Policy on Expressive Speech & Activities
Policy Category: Executive
Effective Date: 07/26/2023
Responsible Officer: Director of Compliance and Risk Management
Responsible Office: Office of General Counsel
To ensure support and encourage the thoughtful and meaningful expression and exchange of ideas at Wentworth Institute of Technology (“university”).
This policy applies to all members of the Wentworth community, students, employees, and alumni.
As a private institution, Wentworth is not bound by the First Amendment. However, the university supports community members who seek to organize and participate in expressive activities as long as such speech or expressive activities are consistent with university policies and the procedures regarding these events.
Wentworth does not restrict the speech or expressive activities of recognized university organizations, including the speakers they invite to campus, provided organizations follow Wentworth policies and procedures.
Amplification Equipment: Any electronically powered, operated, or assisted device that amplifies sound. This includes, but is not limited to, any system of public address, bullhorns, boom box, music or voice amplifiers, megaphones, or any combination thereof.
Disruptive Conduct: Conduct that obstructs or impedes teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedures, or other university activities; conduct that infringes on the rights of others; or disrupts the operations of the university.
Expressive Speech or Activities: An expression of thoughts, beliefs, or values which includes verbal speech, non-verbal expression, literature distribution, displays and signs, petition circulation, demonstrations, picketing, and protests/counter-protests. Disruptive conduct is not a permitted form of expressive speech or activity.
Prior to the Event
Only students or employees are authorized to host events involving expressive speech or activities.
Students seeking to organize, schedule, or plan an event involving the expressive speech or activities are encouraged to consult with the Dean of Students. Recognized student groups must consult with their center advisor.
Staff seeking to organize, schedule, or plan an event involving the expressive speech or activities are encouraged to consult with Human Resources.
As space is limited, you are encouraged to fill out Space Reservation Request at least three days in advance to help secure the site you wish to use.
Events involving 75 people or more must receive prior approval from the Director of Compliance and Risk Management.
During the Event
Report safety concerns promptly: if something occurs and you need assistance call 617-989-4444.
The use of recording devices and cameras are allowed at areas that are open to the public, provided it is in accordance with state law and the Student Code of Conduct and university policies.
Unless prior approval has been provided, expressive speech or activities may not:
Be held in private offices; classrooms, studios, labs, or meeting spaces where classes or other activities are already being held;
Block access to campus buildings;
Obstruct the free movement of persons and vehicles;
Involve disruptive conduct;
Unreasonably infringe on others’ rights to free expression;
Threaten individuals or cause an injury to someone;
Harass, threaten violence, or intimidate others;
Violate the law or university policy;
Enter a restricted area without authorization, this includes remaining in a building or facility for any purpose other than its authorized or approved use, remaining in a building or facility after is normally closed, or refusal to leave after being instructed to do so;
Be held between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.;
Be held within 100 feet of a residence hall;
Use amplification equipment;
Involve more than 75 people without prior authorization.
This policy is not intended to impact regularly scheduled classes and/or courses, associated activities, or other authorized university events
Additional Information & Related Documents:
Student Code of Conduct
Employee Policies and Procedures
Policy on Sales, Solicitation, and Posting
Sexual Misconduct Policy
Interpretation & Revision:
Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to the Director of Compliance and Risk Management. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy.
This policy shall be reviewed every 3 years, however minor changes and updates can be made at any time.
Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.
Additionally, in instances where two or more policies are implicated, a case-by-case determination will be made to determine what policy will be used.
Review and Revision History:
This Policy was drafted by representatives from Student Affairs, Human Resources, and Wentworth Police Department. It was reviewed by Cabinet approved by the President on 07/26/2023.
This Policy replaces the No Leafletting and No Chalking Policy 2017, the No Posting and No Solicitation Policy, 2016, and modifies the Student Code of Conduct, and Employee Policies and Procedures Guide.