AR 3900: Speech: Time, Place, and Manner

Mt. Hood Community College recognizes and supports the rights of free expression and speech. This regulation is meant to inform the time, place, and manner in which individuals may engage in constitutionally protected speech and expression at the college. These individuals or groups include, but are not limited to, those representing religious organizations, groups desiring petition signatures, political candidates and their representatives, and groups representing political issues. These guidelines intend to ensure that the primary educational purpose of the college is maintained while promoting debate and the sharing of information and ideas while ensuring the safety and security of every individual.

On campus, a free speech area for students or community members who want to promote a political or religious point of view has been established. The Main Mall area (between the library and the performing arts wings) was designated as a Free Speech area. Speeches must conform to the same standards as poster material. Speeches must not advocate an illegal act or create an imminent threat of substantial disorder or violence. Also, sound amplification must be of reasonable volume and must not disrupt office and instructional activities. Other locations will not be used for this purpose unless the approval of the college president or their designee has been granted.

Mt. Hood Community College designates The Main Mall area (area between the library and the performing arts wings) as reserved for expressive activities which do not violate the collegepolicy and are lawful. These areas are chosen to provide visibility and allow communication to many students, employees, and others walking or traveling on campus but also so as not to disrupt the educational and other activities of the college.

These Main Mall areas are designated areas for public forums. The collegereserves the right to revoke that designation to one or more areas and apply a non-public forum or other designation. The college reserves the right to designate areas as non-public forums as necessary to prevent the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the college. Areas of the college that are non-public forums specifically include campus offices, classrooms, warehouses, maintenance yards, locker rooms, and any other areas not by tradition or designation a forum for public communication.

Free speech area reservation and posting flyers/information on campus:
The use of these areas reserved and open for expressive activities is subject to the following:

  • No person using the areas shall touch, strike or physically impede the progress of passersby except for incidental or accidental contact or contact initiated by a passerby.
  • Persons using areas shall not use any means of amplification that creates noise or diversion that disturbs the orderly conduct of the campus or classes taking place at that time.
  • Persons using the areas reserved for expressive activities shall not disrupt the orderly operation of the college.
  • Violators of the college poster policy are liable for repair charges if damage occurs to college property.
  • To prevent littering on campus, handbills and other materials may not be placed on the windshields of cars or other vehicles parked on campus.
  • Lawn signs are not permitted on college grounds.
  • Users shall contain their presentation and materials in the designated Free Speech areas.
  • User’s conduct shall not impede individuals or pedestrian traffic flow or disrupt the regular or authorized activities in classrooms, offices, and other college facilities.
  • Users shall not force passersby to take materials.
  • Users shall not touch, strike, or impede the progress of passersby.
  • Users shall not conduct themselves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe will lead to imminent danger or harm to other individuals present or property damage.
  • Users shall not use weapons of any kind or threaten the use of weapons toward other individuals present.
  • Users shall not use or promote the use of open flames unless specific permission has been granted to use small handheld candles.
  • User’s speech activities shall be conducted at a volume that does not disrupt the orderly conduct of college business, other campus activities, or classes taking place at that time.
  • No means of amplification that creates noise or diversion that disturbs the orderly conduct of college business, other campus activities, or classes taking place at that time shall be used.
  • Users shall not solicit donations of money through direct requests for funds, sales of tickets, or otherwise, except where they are using the designated area(s) on behalf of and collecting funds for an organization that is registered with the Secretary of State as a nonprofit corporation or is an approved Associated Students organization or club.
  • Regular hours of presentation for the Free Speech areas shall be from 8:30 AM to 4 PM on days the college is open for business.

Free Speech areas: If a counter-advocate group wishes to be heard in the same area, the two groups shall remain a minimum of 50 feet away from each other. The first group of people in the outdoor free speech area shall choose the area for their speech, and the second group of people shall stay at least 50 feet, at all times, away from the first group of people.

If users violate federal, state, or local laws, including college policies, procedures, or guidelines, the college reserves the right to take action, up to and including stopping the event and or closing the college.

The user understands that the use of the Mt. Hood Community College facility is at their sole risk and agrees that the college shall not be liable for any injuries or damages, claims demand, lawsuits, or causes of action (including attorney fees and other expenses thereto) whatsoever to the user, for property damage, bodily injury, and/or death whether or not caused by negligence, arising out of or connected with the user’s use of the Free Speech areas. The college shall not be responsible for any loss, damage, or theft of the user’s personal property.

Non-student community groups wishing to engage in speech or expressive activities on campus, in the areas designated as public forums, must check in with the Student Union staff before engaging in the activities. This does not involve an advance approval process. No illegal activities will be permitted, no activities that violate the rules, including rules and laws on illegal harassment and discrimination, and none that will substantially interfere with or disrupt activities already scheduled for that day and time in the designated areas, as described below. In the event the area sought to be used for expressive activities has already been reserved for another activity so that there will be substantial interference or disruption based on noise, overcrowding, or other considerations unrelated to content, the college will offer available alternative areas or if none are available, offer alternative dates. Students, outside organizations, and others are encouraged to make reservations in advance to use the areas for their expressive activities through the Student Union.

All persons using the areas that are designated public forums shall be allowed to distribute petitions, circulars, leaflets, newspapers, and other printed matters. Those persons distributing printed material must, prior to their departure from the areas that day, make reasonable efforts to retrieve, remove, or properly discard material that is discarded or dropped in or around areas other than in an appropriate receptacle.

Bulletin boards shall be provided for use in posting materials at campus locations convenient for use by students, staff, and members of the public. All materials displayed on a bulletin board should clearly indicate the author or agency responsible for its production and should be dated with the date of posting by the Student Union staff. Materials displayed shall be removed after the passage of the date of the event.

Approval for the distribution of literature must be obtained from the Student Union staff, Room 1051. Literature tables for the distribution of information, publicity, or as part of a promotional activity may be scheduled for use at various approved locations in the Student Union by authorized persons. All activities must conform to college policies and city, state, and federal ordinances and laws. In addition, the sale or distribution of food or beverages and solicitations of any kind are prohibited unless approved by the college president. All activity associated with the literature table must be confined to the designated table and reserved· area. Sound amplification or projection equipment is not permitted as part of the activity without special approval. The person with tables may not stop, harass, interfere, or accost passersby.

Approved: 10/17/23


  • NWCCU Standard 2.B.2