Policies - Section Thirteen: Other College Regulations - 1 - Distribution of Literature/Fundraising/Public Assembly/Solicitation

The College does not have an open forum for solicitation, distribution of literature, public assembly, signs, sales, or fundraising.  Solicitations, distribution of literature, public assembly, signs, sales, and fundraising by external groups in any of Carroll Community College's facilities are strictly prohibited unless official permission is authorized by the President or his/her designee. 

Designated Public Forum

The College has designated space near the front of the Scott Center (T Building) and the Nursing and Allied Health Building (N Building), for free speech, peaceable public assembly and related activities.   Other areas of the campus may be designated by the President or his/her designee as public forums to accommodate free speech and public assembly in special circumstances.  The College reserves the right to limit certain activities, or to end the event, if it determines that public safety and/or the orderly conduct of college activities are at risk.

Procedures for Approval for Use of Designated Public Forum

The College places reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner in which individuals and groups may exercise rights of free speech and public assembly on College grounds.  Groups wishing to receive approval to use the designated public forum for public gatherings or demonstrations or the distribution of literature must notify the President of their intentions. All requests must be made at least two weeks but no more than six weeks prior to date of the proposed activity. This is to allow an efficient and safe allocation of space, generally to the first group to request it for a particular time. College sponsored events have first priority on the use of campus grounds. The College reserves the right to relocate any assembly to ensure that the activity does not interfere with the normal operation of the College or interfere with the rights of others.

At the time of the request to the President, the following information will be required:

  • Name of the person or organization sponsoring the event
  • Date and time requested
  • List of planned activities (i.e. speech, rally, march, signs, picketing, distribution of literature)
  • Special equipment being used (sound amplification equipment will not be permitted)
  • Anticipated attendance number

Prohibited Conduct 

  • The policies and procedures of the College, especially those related to the safety and security of persons and property, must be observed at all times. In addition, those who schedule speech or public assembly activities on campus must not:
  • Threaten or accost passers-by, or otherwise attempt to actively engage, approach or solicit employees, students, or campus visitors who are not interested.
  • Interfere with, impede, or cause blockage of the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  • Commit any act likely to create imminent safety or health hazards.
  • Interfere with or disrupt any other lawful or permitted activity by anyone in the same general location at the same time.
  • Engage in any commercial activity.
  • Conduct speech that includes words that by their very nature tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.
  • Engage in any speech or action that is not allowed by law.
  • Engage in any speech that is likely to incite or produce immediate lawless action or that is, under current legal standards, either defamatory, obscene or indecent.
  • Incite others to commit any of the acts prohibited.
  • Enter any college building or structure without prior permission from a College official to do so, with or without signs, sign supports, poles or other implements.
  • Possess any wood, metal, fiberglass or other material used as sign standards or holders. Signs or banners that are displayed may only be held by hand, without the use of such standards or holders.  

Non-Interference

Assembly and petitioning activities may not interfere with or inconvenience College operations or programs and must be consistent with the College's educational purposes. Individuals engaged in assembly and petitioning activities must comply with the College’s Student Code of Conduct and/or policies governing staff and faculty and may not obstruct, disrupt, interrupt, or attempt to physically force the cancellation of any event or activity sponsored by the College or by users authorized to use the College facilities. Further, participants may not engage in harassing, physically abusive, threatening, or intimidating conduct toward any person. Participants shall comply with the directives of any College official acting in the performance of his or her duty.

Right to Dissent

The right to dissent is the complement of the right to speak, but these rights need not occupy the same forum at the same time. A speaker is entitled to communicate his or her message to the audience during his or her allotted time, and the audience is entitled to hear the message and see the speaker during that time. A dissenter must not substantially interfere with the speaker's ability to communicate or the audience's ability to hear and see the speaker. Likewise, the audience must respect the right to dissent.

Dissemination or Display of Printed Material

After receiving written approval from the President or his/her designee, individuals or groups may petition and/or distribute pamphlets, booklets, brochures, and other forms of printed material to individuals who desire such information. Materials may be displayed or distributed only within the designated area on the approved date and during the approved time on the condition that all such material is designed for informational (not commercial) purposes. The sponsoring individual or group must provide a receptacle for the disposal of any material distributed. The College does not assume any obligation or liability for the content of such distributed material. Any signs used must either be held by participants or be freestanding signs that do not stick into the ground. No signs or other materials may be mounted or posted on any buildings, walls, windows, doors, sidewalks, trees, light poles, or any other College owned equipment or property.

Distribution of the following materials is specifically not authorized by the College and may subject the sponsor to criminal prosecution or civil liability:

  • Advertising material designed to promote the sale of commercial products or services.
  • Advertisement of, or information concerning, any lottery, gift enterprise, or similar scheme offering prizes dependent in whole or in part on chance. 
  • Unauthorized copyrighted material. 
  • Obscene or indecent material.
  • Material or information that defames any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religious group, or any other protected class or any individual member of such group.
  • Material advocating violence, or words that are designed to invoke violence.
  • Slanderous or libelous language or materials. 
  • Deliberate misinformation that may result in harm to any individuals or group.
  • Any noncompliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  • Advertising materials left on cars, in buildings, or anywhere on campus. This restriction includes commercial and non-commercial advertisements and promotional materials and information.

Care of Designated Area

Participants are responsible for the cleanliness and order of the designated area following its use.  The designated area should be left in the condition it was in before the activity. Any materials used must be removed from the designated area.  Individuals or groups who damage or destroy College property shall be held responsible for such damage or destruction. This includes but is not limited to any damage to the campus buildings, sidewalks, lawns, shrubs, and trees.

College Policy and Procedure

The College reserves the right to restrict any individual’s or group’s use of the designated public forum if such use violates other College policies or procedures.

Sales and Fundraising

No commercial (or for-profit) sales may be conducted.  Commercial sales, to include goods and merchandise, to students and staff on the College premises is forbidden except through the Bookstore or other College-approved organizations or agencies. The solicitation of funds to support any activity or cause not sponsored by the College or the Student Government Organization is also prohibited. Fundraising activities by students must be approved by the Director of Student Life.

The College prohibits alcohol-related advertising and promotions. It also bans any promotional sponsorship of campus events or activities by alcohol-related companies and businesses.

Solicitations within campus facilities by businesses as a means to recruit students for employment are an allowed activity provided that activity is approved by the College administration.

Assembly Security

The College reserves the right to charge individuals or groups wishing to use the designated public forum for additional security at a rate determined by the Chief of the College’s Campus Police. The Chief will determine the need for and the number of additional officers necessary to perform security functions during any public assembly event.

Non-Compliance

All individuals and groups participating in expressive speech, outdoor assemblies, and distribution/petitioning are subject to sanctions for failing to comply with these regulations or other College policies. Such sanctions may include payment of reasonable charges resulting from non-compliance, including, but not limited to, repairing; cleaning; painting; and/or replacement costs. College students, faculty, and staff may also be subject to institutional disciplinary or administrative action as outlined in the Student Handbook and/or policies governing staff and faculty. Violations that require police intervention will be reported to the Campus College Police who may enforce applicable laws of the State of Maryland or Carroll County.

Approved Carroll County Attorney’s Office 3/11/2013
Approved Carroll Community College Board of Trustees – May 15, 2013
Revised by the Carroll Community College Board of Trustees - December 13, 2017