Free Speech and Assembly

 Free Speech and Assembly Policy

 

The University has established high visibility areas on campus in order to facilitate

 

robust debate and the free exchange of ideas. These “free speech zones” may be used

 

by any person, including non-students and other campus guests:

 

a. Weathersby Lawn

 

b. Union Plaza

 

c. Shoemaker Square

 

d. Kennard-Washington Lawn

 

e. Centennial Lawn

 

B. These may be used without permission from the University so long as the area has not

 

been previously reserved or scheduled for a particular function, no sound

 

amplification is used, no structure is erected, and the participants do not violate other

 

University policies. For a person using these free speech zones to obtain prior

 

permission, they should visit the Dean of Students’ office 48 hours in advance in

 

order to make adequate arrangements for safety and security and to ensure the space

 

desired is available. Any speaker may be denied or asked to leave if the speech

 

constitutes an immediate and serious danger to the institution’s orderly operation by

 

the speaker's incitement of such actions by:

 

1. The willful damage or destruction or seizure and subversion of the

 

institution's buildings or other property;

 

2. The forcible disruption or impairment or interference with the

 

institution’s regularly scheduled classes or other educational functions;

 

3. The physical harm, coercion, intimidation or other invasion of lawful

 

rights of the institution’s officials, faculty members or students; or

 

4. Other campus disorder of a violent nature.

 

Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as limiting the right of student expression

 

elsewhere on the campus so long as the expressive activities or related student conduct

 

does not violate any other applicable University policies.

 

C. If a student organization desires to demonstrate in an area of campus outside of the

 

“free speech zones” or if the student organization intends to advertise for an event or

 

anticipates an event that may draw a large crowd or impede pedestrian or vehicular

 

traffic or will involve a parade, march or other similar activity, the University requires

 

the student organization to complete an event form through the Office of Student

 

Activities in advance of the activity. The Office of Student Activities will work with the

 

organization to meet the request or find a suitable time and location that balances the

 

rights of the student organization with the rights of others and the University’s

 

educational mission. The purpose of this policy is not to designate University streets

 

and common areas as a public forum or to accommodate demonstrations or protests by

 

those who are not part of the University community (non-students and other campus

 

guests). Rather, the purpose of this policy is to promote and facilitate student

 

expression while allowing the University to make any necessary arrangements (such as

 

arranging parade route, providing security) to assure such activities do not interfere

 

with the University’s mission and operations or with the rights of others. Should an

 

outside group or individual student wish to conduct an organized demonstration or to

 

demonstrate in areas other than the “free speech zones”, the group should seek the

 

sponsorship of a registered student organization.