Statement on Recent Speech Incident
Dear CCC Students:
On September 23rd, an individual who is not affiliated with our campus took to the plaza to share views that are not reflective of our community’s values. Incidents such as these bring into sharp focus the critical, but often challenging importance of balancing a safe, inclusive environment for all students and employees with our obligation as a public institution for upholding a cornerstone of our democracy – freedom of speech.
Student safety is CCC’s top priority. While I understand that the individual’s aggressive tone was upsetting, police services followed the letter of district Student Services Procedure 3025 – Freedom of Expression (see below) which states that “No individual will be prohibited from engaging in protected expression based on its content.” I thank them for monitoring the scene to ensure that no physical violence occurred.
Viewpoints such as those expressed today about sexual orientation, religion and gender can stir emotion and fear. Students seeking wellness support can contact:
- CCC’s Counseling Center, www.contracosta.edu/counseling
- CCC partner JFK University Graduate Counseling Program, 510.215.3960, firstname.lastname@example.org
- CCC Student Assistance Counseling, call 1.800.227.1060 any time, day or night (TDD dialers, please call 1.800.327.0801)
I also encourage our campus community to engage with supports and activities that are representative of what our community is truly about:
- SafeZone, www.contracosta.edu/safezone
- Safe Club (formerly known as the Alphabe+ Club), visit the Student Life Office, SAB 101
- Muslim Student Association, visit the Student Life Office, SAB 101
- Christians on Campus, visit the Student Life Office, SAB 101
Lastly, if you’d like to learn more about the free speech versus hate speech debate happening on college campuses around the country, I recommend viewing KQED’s Above the Noise video (running time 6:13).
Student Services Procedure 3025-Freedom of Expression
The District is committed to ensuring that all individuals are able to exercise their rights of free expression subject to the reasonable provisions for the time, place and manner of conducting such activities as contained in Board Policy 2019, this procedure, and related college procedures. The District Governing Board has delegated responsibility to the Chancellor or designee to administer the following procedure. At the college campuses, the designee will be the Student Life Office/Office of Student Life.
The colleges of the District are non-public forums, except for areas designated in this procedure and related college procedures as limited public forums. In general, expression in the form of speech or oral advocacy may be exercised in all areas of campus. However, the colleges reserve the right to limit public expression in, classrooms, libraries, faculty and administrative offices, student service areas and corridors adjoining those facilities where the resulting noise is incompatible with the essential functions of the campus.
No individual will be prohibited from engaging in protected expression based on its content. Read more.