Skip to Main Navigation | Skip to Content

University Policy Office

Shelly G. Gonzalez, Policy Officer
Administration 208
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4730
Fax: 660.543.8022

Public Speech Activities Policy
Board of Governors Policy 1.2.160
Approved by the Board of Governors on December 13, 2002

I. Purpose

The freedom to assemble and exchange views is an essential component of the education process. This policy is intended to clarify the rights and responsibilities of the University of Central Missouri, members of the university community, visitors and guests regarding public speech activities.

Note: For the purposes of this policy “public speech activities” may include demonstrations (individual or collective), picketing, distribution of leaflets/publications, sit-ins, marches, mass gatherings and all other similar gatherings.

II. Policy

A. The University of Central Missouri will take all reasonable steps to ensure that an educational environment prevails on campus to enable educational pursuits without disruptions.

B. Members of the university community, visitors and guests will engage in the exercise of responsible public speech activities without compromising the peaceful and orderly operation of the university.

C. Members of the university community, visitors and/or guests planning a public speech activity will give prior notice to university officials in accordance with the procedures established in Section III of this policy. University officials must be given an opportunity to determine if university activities and functions will be disrupted by the planned activity. In turn, university officials will work with activity organizers to relocate or otherwise modify the planned activity before a disruption occurs.

D. The university is not obligated to grant permission for a public speech activity if it has information that university operations will be disrupted or that an imminent threat of unlawful activity or violence exists.

E. Public speech activities may not:

  1. include expression that is not entitled to protection as expression. Examples include but are not limited to: expression that is defamatory; expression intended to incite lawless action; expression that consists of fighting words or threats of physical harm; and/or any unlawful speech

  2. impede the flow of any pedestrian or vehicular traffic

  3. interfere with classes, scheduled meetings, ceremonies and activities, or with other educational or operational processes of the university

  4. leave the areas utilized for the activity damaged or littered following the activity

  5. be conducted in campus residential areas, such as campus apartment complexes, residence halls and Selmo Park

F. Public speech activities will not have specific designated locations on campus, and will be held at reasonable times.

G. Students, faculty and staff are subject to law, ordinances and university policies when they engage in public speech activities, and violations will be addressed through university and/or law enforcement forums. Visitors and guests are subject to law and local ordinances and will be subject to university policies when using university facilities.

H. The authority to make decisions on behalf of the university regarding compliance or noncompliance with this policy, and the authority to make exceptions to this policy, rest with the director of public safety. This official may also consult with officials in the division of student affairs when making decisions regarding issues addressed in this policy. Decisions of the director of public safety pursuant to this policy shall be immediately appealable to the president.

III. Procedure

A. Members of the university community, visitors and/or guests planning to hold or sponsor a public speech activity should provide the Office of Public Safety with notification of the desired time, location, expected attendance of the activity, the type of activity planned and at least 24 hours advance notice of the activity.

B. Members of the university community, visitors and/or guests wishing to use a public address system for a public speech activity must submit a request specifying the type of equipment, intended location, and time and duration of planned use to the Office of Public Safety at least 24 hours prior to the anticipated event. The standard to be applied in granting or denying requests will give primacy to needs for preventing interruption of and interference with regularly scheduled classes and other university processes and maintaining the reasonable peace of the campus.

C. Participation in public speech activities which are disorderly or unlawful will subject a student to possible disciplinary action, which could include suspension from the university.


Approved by the Board of Governors on December 13, 2002
Formatting updated on August 1, 2007