Free Speech

Freedom of Expression Guidelines

I. General Expressive Activity Information

Northwest Vista College is a higher learning institute that encourages the free exchange of ideas and protects the rights of freedom of speech, expression, petition and peaceful assembly as set forth in the U.S. Constitution.  Our college supports the first amendment rights of every individual, recognizing that inquiry and discussion are essential to intellectual development. We embrace the right of individuals to express their views in a manner that conforms to federal, state, and local laws.

II. Guidelines for Expression  

  1. Disruptive activity is not permitted. This includes obstruction, disruption or interference with classes, research, administrative functions or other activities.
  2. Speech that violates the legal rights of others will not be tolerated.  This includes incitement, threats, and fighting words against individuals or groups on the basis or attributes such as yet, not limited to gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, race, disabilities or sexual orientation.
  3. Infringement on the rights of others is prohibited.
  4. Campus access must be provided. For example, walkways cannot be blocked.
  5. Picketing is not permitted inside campus buildings.
  6. Literature may be provided to those who have expressed interest. Organizers should not go up to others and hand them any literature yet may ask if they would like some.
  7. Symbolic protest is allowed unless it is a disruptive activity or impedes access.
  8. Noise levels may not interfere with classes, meetings or activities in progress.
  9. Force or violence is not permitted. This includes any attempt to prevent a campus activity or other lawful assembly by the threat or use of force or violence.
  10. Presenting identification is required. In accordance with the Texas Education Code it is unlawful for any person on any property either owned or controlled by the college to refuse to identify him/herself to a university official in response to a request an individual may present a student or faculty/staff ID card or state issued ID card.
  11. Damage to property is prohibited. Any damage to university or personal property in the course of, or as a result of, an expressive activity is prohibited. Care should be taken to ensure that university and personal property is not damaged or destroyed. This includes the campus lawns, shrubs and trees.
  12. The Student Code of Conduct (for students) or campus requirements (for public) must be followed.  

Those who choose to observe and/or listen to expressive activities, bear the responsibility of recognizing and honoring the right of free speech. Any acts that are disruptive to the normal operations of the university, including classes and university business, or that invade the rights of others will not be tolerated. Faculty, staff, and students engaging in a disruptive activity may be subject to disciplinary action. Any participant in a disruptive activity may face criminal charges.

III. Free Speech Areas

Designated public locations that may become temporarily available for expressive activity as designated by the college. These locations include yet are not limited to:

  • Official Free Speech Area - Outside of HH
  • Flag Pole - Outside of MZH
  • Lake Front - Outside of CCC
  • Other locations may be considered upon request

IV. Advance Reservation Requirements

In an effort to ensure safety and to promote an environment conducive to study, advanced reservation for expressive activity is requested.  We ask that two weeks' notice be provided to ensure that the location and resources are available. Reservations will be on a first come first serve basis.

The college reserves the right to locate any assembly so as to ensure that the activity does not interfere with the normal operation of the university or interfere with the rights of others.

All individuals participating in expressive activity are expected to comply with state and federal law, municipal ordinances, and the guidelines listed above. Failure to do so may result in immediate removal from the campus.

Click here to submit a request to reserve space at NVC for  Free Speech: 

(Replies will be sent to the email address you provide in your request)

For more information, email Marie Morgan - Director of Student Life -