“This report shall include incidents that attempt to block or prohibit speakers and investigations into students or student organizations for their speech and shall include the nature of each barrier or incident, as well as what disciplinary action, if any, was taken against members of the campus community determined to be responsible for those specific barriers or incidents involving students.
During the 2019 calendar year, no complaints or reports were filed pertaining to barriers to free expression at East Central University.”
East Central University Professional Development First Amendment, Expressive Speech, and 70 O.S. §2120
Part 1: State Law
- Passed in the 2019 Oklahoma Legislature, signed by the Governor, effective August 30, 2019. Available online.
- In brief, the law requires that, on Oklahoma public colleges and universities campuses, the campus community and the public may use unrestricted accessible outdoor space for non-commercial expressive activities because this space is now designated by this statute a traditional public forum. As such, this space can be used unless it materially and substantially disrupts the functioning of the University subject to non-discriminatory time, place, and manner restrictions.
- This law is consistent with historical federal guidance regarding 1st Amendment protected events on this issue, but also requires:
- New University policy
- New training for faculty, staff, and students
- Annual report to the Governor and Legislature
- Posted on university webpage
- Notification of lawsuits
Part 2: University Policy
- In accordance with the state law, ECU has developed a policy which addresses the bolded key terms above. The policy is available on the website.
- Take time to review the time, place, and manner restrictions.
Part 3: Expectations
- Guide outdoor visitors to the correct resources on the website.
- Greet outdoor expressive speech visitors with a Visitor Information Card and introduce yourself.
Part 4: Additional Helpful Information
- The University designates the following indoor facilities as unavailable for Expressive Activity: administrative offices, laboratories, and (during instructional hours) classrooms.
- The public may reserve these indoor campus facilities: Chickasaw Business and Conference Center, Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center, University Center, Student Union, Boswell Chapel and some athletic facilities. Requests should be made at www.ecok.edu/reserve .
- The public and ECU employees may reserve outdoor space by contacting the Office of Student Development at 580-559-5208.
- ECU students may reserve both indoor and outdoor space by completing ECU Event Facilities Request Form at www.ecok.edu/reserve
- The campus community and the public may use generally accessible outdoor areas for non-commercial expressive activities on a first come, first served basis without giving prior notice if the activity does not materially and substantially disrupt the function of the University, as defined by state law.
- Time, place and manner restrictions are in effect. Please read the policy in its entirety. Examples include:
- No items may be attached in any manner to trees, bushes, benches, light poles, buildings, vehicles, or permanent signs
- Non-commercial pamphlets, handbills, fliers, and other written materials may be distributed on a person-to-person basis in open areas outside of building if done in a way to avoid substantial littering on the campus.