Policy AD51 USE OF OUTDOOR AREAS FOR EXPRESSIVE ACTIVITIES

Policy Steward: Vice President for Administration

Contents:

  • Purpose
  • Locations for Expressive Activity
  • Reservation of Location
  • Non-University Groups
  • Requirements for Use
  • Residence Hall Areas
  • Other University Campuses and Property
  • Further Information
  • Cross References

  • PURPOSE:

    A university is inherently a marketplace of ideas, and Penn State encourages and protects the rights of members of the University community to express divergent viewpoints and opinions on matters of concern. At the same time, the University expects that persons engaging in expressive activity will demonstrate civility, concern for the safety of persons and property, respect for University activities and for those who may disagree with their message, and will comply with University rules. The purpose of this policy is to provide for expressive activity to be conducted on the grounds of the University in a manner consistent with these principles.

    This policy is applicable to University students, faculty, staff and others who wish to engage in speaking, literature distribution, poster or sign displays, petitioning and similar noncommercial activities (generally referred to as “expressive activity”) at outdoor locations on University property. Use of University buildings and indoor facilities is addressed in other University policies. University grounds and buildings are reserved for use by students, faculty and staff, except as otherwise permitted by policies of the University. Questions concerning this policy should be directed to the Event Management Office, 125D HUB-Robeson Center.

    LOCATIONS FOR EXPRESSIVE ACTIVITY:

    Based upon careful study, the following areas of the University Park Campus have been designated as areas suitable for expressive activity:

    At other University locations, the office of the Chancellor, Dean, or other administrator in charge should be consulted to identify the sites suitable for expressive activity.

    Groups should consider such factors as the number of people involved in the activity, how much space will be required, and the anticipated time and duration of the activity when selecting a location.

    RESERVATION OF LOCATION:

    Registered student organizations, or a group of ten or more University students, faculty or staff, may reserve any one of the identified locations for the use of the group, subject to the following:

    Smaller groups and individuals are requested to voluntarily use the designated areas, but may use any outdoor area open to the public that can safely be used so long as noise levels do not conflict with the conduct of University business and crowds do not impede egress and ingress to University facilities.

    With a proper reservation, a group will have exclusive use of the reserved location and may not transfer the reservation to or allow use of the location by any other group. If a location has not been reserved, it will be available for use by a group, consistent with the other requirements of this policy. Registered student organizations and University groups will have absolute priority in the event of conflicting requests.

    Registered student organizations, or a group of ten or more University students, faculty or staff, may reserve a location through The Event Management Office, 125D HUB-Robeson Center. Groups wishing to reserve a space other than those designated must submit a written request for an exception to this policy with the appropriate reservation office noted above.

    At non-University Park locations: registered student organizations, or groups of ten or more University students, faculty or staff should contact the Office of Student Affairs to reserve a location. 

    NON-UNIVERSITY GROUPS:

    Non-University groups requesting the use of University facilities may pick up the appropriate forms in the Event Management Office, 125 HUB-Robeson Center. After applications are reviewed by appropriate personnel, including those designated with management or assignment responsibility for specific areas, actions relative to the approval are issued through the Office of Strategic Communicationss, Department of Community Relations. Reservation is voluntary but encouraged to avoid conflicts and insure availability.

    At non-University Park locations:  Non-University groups requesting the use of University facilities should contact the Office of University Relations at the applicable location to request use of / receive approval for the use of a facility. 

    REQUIREMENTS OF USE:

    In addition to other University policies and rules that generally apply to students, faculty staff and visitors, the following requirements specifically apply to expressive activities at outdoor locations by individuals and groups:

    1. Use of sound amplification equipment is generally prohibited between 8a.m. and 5p.m. If sound amplification is required for expressive activity, indoor facilities where sound amplification is available may be reserved for use in accordance with University policy. (Amplification is permitted at the Old Main location between the hours of Noon - 1 p.m.)
    2. Pedestrian or vehicular traffic must not be impeded in any fashion.
    3. Disturbance of or interference with classrooms, offices, study facilities, libraries, or other University facilities and activities is prohibited.
    4. Creation of safety hazards is prohibited.
    5. Damage or destruction of property is prohibited. Should damages, destruction or clean up charges/cost occur the organization, department or individual who reserved the space will be responsible for any and all charges.
    6. Flashing or rotating lights and illuminated signs may not be used.
    7. Signs, placards, posters, banners, photographs and the like shall not be affixed in any manner to University grounds and property, including but not limited to buildings, poles, gates, fences, trees or other vegetation. All such materials must be removed at the conclusion of each day's use of the designated area. Any signage cannot obstruct the flow of traffic.
    8. Papers, pamphlets, and similar material must be distributed in person by sponsoring organization
    9. Placing or erecting structures of any size or material is prohibited. These structures will be removed and the sponsoring organization, department, individual will be responsible for any and all charges.
    10. Tables must be staffed by the sponsoring organization and or group and may be used only in those areas designated for expressive activity. The use of tables must be stipulated at the time of reservation. The name of the sponsoring organization or group must be displayed at the table.

    RESIDENCE HALL AREAS:

    Grounds adjoining University residence halls are reserved for use exclusively by occupants of the residence halls. Requirements for use of these areas are issued by the Directors of Residence Life and Housing Services at the University Park Campus, and the Directors of Student Affairs and Housing and Food Services at other campuses with residential facilities.

    OTHER UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES AND PROPERTY:

    Areas suitable for expressive activities have been identified at other University locations. The requirements of this policy will be applicable to all University locations.

    FURTHER INFORMATION:

    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of Strategic Communications.

    CROSS REFERENCES:

    Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

    AD01 - Auditoriums, Policies and Procedures for Use of University,

    AD02 - Non-University Groups Using University Facilities,

    AD26 - Sale of Food and Beverages at University Locations,

    AD27 - Commercial Sales Activities at University Locations,

    AD29 - Statement of Intolerance,

    AD57 - General Regulations on Use of University Property


    Effective Date: August 07, 2008
    Date Approved: August 06, 2008
    Date Published: August 07, 2008 (Editorial change, August 21, 2014)

    Most recent changes:

    Revision History (and effective dates):

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