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South Florida State College
Administrative Procedures

Procedure: 3010

Title: Cultural Programming Guidelines on Freedom of Expression

Based on Policy: 3.01 - Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression

Office of Primary Responsibility: Office of the President


  1. Purpose:

To describe the conditions under which artwork, exhibits, live presentations and performances, displays, films and forums sponsored by the college, its students and by external groups using college facilities shall be managed at the college.  This procedure shall not govern (1) course-related events or (2) activities associated with the academic freedom of individual faculty.

  1. Rationale:

South Florida State College is committed to the support of freedom of expression within the appropriate context of time, place, and manner. The college is part of the community that it serves, and as such is committed to enriching the lives of students and area residents in a manner that is sensitive to the values and standards of the community served by the college and in compliance with the laws of the state of Florida and the United States.

  1. Procedure:
    1. Application process
      1. External groups seeking to use college facilities for the purpose of presentations, performances, forums, and the display of artwork, exhibits, and films will submit facility use requests to the Office of Cultural Programs.  When the subject of the proposed activity is of a potentially controversial nature, the dean, cultural programs will discuss the proposed activity with the facility user to determine the appropriateness of the scheduled activity.  If in the view of the dean, the planned activity warrants further review, the dean will contact the Cultural Programs Advisory Committee or the MOFAC Advisory Committee for input as described in item #3.
      2. College personnel (internal) will use the Cultural Programming Freedom of Expression Guidelines in making decisions regarding the appropriateness of presentations, performances, artwork, exhibits, films and forums held on any SFSC facility.  When there is some question whether the planned presentation, performance, exhibit, film or forum meets the guidelines listed below, the person in charge of the proposed activity will discuss the activity with the dean, cultural programs.
      3. If in the view of the dean, cultural programs, further review is needed for the planned activity, the dean will consult with the Museum of Florida Art and Culture (MOFAC) Advisory Committee (for art work and exhibits) or the Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (for presentations and performances) as necessary to determine whether the proposed activity meets relevant Cultural Programming Freedom of Expression Guidelines.  The committee will make a recommendations to the dean, cultural programs as to whether such exhibits, performances, etc. meet the established guidelines.  The dean, with input from the college administration, will make the determination as to whether the planned activity meets the standards of acceptability for our community.
    2. Advisory Committees
      1. The responsibility for reviewing the Cultural Programming Freedom of Expression Guidelines is assigned to the MOFAC Advisory Committee and the Cultural Programs Advisory Committee.
      2. The membership for each committee will be approved by the college president.
      3. Each committee will consist of at least 10 members and include at least
        1. One college administrator,
        2. One college faculty member,
        3. One college Foundation Board member,
        4. One college student, and
        5. Four community representatives (at least one each from DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties) of diverse backgrounds.
    1. Cultural Programming Freedom of Expresion Guidelines
      1. The Cultural Programs Advisory Committee and The MOFAC Advisory Committee will be responsible for reviewing the Cultural Programming Freedom of Expression Guidelines that include criteria that will facilitate efforts in scheduling appropriate exhibits, displays, presentations and performances.  Such criteria shall consider the educational value, aesthetic significance, community standards of acceptability, presentation type and location.

      2. The Cultural Programs Advisory Committee will be responsible for maintaining Freedom of Expression Guidelines that include criteria that facilitate efforts in scheduling appropriate presentations and performances.  Such criteria shall consider educational value, aesthetic significance, community standards of acceptability, presentation type and location.
      3. Additional guidelines may be developed by the administration to manage the use of facilities.
      4. The committees will review guidelines annually to access the viability of the guidelines and to assist in program planning.
      5. The guidelines will be distributed to appropriate college offices.
      6. The college president will review all guidelines developed by the committees.

Cultural Programming Freedom of Expression Guidelines follows:

 

In accordance with Policy 3.01 and Procedure 3010

The college recognizes its responsibility in providing a leadership role in many areas, including that of cultural enrichment.  This can be seen in the college Vision Statement which states “We believe in the worth of each of our students and, through all of our educational programs and services, we seek to develop human potential and to create brighter futures.”

It also can be seen in the college Mission Statement which states in part “… we offer leadership and opportunities for educational, cultural, and economic development of the college district.” 

These guidelines suggest a framework for evaluating the appropriateness of theatrical and musical performances, public events and speakers and artistic displays and exhibits at the college or sponsored by the college at off-campus locations.  Furthermore, these guidelines attempt to balance the important freedom of artistic expression with the equally important need to maintain sensitivity to community standards of acceptability, decency and civility.   In all cases, the particular audience, location and timing should guide decision making.

In addition to maintaining sensitivity to community standards of acceptability, decency, and civility, these programs must comply with policies of the SFSC District Board of Trustees, as well as applicable state and federal law and be devoid of content that would be considered as:

  1. An expression that is libelous, slanderous, or hatefu
  2. Advocating violence toward any individual, group, or community
  3. Hazardous, dangerous, or a threat to the college or community

The college will endeavor to assure balance when presenting political candidates and agendas, always ensuring equal opportunity for competing candidates and differing perspectives to be heard.

History: Last Revised: 11/20/12

Adopted: 4/16/2006

Reviewed: 1/28/09

Revised: 11/20/12