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Expressive Demonstration: Time, Place and Manner Policy

Memorandum #163 Expressive Demonstration: Time, Place and Manner Policy

November 1, 2018

Community College of Philadelphia recognizes that institutions of higher education are marketplaces of ideas. The College upholds the rights of freedom of assembly, expression, and speech as essential to this exchange of ideas.  The College also recognizes that an individual’s right to freedom of assembly, expression, and speech must be harmonized with the right of the College community to engage in College activities without disruption. In order to balance the rights of assembly, expression and speech with the rights of pursuing College activities without disruption, the College has implemented this content- and viewpoint-neutral time, place, and manner policy to govern demonstrations on College premises.

Scope of Policy

This policy applies to all members of the College community, including employees, faculty, students, trustees, and College-recognized organizations, as well as guests and visitors to the College. This policy also applies to all College premises, including the Main Campus and all Regional Centers. This policy applies to demonstrations as defined below, but not to commercial speech or activity which is governed by the College’s Solicitation in Campus Facilities Policy. This policy also does not address the distribution or posting of literature or other materials on College premises, which are governed by the College’s Solicitation in Campus Facilities Policy and the College’s Posting in College Facilities Policy, respectively.   

See Related Policies:
Policy #153 – Policy Governing Use of College Facilities
Policy #158 – Solicitation in Campus Facilities
Policy #159 – Posting in College Facilities
Policy #161 – Statement of Acceptable Behavior for College Guests and Visitors

Responsible Offices

The Office of the Dean of Students, Department of Public Safety, and Office of Marketing and Government Relations are responsible for the implementation of this policy. 

Relevant Definitions

Demonstration:  the presence or gathering of a group of people with the primary purpose of expressive activity or the communication or expression of views or grievances in a manner that attracts attention (e.g., protests, rallies, sit-ins, vigils, or similar forms of expression). 

Time, Place, and Manner Limits


a) No demonstration may exceed four (4) hours in length in a 24-hour day. 

b) Demonstrations are not permitted outside of the College’s normal operational hours unless authorized by the appropriate office (see Procedures section below). 


a) Outdoor Demonstrations

i. Demonstrations will be permitted on College premises generally open to the public (public areas), which include public outdoor spaces in accordance with the guidelines below.  Public areas do not include indoor spaces at the College.

b) Indoor Demonstrations

i. Generally, indoor College spaces are not appropriate for demonstrations. However, indoor demonstrations will be permitted if they:

(1) involve members of the College community with valid College ID’s, not guests or visitors;
(2) do not interfere with the operations of the indoor space or otherwise disrupt any College activity or business;
(3) do not block hallways, entranceways, doors, or any other path of ingress and egress;
(4) do not prevent others from pursuing College business or activities;
(5) do not involve sound amplification devices or equipment;
(6) do not extend beyond the business hours of the indoor space; and
(7) otherwise comply with this policy and all other College policies. 

c) Demonstrations are prohibited in the following areas:

i. in classrooms or near classrooms;

ii. in hallways adjacent to classrooms;

iii. in learning commons, library areas, learning labs, laboratories, or other designated quiet areas or instructional spaces; and

iv. within 25 feet of any entrance or exit point of a College building.

d) A demonstration on the College’s Main Campus should generally take place in the Freedom Circle/Winnet Courtyard area between 17th and 18th Streets if:

i. the demonstration is by visitors or guests to the College; or

ii. space for the demonstration was not reserved in advance in accordance with this policy.

e) Individuals must also abide by the College’s room/facility reservation policies, as applicable.   


a) All participants in a demonstration must comply with the reasonable, lawful instructions of College officials or other authorities and all other College policies. 

b) College premises must be left in the original condition at the conclusion of the demonstration.  The College reserves the right to impose reasonable charges to enforce this requirement.

c) Demonstrations on College premises:

i. May not infringe upon the legal rights of the College community or other individuals.
ii. May not prevent or disrupt other College activities or business.
iii. May not prevent or disrupt College ceremonies or events.
iv. May not prevent or interfere with ingress to or egress from any College facility.
v. May not prevent or interfere with any individual’s ability to pursue College activities or business.
vi. May not impede the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
vii. May not jeopardize the safety or security of any member of the College community or any other individual, including attempting to coerce or intimidate a person with the intent to cause that person to fear for his or her safety.
viii. May not attract a crowd larger than the demonstration location can safely contain.
ix. May not engage in or threaten physical harm or violence or destruction of property.
x. May not consist of obscene or defamatory language, true threats, or fighting words; or otherwise contain expression not entitled to constitutional protection.
xi. May not be conducted in a manner that violates federal, state, or local law or applicable fire and safety regulations.
xii. May not be conducted in a manner that is likely to incite imminent lawless action.
xiii. May not be conducted in a manner that violates rules, regulations, and/or policies of the College.
xiv. May not involve firearms, explosives, knives, sticks, dangerous chemicals, weapons or other objects or devices that may be used as weapons. 
xv. May not involve camping on College premises, whether overnight or otherwise. 
xvi. May not involve the use of sound amplification devices or equipment unless previously indicated in a reservation, and then only for outdoor demonstrations to the extent such use does not disrupt other College activities or businesses.
xvii. May not involve the erection of temporary, permanent or semi-permanent structures unless approved in advance by the Director of Public Safety and the Director of Facilities. 
xviii. May not involve the use of booths or tables unless approved in advance.


Any individual, group, or organization may reserve an outdoor demonstration area of the College for a demonstration by directing the reservation request to:

Director, Department of Public Safety
(215) 751-8111

Reservation requests should provide the name of the organization or contact person; phone number and email; the date, time, and location requested; the general nature of use; the expected attendance; and specify whether any equipment (i.e., sound amplification, tables, booths, other structures) will be used. 

Reservations are required at least two (2) business days in advance for:

a) Demonstrations organized by visitors or guests to the College; or

b) College-community organized demonstrations where the expected attendance for the demonstration is 25 or more individuals unless such demonstration is prompted by news or affairs coming into public knowledge less than forty-eight (48) hours prior to such event.  In order to continue, immediate notice of any such spontaneous demonstration must be provided to the Department of Public Safety using the contact information above.

In all other cases, reservations are encouraged but not required. Demonstrations will be permitted without a reservation if they do not conflict with any other College-sponsored event or other previously-made reservation, and if the demonstration is in all other respects compliant with this policy.

Reservations will generally be granted on a first-come, first-served basis provided the request complies with this policy, although priority will be given to College community-sponsored events.  In the event of a conflict, a reasonably comparable space will be offered to the extent available.  The requestor will be notified in writing whether the request has been approved.  Requests will only be denied due to scheduling conflicts or if the proposed demonstration violates this policy.  Before issuing a denial, the College may suggest any remedies that may bring a proposed demonstration into compliance with this policy.  A denied request may be appealed to the College’s President or his designee, whose decision will be final. 

Any individual, group or organization intending to conduct a demonstration is strongly encouraged to coordinate with the Department of Public Safety so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Objections to Demonstrations

The College recognizes that members of the College community have the right to disagree with any demonstration which occurs at the College.  However, individuals who disagree with the sentiments expressed in a demonstration also bear the responsibility of recognizing the rights of the demonstrators to free speech, expression, and assembly.  An individual, organization or group who wishes to protest a demonstration will be subject to the same standards as the demonstrators, including the obligation to act lawfully and in compliance with College policies.