Freedom of Expression (Policy OG-22)

Clarkson College defends the right of free expression of ideas, including the right of peaceful assembly. The College will uphold this right on behalf of all persons associated with Clarkson College and will disapprove actions by any group or individual that would seek to restrict the appropriate freedoms of any other group or individual.

Clarkson College respects and supports the expression of different points of view by our faculty and staff members. Although, these viewpoints may not always be agreed upon by all parties, Clarkson College seeks to protect a faculty and staff member's freedom of expression.

While Clarkson College strives to preserve a faculty and staff member's freedom of expression, Clarkson College does not condone:

  • Speech or expression which includes threats or pushes to commit an act of violence toward an individual or group.
  • Speech or expression which includes speech which is harassing toward an individual or group.
  • Speech or expression which is defamatory toward an individual or group.
  • Speech or expression which tries to incite an illegal act.
  • Speech or expression which can be deemed as hate speech.
  • Speech or expression which would indicate the party is speaking or acting on behalf of the College, unless such permission was granted through the president of College, vice president of Operations, or other appropriate designated group.
  • Any other form of speech or activity which may violate the rights of, pose a threat or cause harm to an individual or group.

Freedom of expression take on many different forms including but not limited to:

  • Posting on a faculty or staff member's personal social media outlets (OG-28 Social Media Policy)
  • Posting of signs or banners in visible individual workspaces (faculty and staff members should ensure banners, signs or pictures are properly secured and should contact the Facilities department for assistance)
  • Wearing of clothing, face masks, earrings or other apparel provided it does not violate the dress guidelines outlined in HR-9 Dress (employees) or academic program handbooks
  • Assembling, demonstration or speaking provided it does not interfere with the operations of the College
  • Distribution of pamphlets or other materials provided it does not violate or conflict with HR-33 Solicitations and Distributions
  • Political campaigning
  • Any event or activity that does not violate or conflict with this policy

Anyone who feels their freedom of expression, as outlined in the policy, has been violated or anyone who feels they have been subject to an activity which violates this policy should ideally, individuals should first work to resolve the issue and then discuss with their supervisor or academic program director, if needed. If unresolved, the complaint is with the supervisor or academic program director, or circumstances warrant escalating directly to Human Resources, the faculty or staff member can file a complaint through Human Resources or speak with the Director of Human Resources.


The College reserves the right to place reasonable time, manner and place restrictions on some forms of expression.

The College encourages all its members to resolve concerns/issues by communicating with the individual(s) directly involved. If this attempt fails or is not feasible, the established order of Clarkson College personnel listed below should be used for initial communication and appropriate direction as needed. Confidentiality in communication of any concern/issue shall be limited to persons who have a need to know.

Academic Issues

  • Faculty directly involved
  • Program director
  • Dean, where applicable
  • Vice president of Academic Affairs (VPAA)

Non-Academic Issues

  • Individual(s) directly involved
  • Supervisor/manager
  • Vice president of Operations