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:
- Old Main front patio
- Allen Street Gate Plaza
- Willard Building patio area between Willard and Obelisk
- Palmer Art Museum Plaza
- Northwest corner of Shortlidge Rd. and College Avenue
- Fisher Plaza
- IST Plaza
- Pattee Library Mall entrance plaza
- HUB-Robeson - Rear sidewalk pad (not the Patio)
- HUB-Robeson - Lawn
- Osmond Fountain Area (after 5pm)
- Area under the Willaman Gateway to the Life Sciences
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:
- All locations (except for Osmond Fountain) may be reserved between
the hours of 8:00a.m. and 5:00p.m.
- There are selected areas that can be reserved for hours other than
8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.. These are HUB Lawn, Old Main Patio and Fisher Plaza. These
will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Events at these locations that incur
costs from the University can only be reserved by registered student
organizations or University Departments.
- A group may reserve only one location for each day.
- The same group may not reserve the same location for more than one
day in each calendar week.
- Reservation must be requested at least 48 hours in advance of the
proposed activity, or by the Friday preceding a Sunday or Monday.
- Reservations will be accepted in the order of request, unless
considerations of format, size and equitable distribution of locations requires
allocation of locations.
- Reservation is voluntary but encouraged to avoid conflicts and insure
- The group that has reserved the space has priority over non-reserved
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
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 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
- 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.)
- Pedestrian or vehicular traffic must not be impeded in any fashion.
- Disturbance of or interference with classrooms, offices, study
facilities, libraries, or other University facilities and activities is
- Creation of safety hazards is prohibited.
- 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.
- Flashing or rotating lights and illuminated signs may not be used.
- 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.
- Papers, pamphlets, and similar material must be distributed in
person by sponsoring organization
- 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.
- 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.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of Strategic Communications.
Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the
AD01 - Auditoriums, Policies and
Procedures for Use of University,
AD02 - Non-University Groups Using
AD26 - Sale of Food and Beverages at
AD27 - Commercial Sales Activities at
AD29 - Statement of Intolerance,
AD57 - General Regulations on Use of
Effective Date: August 07, 2008
Date Approved: August 06, 2008
Published: August 07, 2008 (Editorial change, August 21, 2014)
Most recent changes:
- August 21, 2014 -
Editorial changes. In the NON-UNIVERSITY GROUPS section, reference to the Office of University Relations have been changed to the Office of Strategic Communications. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
Revision History (and effective dates):
- May 11, 2011 - Reference added for the Department of Community Relations in the NON-UNIVERSITY GROUPS section.
- August 08, 2008 - Change made in "Locations For Expressive Activity" (Allen Street Gate Plaza), and in the "Requirements of Use" section, #7, expanding restrictions to include banners, gates and fences. Added verbiage in the "Reservation of Location" and "Non-University Groups" sections to provide guidance for requesting the use of University facilities at non-University Park locations.
- June 28, 2006 - Editorial change made in "Locations For Expressive Activity," removing sentence that referred to other areas on University property.
- July 13, 2005 - The "Area under the Willaman Gateway to the Life Sciences" was added, per July 11, 2005 approval by the President's Council, to the "Locations For Expressive Activity." Additionally, the office of the Chancellor was added to the list of University administrators specified in the section for individuals/offices who should be consulted with when identifying sites suitable for expressive activity at other University locations.
- August 30, 2004:
- The Event Management Office in the Robeson Center is now
responsible for questions concerning this policy.
- The IST Plaza, HUB-Robeson rear sidewalk pad, HUB-Rebeson lawn,
and Osmond fountain area (after 5pm) have been added as locations for
- The HUB Lawn, Old Main Patio and Fisher Plaza can be reserved for
hours other than 8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.
- Under RESERVATIONS OF LOCATIONS, there are new regulations for
smaller groups and individuals.
- Groups that reserve space have priority over non-reserved
- The section NON-UNIVERSITY GROUPS was added.
- The REQUIREMENTS OF USE section underwent substantial
- Sound amplification equipment is permitted at Old Main location
between the hours of noon - 1 p.m.
- July 30, 1999 - Added: reference to Hetzel Union Bldg; provision for
smaller groups and individuals; provision for groups wishing to reserve space
other than those designated; and provision for use of tables.
- April 26, 1999 - New Policy.