On Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, the St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees will have its scheduled regular meeting. As part of the agenda, the Board will consider an administrative policy to streamline the public speaking portion of its meetings. The new guidelines in no way prohibit public speaking, but allow the College to conduct meetings with civility, respect, and most importantly, safety.
The proposed 10-point* policy is as follows:
A.P. 13 Consideration of Issues Presented by the Public
Persons wishing to address the Board at a public meeting shall sign in prior to the posted start time of the meeting, listing their name, address, and the matter on which they will speak.
- Persons addressing the Board shall speak in the order in which they sign in.
- A person addressing the Board shall give his/her name and address and be recognized by the Chair.
- The Chair shall limit the comments of each person addressing the Board to two (2) minutes.
- Persons addressing the Board shall confine their comments to matters pertaining to the agenda or germane to matters of administrative concern.
- No demonstrations of any kind (e.g., applause, booing, etc.) shall be permitted during or at the conclusion of any speaker’s presentation.
- A person addressing the Board shall refrain from the following:
- Attempting to engage individual Board members in conversation;
- Obscenity or profanity;
- Attacks against any person in his/her personal capacity;
- Physical violence or threat thereof;
- Comments that are not relevant to matters on the agenda or to matters of administrative concerning;
- Comments that are unduly repetitious;
- Comments that exceed the 2-minute limit, or other such comments or conduct that disrupts, disturbs, or otherwise impedes the orderly conduct of any Board meeting.
- Any person who breaches these rules shall, at the discretion of the Chair or a majority of the Board, be given an oral warning by the Chair to refrain from disturbing or disrupting the meeting. If, after receiving such warning, the person continues to breach these rules, he or she will be barred from further audience before the Board at that meeting.
- If, after receiving an oral warning from the Chair and being barred from further audience before the Board at a meeting, a person persists in disturbing or disrupting the meeting, the Chair may order him/her to leave the meeting. If such person does not remove him/herself, the Chair may request a law enforcement officer who is on duty at the meeting to remove that person from the meeting.
- It is the intention of the Board, by adoption of these rules, to ensure that the affairs of the Board are conducted in an open, orderly, and efficient manner; that persons desiring to address the Board on matters pertaining to the agenda or germane to matters of administrative concern are afforded an opportunity to speak in the order in which they sign up to speak; that persons in attendance may observe and hear the proceedings of the Board without distraction; and that the members of the Board and its employees are able to transact the business of the Board with minimal disruption.
- Nothing in these rules shall deny any person the right to attend any meeting of the Board, or to individually contact any Board member to lobby, educate, or request action by the Board. Nor do these rules preclude persons from delivering written materials to the Board by submitting such materials to the Associate for Board Relations.
*An earlier version of this article included a draft list of 12-points. The current list of 10-points is the final version to be considered by the Board of Trustees.