MID-AMERICA TECHNOLOGY CENTER FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ANNUAL REPORT 2020 and 2021
Pursuant to 70 O.S. § 2120 Mid-America Technology Center V-008 submits the following information to demonstrate its course of action for compliance with the requirements of this statute:
District Freedom of Expression Policy - adopted December 13, 2021
Mid-America Technology Center respects and values student activism. The technology center takes pride in our students' interactions with social and political issues, viewing it as a desirable, if not essential, component of civic engagement and, therefore, adopts the following policy.
The outdoor areas of any campus of the technology center are deemed public forums for the campus community, and the technology center will not create "free speech zones" or other designated areas of campus outside of which expressive activities are prohibited. The technology center may maintain and enforce reasonable time, place and manner restrictions narrowly tailored in service of a significant institutional interest when the restrictions employ clear, published, content- and viewpoint-neutral
criteria and provide for ample alternative means of expression. Any such restrictions shall allow for members of the campus community to spontaneously and contemporaneously assemble and distribute literature. Nothing in this paragraph shall be interpreted as applying to student expression taking place elsewhere on campus.
Any person who wishes to engage in noncommercial expressive activity on campus shall be permitted to do so freely, as long as the person's conduct is not unlawful and does not materially and substantially disrupt the functioning of the technology center.
Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted as preventing the technology center from prohibiting, limiting or restricting expression that the First Amendment does not protect or prohibiting harassment as defined in this policy.
Nothing in this policy shall enable individuals to engage in conduct that intentionally, materially and substantially disrupts another person's expressive activity if that activity is occurring in a campus space reserved for that activity under the exclusive use or control of a particular group.
Nothing in this policy shall prohibit the technology center from maintaining and enforcing reasonable time, place and manner restrictions that are narrowly tailored to serve a significant institutional interest only when such restrictions employ clear, published, content- and viewpoint-neutral criteria. Any such restrictions shall allow for members of the campus community to spontaneously and contemporaneously assemble, speak and distribute literature.
The technology center will make public in its MATC Student Handbook, on its website and through its orientation programs for students the policies, regulations and expectations of students regarding free expression on campus consistent with this policy.
The technology center will develop materials, programs and procedures to ensure that those persons
who have responsibility for discipline or education of students, including but not limited to administrators, campus police officers, and instructors, understand the policies, regulations and duties of the technology center regarding free expression on campus.
By December 31st each year, the technology center will public post on its website and submit to the Governor and legislature a report that details the course of action implemented to comply with the provisions a report which details the course of action implemented to be in compliance with the
requirements of 70 0.S. §2120. A report shall also be submitted in the instance of any changes or updates to the chosen course of action. The report provided on the website shall be:
The technology center's report will include the following information:
In the event the technology center is sued for an alleged violation of First Amendment rights, a supplementary report, with a copy of the complaint or amended complaint, will be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature within thirty (30) days.
"Campus community" means students, administrators, faculty and staff at the technology center and their invited guests;
"Expressive activities" include, but are not limited to, any lawful verbal, written, audio-visual or electronic means by which individuals may communicate ideas to one another, including all forms of
peaceful assembly, protests, speeches and guest speakers, distribution of literature, carrying signs and circulating petitions.
"Harassment" means only that expression that is unwelcome, so severe, pervasive and subjectively and objectively offensive that a student is effectively denied equal access to educational opportunities or benefits provided by the technology center.
"Materially and substantially disrupts" means when a person, with the intent to or with knowledge of doing so, significantly hinders another person's or group's expressive activity, prevents the communication of the message or prevents the transaction of the business of a lawful meeting, gathering or procession by:
"Outdoor areas of campus" means the generally accessible outside areas of campus where members of the campus community are commonly allowed, such as grassy areas, walkways or other similar common areas and does not include outdoor areas where access is restricted from a majority of the campus community.
"Student organization" means an officially recognized group at the technology center, or a group seeking official recognition, comprised of admitted students that receive or are seeking to receive benefits at the technology center. Reference: Okla. Stat. tit. 70 O.S. §2120
Professional Development for Students and Employees
Mid-America Technology Center communicates policy and expectations to students, staff and faculty through orientation meetings and assemblies, as well as publication of policies in their respective handbooks and on the technology center website. The technology center also communicates new policy and/or updates through electronic communication. Professional development materials include a summary sheet of general information regarding new state law Okla. Stat. tit. 70 O.S. §2120, Freedom of
Expression policy and Freedom of Expression Procedures.
Copy of Professional Development Training Information
The following professional development information was provided to the campus community via campus meetings with faculty and staff. Individual Campus Directors are responsible for ensuring that
faculty share the procedures and policies with students. Electronic Communications are provided to faculty, staff, and students.
Mid-America Technology Center Professional Development
Freedom of Expression
Part 1: State Law
o New Policy (Freedom of Expression)
o Professional Development for faculty, staff and students
o Annual report to the Governor and Legislature
o Make public our Freedom of Expression Policy through student orientation meetings, assemblies and post on our website that has less than three clicks to access.
o Submit notification of any attempts to block or prohibit speakers, or any
investigations into student or student organizations for their speech.
Part 2: New Freedom of Expression Policy
Part 3: Procedures
For outdoor campus facilities and areas, the Campus Community may freely engage in spontaneous expressive activities as long as they do not block access to campus buildings, obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic, substantially disrupt previously scheduled campus events, substantially disrupt technology center operations, constitute unlawful activity, or create a clear and present threat to public safety.
No technology center personnel may impose restrictions on the Campus Community who are engaging in spontaneous expressive activities due to the content or viewpoint of their expression or the possible reaction to that expression. In the event that other persons react negatively to these activities, technology center officials shall take all necessary steps to ensure public safety while allowing the Expressive Activity to continue.
Report of any Barriers, Incidents of Disruption of Free Expression
During 2020 and 2021 Mid-America Technology Center has not had any barriers or incidents of disruption of free expression occurring on its campuses. There have been no attempts to block or prohibit speakers, nor any investigation into students or student originations for their speech.