- Purpose: This policy is structured to assure equal opportunity for all persons, to preserve order within the campus community, to protect and to preserve University property, and to provide a secure environment to individuals exercising freedom of expression.
- Policy Statement: No rights are more highly regarded at Longwood University than the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of expression and the right to assemble peaceably. Longwood University remains firmly committed to affording organizations and individuals, the opportunity to engage in peaceful and orderly protests and demonstrations. In order to achieve this objective, while at the same time ensuring that the University fulfills its educational mission, the University may regulate the time, place, and manner of expression.
- In order that the persons exercising freedom of expression not interfere with the operation of the University, violate state or federal law or the rights of others, the following shall apply without exception to any form of expression.
- The University does not permit expression that is not protected by law. Such expression includes defamation, incitement to unlawful conduct, imminent threats of actual violence or harm, obscenity, fighting words, copyright or trademark violation, criminal or civil harassment, sexual harassment and misconduct, trespass, and false advertising.
- There may be no interference, including sound amplification, with educational and administrative activities inside or outside of buildings on campus and/or University managed property.
- There must be no obstruction of entrances or exits to buildings and/or activities.
- There may be no attempt to prevent scheduled University ceremonies, activities or events.
- Malicious or unwarranted damage to or destruction of property owned or operated by the University or by students, faculty, staff, or visitors to the University is prohibited. Persons or organizations causing such damage are financially and legally responsible.
- All persons must comply with all state and federal laws and University rules, regulations and policy. Violators will be referred for appropriate legal or disciplinary action.
- Public sidewalks and streets shall not be obstructed, preventing the passage of any vehicle or pedestrian. Illegal obstruction is a violation of Virginia Criminal Law (§ 18.2-404, Riot and Unlawful Assembly), obstructing the free passage of others.
- All members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students, enjoy the right to freedom of speech and expression regardless of their viewpoint. Citizen leadership requires active participation in an intellectually challenging and culturally diverse learning community. In the presentation of ideas, the University encourages civil discourse, and respect for differing points of view. Being open to the ideas and opinions of other members of the community will lead to discussion that is characterized by courtesy and mutual respect.
- Regulations for individuals and groups not affiliated with the University:
- Speeches and Demonstrations: The open area designated for speeches and demonstrations is the Sharp/Register Lawn and will consist of the patio and the area located between Sharp Hall and Register Hall. Individuals and groups not affiliated with the University may use this area between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday – Friday, when school is in session, for speaking, demonstrating, and other forms of expression. A request for use of this area must be made a minimum of three (3) business days in advance of the event. All structures, signs, and litter resulting from the activity must be removed from the area by the end of the event. Groups or individuals may only use those designated areas once per month and for a maximum period of two days. Groups not affiliated with the University may request use of this space through University Events and Ceremonies by submitting a request at http://www.longwood.edu/eventservices/event-scheduling/; University Events and Ceremonies staff will submit the plan to the Longwood University Police Department. Limitations may be placed on the time, place, and manner of such an event in order to serve the interests of safety, to prevent disruption of the educational process, and to protect the rights of others.
- Distribution of Written Material: Distribution of written materials must comply with the university’s Advertising and Posting Policy. Handbills may not be placed on cars. The University maintains a position of neutrality as to the content of any written material distributed on the campus under this policy.
- Marches: Marches may take place on streets and sidewalks of the campus between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday – Friday, when school is in session. Requests for a march must be scheduled a minimum of three (3) business days in advance through University Events and Ceremonies by submitting a request at http://www.longwood.edu/eventservices/event-scheduling/; University Events and Ceremonies staff will submit the plan to the Longwood University Police Department. Limitations may be placed on the time, place, and manner of such an event in order to serve the interests of safety, to prevent disruption of the educational process, and to protect the rights of others.
Report on Protected Speech (pdf)
FAQs: Longwood University’s Freedom of Expression Policy (pdf)
Approved by the Board of Visitors on September 14, 2018.
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors on June 6, 2022.