The staff of Modesto Junior College (part of the Yosemite Community College District) told a student that he could not pass out copies of the United States Constitution outside the student center on September 17, 2013 — Constitution Day.
Captured on video, campus security and administrators told Robert Van Tuinen to stop passing out Constitution papers and let him know that he would only be allowed to pass them out in the college’s free speech zone after scheduling it several days or weeks ahead of time.
This video contains the edited portions of Van Tuinen’s experience. The full version is available on his YouTube page.
YCCD Public Affairs Director Nick Stavrianoudakis issued a statement to KVML by email:
“The Yosemite Community College District’s (YCCD) colleges have free speech areas on campus for activities such as distributing materials on campus. In addition, people can distribute material in the areas generally available to students and the community as long as they don’t “disrupt the orderly operation of the college.” In the case of the YouTube video, it did not appear that the student was disrupting the orderly operation of the college. Therefore, we are looking into the matter. The administration of the YCCD supports the peaceful distribution of the Constitution and other materials on campus, which is why our colleges support Constitution Day with activities each year.”