Question: What is the NCCFT’s position regarding Board Policy 7350: Demonstrations on College Property?
Answer: We recently received a formal request from some of our members asking us to seek a legal opinion from NYSUT “on the constitutionality and legal enforceability” of Policy 7350, specifically regarding whether it would violate the First Amendment if passed as currently written. We have complied with this request and will inform you of the results and of our official position once we receive them.
As a public institution of higher education, the First Amendment is at the heart of everything we do. Any policy that touches upon it, as this one does, should be considered carefully and critically before it is approved and put into action. For that reason, we’d also like to remind you that the administration scheduled two “listening sessions” for members of the campus community to express concerns and ask questions about Policy 7350. While the first session has passed–it took place on October 20th–we encourage you to attend the next one, which is on November 2nd at 11 AM. (Here’s the Zoom link.) There, you will be able to express any concerns or questions you may have directly to the administration, including those who were involved in writing the draft policy.
We will post NYSUT’s response when we receive it.
“Asked & Answered” is a regular blog feature in which we answer members’ questions. If you have a question that you would like us to answer in a future Asked & Answered post, please send it to the NCCFT Office. We welcome and encourage frank and open discussion in the “Comments” section. (Please read our comments policy to learn more.) However, if your comment is or contains a question to which you would like a direct response from the Executive Committee, please send that question to the NCCFT Office for potential inclusion in a future Asked & Answered post. (We cannot guarantee that all questions will become such posts, but we will respond to all questions that the office receives.)
On this Wednesday before Election Day, it’s much more than ironic that once again those in power, on or off campus, seek to restrict the exercise of our First Amendment rights, specifically the most important clause, “the right to peacefully assemble to petition the government in redress of our grievances.” On the national scale, we are facing a leader who has publically refused to commit to leaving power if defeated, threatening to seize power illegally in a coup supported by the gangs we have seen for the past thirty years strutting with their guns in courthouses, legislatures, and defenseless towns. It is PRECISELY a time like this when the right to peaceable assembly MUST be upheld, ESPECIALLY in institutions of higher learning. I respectfully urge my former colleagues to reject this Policy 7350, root and branch. Unions are supposed to be the guardians of democratic action, not the auxiliaries of power. If not us, who? If not now, when?