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XVIII. Free Speech Notification

Free Speech Notification

“Pursuant to Virginia Code § 23.1-401.1, Richard Bland College (“RBC”) hereby notifies the RBC Campus Community regarding the policies RBC has in place to ensure that everyone’s free speech rights are guaranteed, limited only to the extent authorized by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The relevant policies can be found as follows: Freedom of Speech and Assembly on Campus, https://www.rbc.edu/policy-manual/campus-safety-police-policies/; the Social Media Policy and Proper Placement of Postings, https://www.rbc.edu/policy-manual/communications-policy/.  These policies are located on the RBC website as indicated and in the Student Handbook.  All student orientation programs also shall include these policies.

Report any disruptions regarding constitutionally protected speech to the RBC Communications Director at office.communications@rbc.edu or 804-862-6214.”

Freedom of Speech and Assembly on Campus

Responsibility for Maintenance: Director of Campus Safety and Chief of Police

I. Policy Statement
Individuals and organizations wishing to exercise their freedom of speech or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, must register with the Office of Campus Safety and Police at least 24 hours in advance if exercising such speech or rights to assemble would in any way be disruptive to anyone within the campus community, including RBC employees or students. Standard space reservation procedures must be followed. If notice is given less than 24 hours in advance, the College will make every effort to grant such a request provided that safety and security issues and logistical concerns can be appropriately addressed.

The location of the assembly will be determined by College officials in consultation with the organizers and will be based on safety and security concerns.

It is not the intent of this policy to censor or otherwise limit free expression. However, exercises of free speech and rights to assemble must be peaceable, orderly, nondisruptive, and comply with College standards of conduct and other RBC policies.

II. Reason for Policy
This policy provides guidance for the appropriate use of College space for free speech and assembly activities.

III. Applicability of the Policy
This policy applies to all individuals and organizations wishing to use College facilities for free speech and assembly activities.

IV. Related Documents

V. Contacts
Department of Campus Safety and Police Director of Campus Safety and Chief of Police
(804) 862-6203

Social Media Policy

Responsibility for Maintenance: Director of Communications

I. Policy Statement

Official Use of Social Media
Unless specifically authorized by Campus Communications, with authority from the RBC President, no Richard Bland College staff, faculty, or student may create an “official” Richard Bland College presence on any form of website or social media now in existence, or created in the future, or represent themselves as a spokesperson or authorized representative of Richard Bland College. This includes the use of the College name or logos in any manner that suggests a College connection or oversight.

Some staff or faculty of Richard Bland College may be required to use social media as part of their employment and/or academic responsibilities. If so, such status shall be clearly stated and shall be approved in writing in advance by Campus Communications, with authority from the RBC President.

Campus Communications may utilize social media to present information and content to the public and receive feedback from the public and the College community. Content and information released on social media is equivalent to content and information released to the media and the public in any other format, including news releases, letters, etc. Care must be taken that content and information released to the public over social media is accurate, does not violate applicable laws (including, but not limited to, copyright, trademark, and defamation law), or Richard Bland College policies.

Official Richard Bland College social media may allow members of the public to comment or react to posted content and information. Individuals, including staff, faculty, and students of Richard Bland College acting in their personal capacity, may post or comment as long as they identify themselves. Anonymous postings are unauthorized.

In general, the College invites discussion of important ideas and issues through social media. However, Richard Bland College reserves the right to remove posts or comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, abusive, spam, advertisements, private information, or unrelated to the content or information. Richard Bland College also reserves the right to remove posts or comments that violate applicable laws including, but not limited to, copyright and trademark, or those that violate the use policies promulgated by the applicable social media provider.

Richard Bland College’s use of social media is governed by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides a safe harbor for internet service providers and websites for activity that takes place on said sites, provided that the site or domain takes certain actions when legally required. RBC also complies with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s “Use of Electronic Communications and Social Media” policy.

II. Reasons for Policy
Richard Bland College encourages the appropriate use of all social media as a method for communicating ideas and information, and as part of the educational mission of the College. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that College social media usage is authorized.

III. Application of the Policy
This policy governs all RBC staff, faculty, and students. This policy governs behavior of individuals as they utilize all social media technologies for College purposes and is not limited to any specific media format.

IV. Related Laws and Policies
Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material – 47 U.S.C. § 230

V. Contacts
Director of Communications
(804) 862-6214 or (804) 347-3321

VI. Definitions
“Social media” means those Internet or Mobile digital tools and systems used to share and/or receive information, including any social media outlets in which an individual or group of individuals might post information anonymously. The term is limited to those social media accounts that are utilized by the College for its purposes.

Proper Placement of Postings

Responsibility for Maintenance: Director of Communications
(Approved by President Sydow, March 15, 2018)

I. Policy Statement

Consistent with Richard Bland College’s Facilities Master Plan, postings are not allowed to be placed directly on windows, doors, display cases, stair rails, walls of public corridors, or other surfaces. The College will make appropriate devices available for standard communications (e.g., bulletin boards, insert sleeves, cork boards, digital screens, etc.).

The walls inside faculty offices as well as faculty office doors and common areas within office suites, considered an extension of classroom communication tools, are exempt from this policy.

II. Reasons for Policy

The posting policy is necessary to maintain a safe, comfortable physical environment that is non-threatening and conducive to learning, to promote a positive image of the College, and to avoid residual adhesive that damages surfaces.

III. Application of the Policy

This policy applies to the entire College community and visitors.

IV. Contacts

Director of Communications
(804) 862-6214 or (804) 347-3321

V. Definitions

“Postings” include but are not limited to: flyers, signs, paper cutouts, handouts, advertisements, notices, manuals, artwork, booklets, brochures, circulars, folders, leaflets, pamphlets, and instructions.

Student Handbook

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