Free Speech and Expression Policy and Complaint Procedures

This policy is designed to provide assurance and clarity to the campus community that Hawkeye recognizes the fundamental rights of free expression as set forth in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Iowa.

Hawkeye strives to ensure that non-commercial expressive activities on campus are protected to the fullest extent, subject only to limited restrictions as provided and allowed by law, including, without limitation, Iowa Code Chapter 261H. To that end, Hawkeye has adopted the following policy:

1. Free Speech and Expression

a. The primary function of an institution of higher learning such as Hawkeye is the discovery, improvement, transmission, and dissemination of knowledge by means of research, teaching, discussion, and debate. To fulfill this function, Hawkeye strives to ensure the fullest degree of intellectual freedom and free expression allowed under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

b. It is not the proper role of an institution of higher learning such as Hawkeye to shield individuals from speech protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which may include ideas and opinions the individual finds unwelcome, disagreeable, or even offensive. Instead, it is the proper role of Hawkeye to encourage diversity of thoughts, ideas, and opinions and to encourage, within the bounds of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the peaceful, respectful, and safe exercise of First Amendment rights.

c. Hawkeye students and faculty have the freedom to discuss any problem that presents itself, assemble, and engage in spontaneous expressive activity on campus, within the bounds of established principles of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that are consistent with established First Amendment principles.

d. The outdoor areas of Hawkeye's campus are public forums, open on the same terms to any invited speaker subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that are consistent with established principles of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

2. Definitions

a. "Benefit" with respect to a student organization means any of the following: (i) recognition; (ii) registration; (iii) use of facilities for meetings or speaking purposes; (iv) use of channels of communication; and (v) access to funding sources that are otherwise available to other student groups.

b. "Campus community" means Hawkeye students, administrators, faculty, and staff and guests invited to campus by Hawkeye students, administrators, faculty, or staff.

c. "Materially and substantially disrupts" means when a person, with the intent to or with knowledge of doing so, engages in violent or other disorderly conduct that significantly hinders a previously scheduled or reserved activity occurring on College grounds, buildings, and facilities. "Materially and substantially disrupts" does not include conduct that is protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, including, but not limited to, lawful protests and counter-protests.

d. "Outdoor areas of campus" means the generally accessible outside areas of campus where students, administrators, faculty, and staff are commonly allowed, such as grassy areas, walkways, or other similar common areas and does not include areas outside health care facilities, including both stand-alone facilities and mixed-use facilities that are embedded within another facility, a facility or outdoor area used by RedTail athletics programs or teams, or other outdoor areas where access is restricted to a majority of the campus community. In recognition of the healing environment that is essential to its clinical purposes, the areas outside health care facilities, including both stand-alone facilities and mixed-use facilities that are embedded within another facility, are not designated public forums.

e. "Student" means an individual who is enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis at Hawkeye.

f. "Student organization" means a group officially recognized at or registered by Hawkeye, or a group seeking such official recognition or registration, comprised of Hawkeye students who receive, or are seeking to receive, student organization benefits or privileges through the College.

3. Protected Activities

a. Noncommercial expressive activities protected under the provisions of this policy include, but are not limited to, any lawful oral or written means by which members of the campus community may communicate ideas to one another, including, but not limited to, all forms of peaceful assembly, protests, speeches including by invited speakers, distribution of literature, circulating petitions, and publishing, including publishing or streaming on an internet site, audio or video recorded in outdoor areas of campus.

b. A member of the campus community who wishes to engage in noncommercial expressive activity in outdoor areas of campus shall be permitted to do so freely, subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, and as long as the member's conduct is not unlawful, does not impede others' access to a facility or use of walkways, and does not disrupt the functioning of Hawkeye's operations, subject to the protections described in subsection 3.a above. Hawkeye may designate other areas of campus available for use by the campus community according to its institutional policies, but in all cases access to designated areas of campus must be granted on a viewpoint-neutral basis within the bounds of established First Amendment principles.

c. Hawkeye will not deny benefits or privileges available to student organizations based on the viewpoint of a student organization or the expression of the viewpoint of a student organization by the student organization or its members protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In addition, Hawkeye will not deny any benefit or privilege to a student organization based on the student organization's requirement that the leaders of the student organization agree to and support the student organization's beliefs, as those beliefs are interpreted and applied by the organization, and to further the student organization's mission.

d. This section shall not be interpreted as limiting the right of student expression in a counter demonstration held in an outdoor area of campus as long as the conduct at the counter demonstration is not unlawful, does not materially and substantially prohibit the free expression rights of others in an outdoor area of campus or disrupt the functioning of Hawkeye's operations, and does not impede others' access to a facility or use of walkways, subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that are consistent with established principles of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

e. This policy shall not be interpreted as preventing the College prohibiting, limiting, or restricting expression that the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States does not protect, including, but not limited to, a threat of serious harm and expression directed or likely directed to provoke imminent unlawful actions; or from prohibiting harassment, including, but not limited to, expression which is so severe, pervasive, and subjectively and objectively offensive that the expression unreasonably interferes with an individual's access to educational opportunities or benefits provided by Hawkeye.

4. Public Forums on Campus; Freedom of Association

a. The outdoor areas of campuses are deemed public forums. Hawkeye will maintain and enforce clear, published, reasonable viewpoint-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions that are narrowly tailored in furtherance of a significant institutional interest, but will allow members of the campus community to engage in spontaneous expressive activity and to distribute literature. Restrictions instituted under this section shall provide for ample alternative means of expression.

b. Except as provided in this policy, and subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, Hawkeye shall not designate any area of campus a free-speech zone or otherwise create policies restricting expressive activities to a particular outdoor area of campus.

c. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to grant individuals the right to engage in conduct that intentionally, materially, and substantially disrupts the expressive activity of a person or student organization if Hawkeye has reserved space in an outdoor area of campus for activity by the person or student organization in accordance with this policy.

5. Remedies; Statute of Limitations; Immunity

a. A member of the campus community shall bring a claim for violation of this policy no later than one year after the day the cause of action accrues.

b. Nothing in this policy shall be construed to make any employee of the College personally liable for acts taken pursuant to the employee’s official duties.

Student Complaint

Procedures

a. Complaints must be presented by the complainant (student) on the complaint form. All questions must be answered.

b. Complaints shall be filed by students with the Dean of Students; Hawkeye Center 208C.

c. Complaints must be filed within one year of the date of the action causing the complaint.

d. The Dean of Students will review the complaint and attempt a resolution.

e. Within 30 calendar days of the formal complaint, the student will be notified in writing of the resolution.

Student Free Speech and Expression Policy Complaint Form

All fields marked with * are required.

By submitting this complaint form you hereby verify that the information contained in this complaint is true and understand that this complaint and the information provided may be shared with the individuals involved in the complaint.


    Dean of Students

    Nancy Henderson
    Student Services
    Hawkeye Center 208
    319-296-4014
    Email me

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