March 23, 2010

A Process is Underway to Create a Campus Expression: Time, Place and Manner Policy

The idea for this policy came about almost a year ago following the World of Work Fair. Protesters wanted to communicate their messages about the military in a way that the event organizers felt would have disrupted the opportunities for students looking for employment.

Because campus guidelines did not exist regarding protests, the event served as an impetus for creating an SSU policy governing such activities and others. Both the then-Chair of the Faculty and the then-Associated Students' president were brought into the early conversation and were supportive of the work to create a policy that served all parties, allowing free expression while protecting the rights and opportunities for the students and campus.

Since that time a group has met regularly to begin the process of creating a campus expression policy. A scan of several other campus' policies, including CSU East Bay, highlighted the importance of working with those that most suited SSU's style and organizational structure.

It was used as the framework for SSU's early draft policy. The draft was reviewed with the CSU Office of General Counsel for adherence to Constitutional rights. Edits were made by members of the committee, the campus' attorney in Long Beach and others including the current Chair of the Faculty.

Additional meetings with the staff representative to the Academic Senate and the ASI President were scheduled, along with Jonah Raskin, Chair of the Communication Studies Department (an acknowledged expert on Free Speech issues) as well as Tryon Woods, Chair of the sub-committee of the Academic Senate on Academic Freedom.

From that last meeting, the following process was agreed upon:

• A blog has been created (http://www.sonoma.edu/expression) where the progress of the draft policy can be viewed and commented upon. A notification to key media (STAR, Press Democrat, the Bohemian) will inform them of the blog and how they can view it. The purpose of the blog is to make the policy draft publicly available information.

• Tryon Woods, Chair of the sub-committee of the Academic Senate on Academic Freedom, will join the committee drafting the policy and report to his committee on its progress. That sub-committee will review the draft at its upcoming meeting in order to begin/further the process of Senate review, and afterwards will issue its recommendations to the Campus Expression policy committee.

• Susan Moulton, Chair of the Faculty and Dan Condron, Vice President for University Affairs, have a meeting schedule with Associated Students' President Heather Hanson to share the draft with her and solicit her (and her constituent's) input.

• The Campus Expression committee will meet to discuss and edit the draft as needed based upon input from the community.

• The updated working draft will be posted on the blog (with a comment section), ensuring the progress on the policy is accessible to the campus community.

• A Campus Forum (aka Town Hall) on the draft Campus Expression policy will be scheduled after Spring Break where the next steps will be determined, again providing an opportunity for input into the draft.

Committee Members are:
• Joyce Chong
• Dan Condron (chair)
• Nate Johnson
• Susan Kashack
• Chuck Rhodes
• Jessica Way

Invited to join:
• Dolores Bainter
• Heather Hanson
• Susan Moulton
• Jonah Raskin
• Tryon Woods


Jean Wasp
Media Relations Coordinator
University Affairs
(707) 664-2057
jean.wasp@sonoma.edu