Harper College

Hawks Respect Free Speech

Examples of Ways You Can Express Yourself On Campus

  • Protest peacefully outdoors: includes marching, rallying, chanting, holding signs.
  • Reserve an "Indoor Distribution of Literature (Table)."
  • Debate and discuss in a civil and respectful manner.
  • Distribute literature/flyers in designated areas.
  • Bring in outside speakers - approval process required.

Examples of Ways You Can Respond to Any Speech You Don't Agree With

  • Walk Away and reach out to support resources as needed.
  • Gather individuals to join your cause for a same day response.
  • Organize your own gathering or peaceful protest.
  • Document the situation and report it to the College.

Things to Remember

  • Engaging may escalate the issue.
  • You never know who is watching: remember to be mindful of your actions and language.
  • Violence and threats of violence are NEVER acceptable.
  • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
  • Approach public discourse and conversation with respect and openness.
  • Avoid using the word "but" or purposefully trying to put others down.

General Guidelines

  1. Those seeking to schedule a planned activity must submit a Reservation Request form.
  2. No blocking entrances, exits, flow of pedestrians, bicycles, or traffic.
  3. Use of public address systems or amplified sound must be pre-approved.
  4. Outdoor distribution is allowed if it does not interfere with free flow of traffic.
  5. Leafletting on cars is prohibited.
  6. You can collect signatures outdoors but indoor solicitation is prohibited.

Student Resources

Facts on Tabling at Harper College

Persons or organizations have the protected rights of free speech and freedom of expression which means they can reserve a table on Harper’s campus, no matter how much we may disagree with their viewpoints or expressions. When a person or organization reserves a table on Harper’s campus or otherwise engages in expressive activities on campus, Harper’s Free Speech and Expressive Activities Policy and Procedural Guidelines apply to that person/organization.

Harper’s Free Speech and Expressive Activities Policy and Procedural Guidelines do not prohibit the acts of counterprotesting or being in the vicinity of a tabling organization to provide support or allyship. However, when participating in public expressive activities—whether as a tabling organization or as a counter-protester—individuals may not engage in conduct that interferes with the lawful rights of others or substantially impedes the College’s operations, including employees’ performance of their regular job duties. In addition, they must comply with applicable laws, College policies and procedures, and any safety-related directives of College officials. Employees who choose to engage in expressive activities must also make clear that any personal views they express are their own and do not represent the official position or views of the College.

Misinformation or disinformation may still be protected speech under the First Amendment. However, if there are concerns that a person or organization’s speech or expression is violating the privacy rights of members of the College community or engaging in conduct that is harassing or threatening to specifically identifiable people, such concerns should be reported to the administration.

If the person or organization is not in compliance with the Free Speech and Expressive Activities Policy/Procedural Guidelines or other College policy, they may be subject to consequences, as determined by the administration and Harper Police.


Our Statement of Respect

In accordance with college policy, Harper College is committed to maintaining an educational environment that respects and fosters diversity, equity, inclusion, and free and open inquiry in all matters. The College greatly values civility and believes all members of the College community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect as articulated by our Core Values of respect, integrity, collaboration, and excellence. Views expressed by individuals and organizations when engaged in public expressive activities on campus do not represent the official position or views of the College.


Harper College is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status or sexual orientation.

Last Updated: 1/5/24