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Statements / Free Speech



Disclaimer

Eastern Shore Community College provides its website, catalog, schedules, and handbooks for your general guidance.  The College does not guarantee that the information contained within them, including, but not limited to, the contents of any page that resides under DNS registrations of es.vccs.edu and the associated social media site of facebook.com/esccva is up-to-date, complete and accurate, and individuals assume any risks associated with relying upon such information without checking other credible sources such as a college advisor, dean or vice-president.  In addition, a student’s or prospective student’s reliance upon course information contained within these sources, or individual program catalogs or handbooks, when making academic decisions does not constitute, and should not be construed as, a contract with the college. Further, the college reserves the right to make changes to any provision or requirement within these sources, as well as changes to any curriculum or program, whether during a student’s enrollment or otherwise.

Links to other materials and websites provided in these sources are also for information purposes only and do not constitute the college’s endorsements of products or services referenced in such materials (October 6, 2011).

Diversity at ESCC

The ESCC community values the pluralistic nature of our society.  We recognize diversity that is not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, culture, social class, age, gender, sexual orientation and physical or mental capability.  We respect the variety of ideas, experiences, and practices that such diversity entails.  It is our commitment to ensure equal opportunity and to sustain a climate of civility for all who work or study at ESCC, or who otherwise participate in the life of the college.

Registered Sex Offenders

There are no known registered sex offenders currently enrolled at Eastern Shore Community College.

Privacy Statement

This policy applies to all of the products, services, and websites provided by ESCC, its subsidiaries and affiliated organizations, except as explicitly noted.

At Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC), we recognize that privacy is important. To better protect your privacy, we provide this notice explaining our online information policy and practices. To make this notice easy to find, we make it available through a link on our homepage. Our privacy and public records obligations are governed solely by applicable Virginia statutes, including, but not limited to, the Virginia Privacy Protection Act of 1976, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and by any applicable U.S. federal laws.

If you have any questions about this Policy, please contact us online or write to us at 29316 Lankford Hwy., Melfa,  VA  23410.

Information we collect

This notice applies to all information collected by or submitted to official ESCC websites, which are defined as sites with es.vccs.edu as their top-level domain. The following information explains the Internet privacy policy and practices that the College has adopted for its official websites in legal terms. It shall not be construed as a contractual promise, and the College reserves the right to amend it at any time without notice.

Any time you access an official ESCC website, certain specific non-personal information is automatically collected in order to help improve the overall ESCC web experience. Some examples of the information that is collected on every visit include—but are not limited to—the following:

  • Log information – Our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a Web site. These server logs may include information such as your Web request, Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser.
  • Links – ESCC may present links in a format that enables us to keep track of whether these links have been followed. We use this information to improve the quality of our Internet technology.

Whenever you visit an official non-public ESCC webpage and any time you initiate correspondence with ESCC, we may request certain specific personal information from you in order to complete your request, provide you with a specific service, improve our service to you or follow up on previous requests. At no time will ESCC trade, rent, sell or otherwise distribute this information, except where required by law. Some examples of the personal information we request include—but are not limited to—the following:

  • Cookie information – Certain portions of the ESCC website are only available to registered users. Therefore, in order to protect those pages from non-registered users, ESCC may request a username and password and store that information on your computer in a cookie. Any request for username and password will be performed automatically on the website. At all times, please keep the username and password safe and secure.
  • Contact information – When you sign up for a particular service that requires registration, we ask you to provide personal information. If we use this information in a manner different than the purpose for which it was collected, then we will ask for your consent prior to such use.

If we propose to use personal information for any purposes other than those described in this statement and/or in the specific service notices, we will offer you an effective way to opt out of the use of personal information for those other purposes. We will not collect or use sensitive information for purposes other than those described in this statement and/or in the specific service notices unless we have obtained your prior consent.

You can decline to submit personal information to any of our services, in which case the College may be unable to provide those services to you.

Web Accessibility

This web site endeavors to comply with best practices and standards as defined by Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

Pages are regularly run through a W3C compliant validation product to monitor compliance with WCAG guidelines.

Some information on this site is available only in Adobe© Acrobat (PDF) format. Download a free copy of Adobe Reader.

Non-discrimination

It is the policy of Eastern Shore Community College and the Virginia Community College System to provide equal employment and educational opportunities for all persons without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors (including, but not limited to, political affiliation and genetic information). This policy permits appropriate employment preference for veterans.

Eve Belote
29316 Lankford Hwy., Melfa, VA 23410
757.789.1767  ebelote@es.vccs.edu

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance”.  ESCC has designated Dr. Jeanne Natali, as the Title IX Coordinator.

Dr. Jeanne Natali
757.789.1759
TitleIXCoordinator@es.vccs.edu

Free Speech

Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC) is committed to supporting the exercise of constitutionally protected expression. College property is primarily dedicated to academic, student life and administrative functions. But it also represents the “marketplace of ideas,” and especially for students, many areas of campus represent a public forum for speech and other expressive activities. Indoors or outdoors, ESCC will not interfere with the rights of individuals and groups to the free expression of their views or impermissibly regulate their speech based on its content or viewpoint. However, the College has established reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on expressive activity. No event or expressive activity shall be permitted to violate or hinder the rights of others within the campus community or substantially disrupt normal college operations. ESCC’s Policy on Expressive Activity contains the policy and procedures for expressive activity.

Disclaimer

All opinions expressed by individuals purporting to be a current or former student, faculty, or staff member of this institution, on websites not affiliated with Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC), social media channels, blogs or other online or traditional publications, are solely their opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or values of ESCC, the Virginia Community College System, or the State Board for Community Colleges, which do not endorse and are not responsible or liable for any such content.

ESCC Policy on Expressive Activity

I.           PURPOSE

To establish Eastern Shore Community College’s policy regarding expressive activity in all ESCC buildings, grounds or other spaces controlled by the college.  Issuance serves to notify employees of the policy.

II.          AUTHORITY

The President has given the Vice-President of Finance & Administration and the Vice-President of Academics & Student Affairs the responsibility and authority to establish and enforce the Expressive Activity Policy.

III.         APPLICABLITY

This policy does not apply in instances when speakers, performers, groups, etc. are invited by ESCC or to external groups that arrange to use ESCC space through a Facilities Use Agreement.

IV.         DEFINITIONS

  The term “expressive activity” includes:

  • Meetings and other group activities of students and student organizations;
  • Speeches, performances, demonstrations, rallies, vigils, and other events by students, student organizations, and outside groups invited by student organizations;
  • Distributions of literature, such as leaflets and pamphlets; and
  • Any other expression protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

V.          POLICY

ESCC property is primarily dedicated to academics, student life and administrative func­tions.  It also represents the “marketplace of ideas,” and especially for students, many areas of campus represent a public forum for speech and other expressive activities.  ESCC may place restrictions on expressive activities occurring indoors, primarily to prevent disturbances within the learning environment. However, especially for students and stu­dent organizations, the outdoor areas of campus remain venues for free expression, including speeches, demonstrations, and the distribution of literature. 

Indoors or outdoors, ESCC will not interfere with the rights of individuals and groups to the free expression of their views or impermissibly regulate their speech based on its content or viewpoint.  Nevertheless, ESCC may establish reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on expressive activity.  Such restrictions will be content-neutral, narrowly tailored to serve a sig­nificant governmental interest, and allow ample alternative channels for communication of the information.

No event or expressive activity shall be permitted that violates or hinders the rights of others within the campus community or substantially disrupts normal college operations.

VI.         PROCEDURES

Reserving Campus Facilities

Note:  Anyone reserving campus facilities must work with the Facilities Rental staff of Workforce Development Services and abide by the official Facilities Rental Policy and Procedures.

  1. If students, student organizations, or college employees desire to reserve campus fa­cilities, they shall submit their requests to the appropriate college administrator a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the planned activity.  For certain types of activities, such as rallies or other gatherings of more than 50 people, etc… more notice may be required to allow for sufficient logistical support and to ensure the safety and security of the campus.
  2. If individuals or organizations who are not members of the ESCC community (i.e., not students, student organizations, or college employees) desire to reserve campus facilities, they must be sponsored by a recognized student organization or the college itself to conduct expressive activities or events on campus. 
  3. The following indoor areas are not available for expressive activity:  administration offices, library, computer labs, science and technical labs, and classrooms during instructional hours.  Any other restrictions on expressive activities occurring in indoor facilities will (a) apply equally to all individuals and organizations and (b) not depend upon the content or viewpoint of the expression or the possible reaction to that expression.
  4. Students, student organizations, and college employees may request to reserve cam­pus facilities on a first-come, first-served basis.  These requests may be denied for the following reasons only:
    • The requested venue is an indoor facility that the college has designated as not available for expressive activity noted in 3 above;
    • The venue is already reserved for another event[1];
    • The activity will attract a crowd larger than the venue can safely contain;
    • The activity will substantially disrupt another event being held at a neighboring venue[2];
    • The activity is a clear and present threat to public safety, according to the col­lege’s police or security department;
    • The activity will occur during college examination periods;
    • The activity is unlawful; or
    • The activity will substantially disrupt college operations (including classes).
  5. During an event, the student, student organization, or college employee requesting the reservation is responsible for preserving and maintaining the facility it reserved.  If it causes any damage to those facilities, it (and its officers, if applicable) shall assume responsibility. 
  6. When assessing a request to reserve campus facilities, ESCC administra­tors will not consider the content or viewpoint of the expression or the possible reac­tion to that expression, nor will they impose restrictions on students, student organizations, or college employees due to the content or view­point of their expression or the possible reaction to that expression.  In the event that other persons react negatively to a student’s, student organizations, or college em­ployee’s expression, college officials (including college police or security) will take all availa­ble steps to ensure public safety while allowing the expressive activity to continue.

VII. Spontaneous Expressive Activity

  1. For indoor campus facilities, areas in which students, student organizations, and their sponsored guests may engage in spontaneous expressive activities are designated by signage indicating such.  Areas so designated will (a) apply equally to all students and student organizations and (b) not depend upon the content or viewpoint of the expression or the possible reaction to that ex­pression.
  2. For outdoor campus facilities and areas, students, student organizations, and their sponsored guests may freely engage in spontaneous expressive activities as long as they do not (a) block access to campus buildings, (b) obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic, (c) substantially disrupt previously scheduled campus events, (d) substan­tially disrupt college operations, (e) constitute unlawful activity; or (f) create a clear and present threat to public safety, according to the college’s police or security department.

No college personnel may impose restrictions on students, student organizations, or their sponsored guests who are engaging in spontaneous expressive activities due to the content or viewpoint of their expression or the possible reaction to that expression.  In the event that other persons react negatively to these activities, college officials (including college police or security) will take all available steps to ensure public safety while allowing the expressive activity to continue.


[1]               In the event that multiple individuals or organizations submit conflicting reservation requests, the following order of precedence shall govern:  (1) official college sponsored activities and events; (2) recognized student organization activities and events; (3) student activities and events; and (4) all other activities and events.

[2]               The expression of competing viewpoints or multiple speakers in proximity to each other does not, without more, constitute a substantial disruption.

POLICY ON EXPRESSIVE ACTIVITY

Frequently Asked Questions for Students

  1. What is expressive activity?[1]

Expressive activities are speech-related activities, including:

  • meetings;
  • other group events or activities by student organizations or their invited guests;
  • speeches;
  • performances;
  • demonstrations;
  • rallies;
  • vigils;
  • distributions of literature; and
  • any other activity protected by the First Amendment.
  • What kind of speech is protected by the First Amendment?  

The U.S. Constitution protects most speech, with very limited exceptions. In outdoor spaces, the college may place reasonable limits only on the time, place, and, manner of your expressive activity, and those limits must not depend on the content or viewpoint of the expressive activity.  In addition, for outdoor areas, students, student organizations, and their guests are not required to give notice before engaging in expressive activity.  In other words, students, student organizations, employees, and guests may engage in spontaneous expressive activities as long as they do not engage in any of the conduct listed in Number 3 below.  (There may be exceptions to this general rule; for example, your college may have an outdoor facility that requires a reservation to use.)

Indoors, colleges may place restrictions on expressive activities, as long as any rules apply to everyone equally and are not based on the content or viewpoint of the speech.  The college may determine that certain indoor facilities are not available for expressive activity.  Common examples of such areas include: (1) administrative offices, (2) libraries, (3) hallways, and (4) classrooms during instructional hours. 

  • What kind of actions related to protected speech can be regulated?

Most speech is protected by the Constitution, but sometimes, the actions that a speaker takes during an expressive activity are disruptive enough to allow a college to intervene, regardless of what is actually being expressed. For outdoor facilities and areas, students, student organizations, and their guests may freely engage in expressive activity as long as they do not also engage in any of the following: 

  • block access to campus buildings;
  • obstruct traffic (vehicles or pedestrians);
  • substantially disrupt previously scheduled campus events;
  • substantially disrupt college operations or violate or hinder the rights of others;
  • break the law; or
  • create a threat to public safety, according to the college’s police or security department.

Additionally, the First Amendment does not protect speech that is designed to incite or produce imminent lawless action, and that is likely to incite or produce such action.  Other types of unprotected speech include true threats and harassment in limited circumstances.  A true threat is a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence against a particular individual or group of individuals.  Unprotected harassment is behavior that is extreme and pervasive and so serious that it prevents a reasonable person from receiving his or her education.

  • How can someone reserve campus facilities for speech activities?
  1. Request submission

Contact Workforce Development at 757.789.7979 to reserve campus facilities. Spaces are reserved on a first-come-first served basis.  The college can state in advance that certain spaces cannot be reserved for speech activities.  Common examples include libraries, offices, hallways, and classrooms during instructional hours.  Any other restrictions on expressive activities that occur in indoor facilities must apply equally to everyone and not depend on the content or viewpoint of the expression, or the possible reaction to the expression. 

b. Timing

Colleges usually cannot require more than 24-hour advance notice unless the event requires additional planning to ensure safety and sufficient logistical support.  You are encouraged to request the facility as soon as possible. 

c. Denials

When assessing a request to reserve a facility, the college must not consider the content (unless the facility is used only for certain purposes, for example, only for the college’s administration use) or viewpoint of the expressive activity, or the possible reaction to the expressive activity.  If a facility or space is generally available to be reserved, the college can refuse a reservation by a student, student organization, or employee only for the following reasons:

  • The venue is an indoor facility that has been designated as unavailable for reservation.
  • The venue is an indoor facility and the request is in conflict with any restrictions the college has placed on the facility.  For example, a restriction could be that the indoor facility is unavailable on the weekends.
  • The venue has been reserved already at the time requested.
  • The size of the anticipated crowd is too large for the space.
  • The activity would substantially disrupt another event occurring in close proximity.
  • The activity would substantially disrupt college operations.
  • The activity is a clear and present threat to campus safety, according to police or security. 
  • The activity occurs during college exam periods.
  • The activity is against the law.

d. Responsibility for the space

Anyone who reserves a facility or space is responsible for maintaining the space and will be responsible for any damages, cleaning costs, or other costs.

  • Is the college required to have indoor areas available for spontaneous expressive        activities?

No.  The college is not required to have an indoor area designated for spontaneous speech activities.  However, if it chooses to create one or more, college officials must post that the area is available for students, student organizations, employees and their guests to engage in expressive activities. The area must be available for all students, student organizations, employees, and guests equally, and not depend on the content or viewpoint of the expression or the possible reaction to it. 

6.  What do I do if someone or a group tries to disrupt my, my organization’s or invited guest’s speech?

To report a disruption of protected speech, please complete the Incident Report Form.  In cases of emergency, please call 911 or 757.789.7990

7.  I have additional questions.

Please contact Eve Belote, Associate VP of Administration at 757.789.1767 or ebelote@es.vccs.edu  for more information.


[1] The words “speech” and “expressive activity” may be used interchangeably.

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