion of each and every one our college community’s members. And, while we believe that each and every LBCC community member should play a role in challenging Speech that is incongruent with our Mission and Values, and that the College has a responsibility to train and equip our community members for this role, we also recognize that certain incidents of Speech that are incongruent with our Mission and Values will rise to the level of requiring an Institutional Response. This may be true because of the If and when these occur, we will use the following guidelines.
- We will make a good faith effort to contact the author to seek clarification of intent and an understanding of context through constructive engagement, providing an opportunity for learning and a potential restatement that is more consistent with the Values by which we at LBCC define ourselves. Any clarification and understanding thereby derived will be shared openly in a manner corresponding to the initial expression, together with summary assessment of the congruence or incongruence of the author’s speech with the Values by which we at LBCC define ourselves.
- Where intent is clear and the author is unwilling to engage, we will unilaterally develop a summary assessment of the congruence or incongruence of the author’s expression with the Values by which we at LBCC define ourselves, and openly share this assessment in a manner corresponding to the initial expression.
- We will seek to promote a climate of free dialogue and debate open to all views, regardless of how controversial. However, recognizing that such constructive engagement requires meaningful dialogue between known individuals, we reserve the right to remove any anonymous Speech that is incongruent with our Mission and Values.
Finally, we recognize that Speech that is NOT protected, as well as Protected Speech that is nonetheless incongruent with our Mission and Values, has the potential of aggrieving members of our community and especially those members who are also members of historically marginalized groups, and we acknowledge our responsibility to provide support and accommodation for those who are thus aggrieved. Additionally, we believe that we as a community always have something to learn in providing this support and accommodation, thereby enhancing our future capacity for inclusiveness. Therefore, the college will offer the following supports:
- Appropriate, reasonable accommodations for a specified period of time.
- Individuals with which to engage, process, or seek counseling or trauma-informed care. (See Advising Center resources.)
- The option to request a conversation or time to be heard by a member of management to express hurt, concerns, possible remedies, and support. (Management might include the LBCC President, a Vice President, the Dean of Students, another Dean, or other manager, depending on event and availability.)
For More Information on these guidelines or for Reporting an Incident of Speech that is incongruent with our Mission and Values, please contact either the President’s Office, Scott Rolen in Human Resources or Javier Cervantes in the Department of Institutional Equity and Student Engagement.
Here are some Additional Resources on this Important Subject:
- The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff
- Hate: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship, by Nadine Strossen
- A Layperson’s Guide to Free Speech at https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/criminal/does-the-first-amendment-protect-hate-speech.html
- The Heterodox Academy at https://heterodoxacademy.org/
What Speech is Not Protected
- See Administrative Rule 1055-01: Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression for non-protected speech (examples, harassment, inciting a riot, true threats, right to require uniforms and safety gear be worn in class/labs).
- See AR 1055-01 for limitation on posting to exterior building doors ("Doorway Posting"). Only two departments may post to exterior building doors: Facilities may post college closure notices and Public Safety may post safety notices or other notices as required by law.
- Posting of materials on brick or painted walls is not permitted by any person, employee or otherwise
- Posting or materials in restrooms is not permitted by any person, employee or otherwise.
- Cell phone and camera use is not permitted in restrooms, locker rooms, or areas where people dress and undress.
- Faculty and employees govern whether cell phones may be used in class or staff offices. The default policy (Administrative Rule 7030-01: Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct Code) is without permission, cell phones are not to be used in these locations. Exceptions may be granted by employees of CFAR.
- If a type of expression is not listed it is prohibited. Send inquiries to the Office of Student Development
When unprotected speech occurs, the College may choose to stop or remove the speech, give consequences for the speech, add its own speech, or take other appropriate actions.
To report if your rights are violated and how to report unlawful speech, use our online reporting system. For an emergency, go to LBCC Campus Public Safety in Red Cedar Hall, first floor.