Public Use of College Buildings and Grounds

PUBLIC USE OF COLLEGE BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS

This policy does not apply to college employees who are acting in the course of their official job responsibilities.  For questions or assistance regarding this policy, contact the Office of Business Services at 937-512-2518 or the Department of Public Safety at 937-512-2143.

The purpose of this Policy is to facilitate and encourage the free exchange of ideas by:

  • Permitting free speech and other expressive activities on College property by all persons, whether or not they are affiliated with the College (Speech and expressive activities include but are not limited to talking, making speeches, circulating petitions, and holding or carrying signs, subject only to the regulations set forth in this Policy).
  • Maintaining an appropriate educational environment for all College students and faculty, an appropriate work environment for all College employees, and a safe and welcoming environment for all persons present on College property, including minors.
  • Maintaining the personal security of all persons present on College property.
  • Protecting the property of the College and of persons present on College property.

Sinclair Community College is a publicly funded institution of higher education. Access to the students, employees, buildings, facilities, and outdoor space of Sinclair Community College may be regulated with regard to time, place and manner under certain circumstances. In formulating and applying this Policy, the College recognizes the civil liberties guaranteed by the United States and Ohio Constitutions, including freedom of speech, press, and assembly. The College also recognizes the need to preserve and protect its property, the peace, the students, clients, guests, and employees of the College, and the effective operation of all educational, business, and related activities of the College.

Any speech and other expressive activities by persons and organizations under this Policy should not be considered to be speech made by or on behalf of the College or to be endorsed by the College.

All decisions and actions of College employees and agents made under this Policy will be content neutral. No policy can address every possible activity or situation that may occur on College property, and the College reserves the right to address such situations as circumstances warrant.

OUTDOOR AREAS OF CAMPUS GENERALLY AVAILABLE FOR USE

General Access

On any week day when the College is open for business, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., any person or group may use, without prior notification, any publicly accessible outdoor area of the College's Dayton campus or Sinclair in Mason with the exception of all parking lots, garages, and specific areas identified below. Use of those areas may include speaking, non-verbal expressive conduct, the distribution of literature, displaying signage, and circulating petitions. There is no limit on the number of times a month a person or group may access those areas.

The following specific areas on the Dayton campus are not available under the preceding paragraph:

  • Driveways and plazas
  • Steps adjacent to the College Conference Center / Building 12
  • Child Care Center / Building 9

Those areas are not available because of the nature of the functions served by the Conference Center and the child care center. Due to the unique nature of the plaza area surrounded by Buildings 1 through 7 on the Dayton campus and the proximity of this area to classrooms, the library, and work offices, it may be necessary to limit the noise level or number of persons in this area at certain times. These limitations will be imposed only to the extent necessary to avoid impeding the education or work activities in the surrounding buildings.

Regional Centers

The College’s Regional Centers located in Englewood, Huber Heights (both in Montgomery County), and Eaton (Preble County) are leased facilities and co-located with YMCAs.

Accordingly, they do not have publicly accessible outdoor areas available for use under this Policy. Various indoor spaces and rooms at the Regional Centers may be made available for use by students, faculty, and other employees for purposes reasonably related to education and job duties. Any student, faculty member, or other employee may contact the College’s Office of Business Services at 937-512-2518 or email at sinclaircampusaccess@sinclair.edu for information about the procedures and requirements for use and reservation of indoor spaces or rooms at the Center.

Large Groups

Any person or group whose use of an outdoor area is expected or reasonably likely to draw more than fifty people must notify the College’s Office of Business Services at 937-512-2518 or email at sinclaircampusaccess@sinclair.edu at least three (3) business days prior to the intention to be on college property, including the specific location and the expected number of persons, and the name and contact information of the persons responsible for the event, which shall include at least one person who will be personally present. If three (3) business days’ notice is not provided, the person or group must contact the College’s Office of Business Services as soon as possible prior to the event.

The purpose of this prior notice is to assure that there is sufficient space for the large group event, that the large group event does not conflict with any other scheduled use of the outdoor space, and that sufficient College resources are available for crowd control and security. The College will determine whether the large group event can go forward without the likelihood of the prohibited activities listed in section below labeled External Persons and Groups. The College may impose conditions to prevent the occurrence of those activities, but will make all reasonable efforts to permit the large group event to occur, even if prior notice has not been given. However, a large group event that occurs without prior notice may be required to disband or be canceled if there is a likelihood that the prohibited activities listed in the next section – External Persons and Groups may occur.

EXTERNAL PERSONS AND GROUPS

External persons or groups, (i.e., persons who are not employees or trustees of the College and groups which are not recognized student organizations) have the right of access only to those outdoor areas of College property set forth in the preceding section. External persons or groups may be invited by recognized student organizations to participate in indoor events/activities through the procedures set forth in the following section.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS (RIGHT TO RESERVE SPACE)

In addition to the general right of access to outdoor areas of campus described above, any officially recognized student organization or any group of students meeting for the purpose of considering or seeking such recognition may seek to reserve the use of specific outdoor areas (including on days or times other than those set forth above) or those indoor spaces or rooms identified by the Department of Student Leadership Development as available for such purpose.

Any request by a student organization to reserve such area or space shall be made at least three (3) business days prior to the event by the College faculty member or employee serving as advisor to the student organization or by an employee in the Department of Student Leadership Development. The request shall be made to the Department of Student Leadership by calling 937-512-2934. A request will be granted unless it would conflict or interfere with a previously scheduled event or activity or violate this policy.

The request may include the use of equipment (including sound amplification equipment) or furnishings owned by the College which may be made available for such purposes. A recognized student organization or a group of students which has reserved a specific area or space under this paragraph will have priority over any other persons seeking to use the area or space during the scheduled time period. Any decision denying a request shall be communicated in writing to the requestor at least one working day before the date access is requested and shall explain the basis for the denial.

USE BY STUDENTS OF INDOOR SPACE OR ROOMS UNDER THE CONTROL OF SPECIFIC COLLEGE OFFICES

Various indoor spaces and rooms may be made available for use by students for purposes reasonably related to education and academic activities. These may include classrooms, conference rooms, and certain rooms and areas of the Library and those controlled by the College’s food service vendor. Students may contact the Department of Student Leadership Development at 937-512-2934 for additional information about the procedures and requirements for use and reservation of these spaces or rooms.

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES

  • Any activity that disrupts the ability of the College to effectively and peacefully teach students, provide client services, or conduct any of its other business and support operations is prohibited. Examples include but are not limited to excessive noise, impeding the flow of vehicle or pedestrian traffic, and harassment.
  • The use of sound amplification equipment outdoors is prohibited unless approved as part of a request by a recognized student organization to use a specific outdoor area and it is determined that such use does not disrupt college operations. At no time shall any applicable noise ordinance be violated.
  • Remaining overnight, or camping anywhere on College property is prohibited.
  • Erecting, installing, or using any tent, tarp, shelter, or structure is prohibited.
  • Attaching anything to exterior sidewalks, paved areas or the ground, walls, floors, or any part of any building, structure or fixture is prohibited
  • Distribution of written materials in any classroom, or corridor or entrance adjacent to any classroom is prohibited, unless the distribution is part of an approved course of study or a College program or service and conducted under the direction of College faculty or staff.
  • Commercial activity, including selling goods or services or soliciting customers or prospective customers, is prohibited unless it is part of an approved activity or operation of the College.
  • Leaving trash, litter, materials, or pollutants in any area is prohibited.
  • Possession or consumption of alcohol, unless by persons age twenty-one (21) or older at an event where alcohol is served by a licensed provider and service is approved and carried out in accordance with the college’s alcohol service policy, is prohibited.

ENFORCEMENT

The Sinclair Department of Public Safety shall enforce the provisions of this policy on the College’s Dayton campus. College officials and local law enforcement shall enforce the policy at other College locations. Any person who violates this Policy may be subject to an order to leave College property and may be subject to arrest if that order is not promptly obeyed.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Any person or recognized student organization who believes unlawful, unreasonable, or arbitrary limitations have been imposed on any of their speech or other expressive activities under this Policy may file a complaint with the College President by calling 937-512-2525 or email president@sinclair.edu.

EFFECT ON PRIOR POLICY

This policy repeals and supersedes all portions of the Sinclair Community College Campus Access Policy, adopted in July 1990, except sections III (Social and Commercial Activity), VI (Athletic/Recreational Facilities), VII (Parking Facilities), and VIII (Fees, Insurance and Financial Responsibility) which remain in effect until further notice.

SURVIVING SECTIONS OF PRIOR CAMPUS ACCESS POLICY:

Section IX of the Sinclair Community College Policy for Public Use of College Buildings and Grounds for Presentations, Protests and Meetings, adopted by the Board of Trustees on September 18, 2012, states as follows: This policy repeals and supersedes all portions of the Sinclair Community College Campus Access Policy, adopted in July 1990, except sections III (Social and Commercial Activity)., VI (Athletic/Recreational Facilities), VII (Parking Facilities, and VIII (Fees, Insurance and Financial Responsibility which remain in effect until further notice. These surviving sections of the prior policy are as follows:

III. SOCIAL AND COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY:

Sinclair Community College's primary mission is the educational enrichment of the community. It should not compete with other available meeting and assembly facilities for social functions, religious services, and commercial ventures. There are ample conference/banquet/convention facilities in the area designed for such purposes. For these reasons, the following functions, meetings, or activities shall not be permitted on Sinclair Community College's campus:

  1. Social functions, such as weddings, parties, banquets (except such functions sponsored by, co-sponsored by, or for the benefit of recognized student, faculty, or staff organizations, or Sinclair Community College);
  2. Religious services, or events which include religious services as a substantial portion of the program;
  3. Events which involve gambling of any kind, even if the gambling is intended solely as a fund-raising mechanism for charity; however, recognized student, faculty, or staff organizations may with prior written approval of the President (or designee), include lawful games of chance (such as a raffle) as part of a fund-raising activity;
  4. Commercial ventures or proprietary functions intended to generate a profit for a person, group, organization, or company, except such ventures or functions sponsored, or co-sponsored by, Sinclair Community College; (such activities are not permitted even if sponsored or co- sponsored by a recognized student, faculty, or staff organization);
  5. Any function or event requiring food and/or refreshments to be supplied by anyone other than the Sinclair Community College food service contractor, unless there has been prior written consent signed by Sinclair Community College and its food service contractor;
  6. Any activity involving the collection of, or raising of, funds by any outside person or organization (this prohibition includes political fund raising events); however, United Way is permitted to collect and/or raise funds. (Recognized student, faculty, or staff organizations, while permitted to collect or raise funds on campus, must have the prior approval of the President (or designee).

VI. ATHLETIC/RECREATIONAL FACILITIES:

Athletic/recreational facilities are available only to the following: (Availability of facilities is generally limited to regular service hours according to the published quarterly schedule of campus, hours.)

  1. Administration, faculty, employees, and students of Sinclair Community College in accordance with established Physical Activities Center policies; and
  2. Participants in, or spectators at, any athletic or recreational event sponsored or co-sponsored by Sinclair Community College or a recognized student, faculty, or staff organization.
  3. Outside organizations may use the facilities provided:
    1. the intended use is in keeping with the mission and purpose of Sinclair Community College;
    2. requests advance; for use are made at least 3 weeks in
    3. facilities are available;
    4. all applicable fees or deposits are paid in advance; and
    5. evidence of insurance to defend and hold harmless Sinclair Community College from any possible claims which could arise from such use of the facilities.

Any person making use of athletic/recreational facilities must comply with applicable rules, regulations, or laws.

VII. PARKING FACILITIES:

Except for occasional use by civic or community organizations as a parade or march assembly point (for which prior written approval must be obtained from the President or his/her designee), parking facilities are for the use of Sinclair Community College employees, students, visitors, and guests solely to park their vehicles. No other activity in, or use of, parking facilities is allowed. Administration, faculty, staff and students are expected to observe all applicable rules and regulations in using these facilities. Fees, if any, must be paid when due. Parking spaces reserved for use by handicapped persons may only be occupied by properly identified vehicles. Observe all posted traffic regulations.

Pedestrian use of parking facilities shall be limited to travel to or from parked vehicles. No distribution of literature shall be allowed, and no postings are permitted in or on the parking facilities.

VIII. FEES, INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:

Sinclair Community College has established fees and rental rates for the use of its facilities. Persons or organizations sponsoring any event or function, or availing themselves of Sinclair Community College's facilities, are required to execute a rental agreement and to pay the applicable fee or rental. Depending on the nature of the event or function, an outside person or organization may be required to show evidence of financial responsibility (such as adequate liability insurance naming Sinclair Community College as an additional insured), and agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Sinclair Community College for any and all claims arising out of the event or function. Such evidence of financial responsibility shall be required of outside persons or organizations for the following:

  1. Any event or function which may include the serving or consumption of alcoholic beverages;
  2. Any use of athletic or recreational facilities;
  3. Events or functions that involve the use of Sinclair Community College laboratory equipment, industrial machinery, power tools, etc. by persons other than employees or students of Sinclair Community College; or
  4. Events or functions of a similar nature, or where Sinclair Community College deems the event or function to be extra-hazardous.

Individuals and/or groups using the facilities, and/or grounds of Sinclair Community College shall be required to assume responsibility for loss or damage of equipment, damage to buildings and grounds, and shall be held responsible for financial losses sustained by Sinclair Community College.