The Focus Is You

Distribution of Student-Sponsored Publications on Campus

Southwestern Oklahoma State University promotes an intellectually open campus through the free exchange of ideas in written, spoken, and other forms of expression. This freedom of expression is guaranteed by the United States Constitution, supports diverse points of view, and reflects the university’s commitment to excellence in education. To that end, Southwestern Oklahoma State University specifically authorizes the distribution by students of written materials, which do not solicit sales on campus within the limits of the following time, place, and manner requirements. Requests to distribute sales solicitations should be directed to the Dean of Students.

A. Time, Place, and Manner Requirements.

  1. Distribution must comply with all local, state and federal laws.
  2. All literature distributed must contain identifying information (either the name of a university sanctioned organization or the name and telephone number or e-mail address of an unaffiliated student) either in the literature or on the box in which it is distributed for a university official to contact.
  3. All literature must be distributed in a location designated by the Dean of Students. Authorization to distribute will generally be content neutral. Any limitations may include requiring: a) scheduling and planning with the appropriate authorized designee; b) restricting or prohibiting the use of certain areas; c) limiting certain forms of expression in specific areas, and d) reimbursing the University for any costs associated with the use of a facility or area.
  4. All literature may be available for distribution for up to one month. After one month, it will be discarded.
  5. Each university sanctioned organization or unaffiliated student who distributes literature under this policy is responsible for ensuring that the materials are kept in an orderly manner and not creating additional work for university custodians.
  6. The use of any University controlled facility or area for any expression shall not constitute or imply endorsement of the content of that expression by the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges, the University or any individual member thereof.

B. Legal Issues

As an entity of the State of Oklahoma , Southwestern Oklahoma State University is constitutionally limited in its ability to restrict publications on the basis of content. One area in which content can be regulated is obscene material. “Obscene material” is defined by Title 21 Section 1024.1 of the Oklahoma Statutes. The display of materials harmful to minors is prohibited in Title 21 Section 1040.75 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

If material distributed on campus is believed to be obscene, it may be reported to Southwestern Oklahoma State University campus police for possible prosecution by the local district attorney. The district attorney has discretion regarding the claim and will first evaluate whether the material meets the statutory definition of obscene and determine whether to prosecute the distributor. Upon notification by the district attorney that specific literature/publications are determined to be obscene, the university will promptly remove that material from the distribution center.

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The Focus Is You