The University of Alabama, Division of Finance and Operations

Facility and Grounds Use Policy

Unit:  Facilities and Grounds
Contact: Donna McCray
Title:  Senior Director of Facilities Operations and Grounds Use Permits
Effective Date: 7/1/2014
Revision Date: 07/01/2020


 
 

Purpose

The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama, as an independent, constitutional instrumentality of the state, controls The University of Alabama and, through the University, an enclave created for the pursuit of higher learning, is committed to free and open inquiry and expression for members of its campus community. Except as limitations on that freedom are appropriate to the functioning of the campus and permissible under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the University will regulate access to University facilities and grounds, including sidewalks on its campus, in a manner that respects and supports the freedom of all members of the campus community “to discuss any problem that presents itself.”  To that end, this policy provides the University’s affiliates access to University facilities and grounds, while preserving the primacy of the University’s teaching, research, and service mission. Among other significant interests of the University, this policy is intended to facilitate responsible stewardship of institutional resources; to protect the educational experience of its students; to preserve the primacy of its teaching and research missions; to ensure health, safety, and order on campus; to regulate competing uses of its facilities and grounds and protect campus property; and protect the safety and wellbeing of those with the right to use its facilities and grounds to engage in protected speech, while also providing opportunities for freedom of expression and assembly that is consistent with the University’s teaching, research, service mission. 

The University will enforce reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that are viewpoint neutral to ensure that these interests are protected, and that expression does not disrupt the ordinary activities of the institution.

Use of facilities or grounds of The University of Alabama that are within the scope of this policy by persons, groups, or organizations affiliated or unaffiliated with the University will be handled in accordance with this policy. 

Policy

A.    General Policy

The grounds and facilities of the University, including the sidewalks on its campus, (hereinafter “space,” “campus space,” or “University space”) are intended primarily for the support of the teaching, research, and service components of its mission. Second priority is given to programs sponsored and conducted by University academic and administrative departments or organizations affiliated with such departments. Beyond these two priorities, use of campus space is primarily permitted for activities that are intended to serve or benefit the University community and must not interfere with the academic mission, operation, or significant interests of the University.  These significant interests include, but are not limited to, protecting the educational experience of its students; ensuring health, safety, and order on its campus; regulating competing uses of its facilities and grounds as well as protecting campus property; and protecting the safety and wellbeing of those with the right to use its facilities and grounds to engage in protected speech.  To the extent any University space is made available for activities or gatherings, including activities of expression (collectively “Events”), the reservation and/or use of such space is subject to this policy as well as all other applicable University policies, procedures, and guidelines along with local, state, and federal laws.

Subject to the terms of this policy, University space generally may not be reserved or used by individuals or organizations that are not part of the University or that are not sponsored[1] by a member of the campus community (i.e., UA faculty, staff, and students), a University academic or administrative department, or registered student organization (collectively “University affiliates”).[2]  A University affiliate that reserves campus space must actively participate in any activity associated with that reservation.  Permission to use campus space may be granted only by designated University officials. 

B.    Reservation/Registration Requirements

Members of the campus community (i.e., faculty, staff, and students) have the right to engage in spontaneous activities of expression as provided for in Section F (Activities of Expression) of this policy and subject to compliance with applicable University rules.  Aside from the opportunities for free expression outlined in Section F and casual recreational or social activities, reservations must be made for activities that make use of space under the control of the University, including University sidewalks. When required, requests for Event reservations will be granted in accordance with the priorities of the designated area. The request and any required registration must be made in writing to the appropriate office as set out in the procedures referenced below.

C.    Procedure and Priorities for Designated Space

1.      Ferguson Center

Use of space in and around the Ferguson Center[3] is governed by the Ferguson Student Center Reservation Policy and coordinated by the Ferguson Center Director.  Any Event taking advantage of this space must register through and fully comply with those Guidelines as well as the applicable restrictions/limitations in this policy related to use of University space.  The Ferguson Center is the primary designated location for student displays or activities, which includes opportunities for use of the facility by individual students and registered student organizations.

2.      Academic Buildings

  1. Academic buildings are intended for the primary use and benefit of the academic programs conducted therein. Use of these buildings for academic purposes shall be under the direction and control of the dean responsible for the respective academic building. The Office of the University Registrar manages reservation of space for Farrah Auditoriums, Houser Hall, Lloyd Hall, North Lawn Hall, and Russell Hall in conjunction with the respective building representatives for these facilities. Other space must be reserved through the office of the dean responsible for the academic building in accordance with that office’s requirements. No recurring space assignments will be made during final examination periods unless by special permission from the University Provost (or designee). Academic use by departments and colleges has priority over other uses, and organization assignments may be changed or cancelled if conflicts with regular academic programs in the space or building develop. The exterior space immediately adjacent to academic buildings is also intended for the primary use and benefit of the academic programs conducted in the academic building, but use of that exterior space should nevertheless be managed under Section E (Registration Process for Use of Campus Space) below to avoid scheduling conflicts with other events that may be held on campus.
  2. Registered student organizations may request the use of space in academic facilities. This space will be assigned on a limited basis under the following conditions:
    1. The intended use is in keeping with the educational purposes of the University.
    2. The intended use does not conflict with the use of the space or building by academic programs or academic organizations or uses of a registered student organization that has already reserved the space as described in subsection C.2.a. above.
    3. The use of the requested space does not create any logistical, safety, or security issues for the Event. If this is the case, the University reserves the right to postpone the Event and/or provide an alternate, comparable venue of its choosing.
    4. The use of the requested space complies with the University’s Use of Academic Space Policy.
  3. Please see the University’s Use of Academic Space Policy for more information on the reservation process for academic facilities.

3.      Intercollegiate Athletic Facilities

Bryant-Denny Stadium, Coleman Coliseum, Sewell Thomas Field, Sam Bailey Track and Field, Foster Auditorium, Rhoads Stadium, the tennis stadium/facility, the golf team facilities, the soccer stadium, and athletic indoor and outdoor practice fields and training facilities are owned and maintained by the University for the primary use and benefit of the intercollegiate athletic programs of the University, of allied non-University athletic activities consistent with such programs, and of official academic events of the University. The use of these facilities shall be limited to these purposes unless otherwise authorized by the Athletic Department.  Requests for use of all intercollegiate athletic facilities must be made to the Athletic Department.  Distribution of materials pursuant to this policy is not allowed in intercollegiate athletic facilities or within the security perimeter[4] of athletic events without the permission of the Athletic Department. 

4.      Recreation Facilities

The Student Recreation Center and outdoor pool, Robert E. Witt Student Activity Center (Witt Center), Aquatic Complex, tennis courts and intramural fields are intended primarily for student recreational use on an organized group and individual basis. The Department of University Recreation is responsible for scheduling the use of these facilities, which may also require registration pursuant to Section E (Registration Process for Use of Campus Space) below.

5.      Housing Facilities

Common area spaces (e.g., lobbies, lounges, TV rooms, cafeterias, courtyards, balconies, foyers, etc.) are reserved for use by residents in that particular building or area in accordance with the policy of Housing and Residential Communities.

6.      Area in Front of Rose Administration Building and the President’s Mansion Lawn/Driveway

The space inside the driveway circle and adjacent median in front of Rose Administration Building is reserved exclusively for use by the University administration and may not be used for gatherings or displays by other University affiliates.  These same restrictions apply to the president’s mansion lawn and driveway.

7.      Registered Student Organization Social/Philanthropic Events

Social and philanthropic events hosted on campus by registered student organizations are subject to the requirements of the University’s Social Event Guidelines, which, depending on the location of the event, may not require registration pursuant to Section E (Registration Process for Use of Campus Space).  Please consult the Social Event Guidelines for Student Organizations for more information. 

8.      Use of Other Campus Space

Except in the limited circumstances outlined in Section F (Activities of Expression) below, other campus space[5] is available for Events subject to the reservation and registration requirements of this policy. Academic use by departments and colleges has priority. Assignments may be changed or canceled if conflicts with regular academic programs exist or develop.

D.   General Provisions Applying to All Use of University Space

The following requirements/limitations apply to ALL activities or Events requiring access to University space:

  1. Persons may not block or otherwise interfere with the free flow of vehicular, bicycle, or pedestrian traffic. The right of way on streets and sidewalks must be maintained.
  2. Persons may not block or otherwise interfere with ingress and egress into and out of campus buildings.
  3. Persons shall not obstruct, disrupt, interrupt, or attempt to force the cancellation of any event or activity sponsored by the University or by any individual/group authorized to use University space.
  4. Where an invited speaker is the object of protest, persons may demonstrate and/or distribute materials in designated areas outside the building where the speech is taking place, subject to the requirements of this policy, which may include registration or notice. Persons who wish to enter the speaking venue must do so as members of the audience and must give the speaker a respectful hearing (e.g., do not interrupt, etc.). Failure to grant the speaker a respectful hearing may result in the offending person(s) being asked to leave or being removed. Signs, placards, or similar paraphernalia associated with a demonstration shall not be carried into the building. This provision is focused on preventing material and substantial interferences.  It does not prevent attendees from engaging in silent, nonobstructive protests (e.g., turning their backs on a speaker, etc.) or respectfully engaging a speaker in discussion or debate when the speaker provides that opportunity to the audience. 
  5. Persons shall not engage in physically abusive or threatening conduct toward any person or group.
  6. Persons shall always comply with the directions of University public safety personnel, including the University of Alabama Police Department (UAPD).
  7. Persons shall not prevent, obstruct, or interfere with regular academic, administrative, student, or other approved activities at the University.
  8. Use of public address systems and amplified sound, including electronic amplification, is only permitted pursuant to the terms of Section I (Use of Sound Amplification) below.
  9. The safety and well-being of members of the campus community collectively and individually, as well as the educational experience and other significant interests of the University as outlined herein, must be protected at all times. The University maintains the right to regulate reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions for Events occurring on campus in a viewpoint-neutral manner to ensure that expressive activity is protected and that expression does not disrupt the ordinary activities of the institution. This includes, but is not limited to, modifying, disbanding or relocating an Event or activity that conflicts with previously scheduled events in or around that space or that reasonably creates a health or safety risk to persons or risk to property on campus.
  10. University property must be protected at all times.
  11. Persons on University property may be required to provide identification and evidence of qualification to a University official upon request. Evidence of qualification means evidence that the person is a currently registered student, staff or faculty member at the institution or has lawful activity to pursue at the University.
  12. Persons engaging in activities on University property are subject to and must comply with all applicable University policies and procedures.
  13. Any person or group holding an Event on campus must remove all trash and other items associated with the Event (e.g., fencing, stages, tents, tarps, etc.) and return the grounds to pre-Event condition by 7:00 a.m. the following day. For events that are scheduled to end before 5 p.m., such removal must take place within three hours of the scheduled end of the event. The University will assess the reasonable costs of returning the grounds to pre-Event condition (including damages, labor, repairs, replacement, etc.) and/or cleanup to those persons or organizations failing to comply with this requirement.[6]
  14. Candles, fireworks, pyrotechnics, bonfires, and other open flames are not permitted at any Event using University space unless it is a UA-sponsored Event that has been coordinated with the UA Environmental Health and Safety Department, UAPD, and local fire department officials.[7]
  15. Misuse/abuse of trees located on UA property is prohibited. Examples of tree misuse/abuse include, but are not limited to, climbing, breaking limbs/branches, use of ropes, wire, hammocks, slack-lines, zip-lines, nails, tape and signage, etc.
  16. With the exception of service animals that are trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability, the use of animals in conjunction with an Event is prohibited without prior written approval from the Office of Facilities and Grounds.   
  17. No outdoor Event may last longer than eight hours during a 24-hour period without prior written approval from the Office of Facilities and Grounds. Likewise, overnight camping or the use of temporary shelters (e.g., tents) is not allowed without prior written approval from the Office of Facilities and Grounds.  Similarly, indoor Events that may last longer than eight hours during a 24-hour period require prior written approval of the college, administrative unit, and/or the building administrator responsible for the space requested.
  18. Any Event involving merchandising, commercial activities, and/or the collection of money must also comply with the University’s Campus Merchandising Policy.

E.     Registration Process for Use of Campus Space [8]

  1. In addition to the requirements and limitations of this policy, all use of University space subject to registration under this Section is further governed by the General Terms and Conditions for Use of University Space, which are fully incorporated herein by reference. Any individual or group using University space pursuant to this Section agrees to be bound by those General Terms and Conditions for Use of University Space.  Further, all Events that involve alcohol and are required to be registered under this Section are subject to the General Terms and Conditions for Use of University Space.
  2. Subject to the limited exceptions noted in Section C (Procedures and Priorities for Designated Space) and Section F (Activities of Expression), each applicant for an Event on campus must register their Event by completing a Grounds Use Permit (GUP) applic University academic or administrative departments, faculty, and staff members should submit the GUP form found on the Grounds Use Permit Coordination webpage. For registered student organizations and students, the GUP form may be accessed through the Source’s Event Smart Registration.
  3. To facilitate the review by various University departments that have responsibility for different aspects of an Event (e.g., tents, food service, security, electrical service, etc.), applicants for use of the space are strongly encouraged to request permission for such use at least ten (10) University business days prior to the Event.[9] At a minimum, any such request must be made no less than five (5) University business days prior to the planned Event.  If the Event does not present logistical complexities, the reservation request will be promptly reviewed and addressed.  
  4. If issued, a permit granting use of University space shall specify the boundaries of the area to be used, the date for which the use is approved, the time at which the reservation for the use expires, and any special provision(s) concerning the use of the space.
  5. An application for use of campus space cannot be filed more than one (1) year before the scheduled date of the Event.

F.    Activities of Expression

The primary function of a university is to discover and disseminate knowledge by means of research, teaching, discussion, and debate. To fulfill this function, free and open inquiry and expression of ideas is necessary within the University by its University affiliates.  At The University of Alabama, freedom of expression and assembly is vital to the pursuit of knowledge.  Such freedom comes with a responsibility to welcome and promote this freedom for all, even in disagreement, opposition, or even offense. 

The University of Alabama supports the right to free expression on campus by University affiliates through rallies, speeches, petitions, vigils, and distribution of materials, among others, provided such an Event complies with this policy and does not disrupt normal University activities, infringe upon the rights of others, or otherwise infringe on the University’s significant interests as set forth herein.[10]  Compliance with this policy should prevent such disruption or infringement.  Except as provided for herein, persons who are not members of the University student body, faculty, or staff may only participate in these types of Events upon the invitation of a University affiliate who is actively participating in the Event. 

The ideas of different members of the campus community will often and quite naturally conflict, but it is not the proper role of the University to shield or attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Although great value is placed on civility, and while all members of the campus community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used to justify closing off the otherwise lawful discussion of ideas among members of the campus community, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some.        

The freedom to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas does not, of course, mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish.  The University may restrict expression or assembly that violates the law, falsely defames a specific individual, constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise incompatible with the functioning of the institution.  Likewise, the University has a significant interest in protecting the educational experience of its students, in ensuring health, safety, and order on its campus, in regulating competing uses of its facilities and grounds, and in protecting the safety and wellbeing of those with the right to use its facilities and grounds to engage in protected speech, among other significant interests.  As a result, the University may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression in a viewpoint- neutral manner to ensure that these interests are protected, and that expression does not disrupt the ordinary activities of the institution.  These are exceptions to the general principle of freedom of expression, and it is vitally important that these exceptions never be used in a manner that is inconsistent with an institution’s commitment to a free and open discussion of ideas among its campus community.

A multitude of venues and forums across campus are available for free expression if properly registered in advance of the Event.  In addition to those opportunities for free expression through Event registration and reservation of campus space, Events providing for freedom of expression may also be promptly allowed in the following situations:

  1. Special Guidelines for Spontaneous Activities of Expression 
    1. It is the intent of this policy to ensure that all activities of expression on campus occur without threat to the health, safety, or security of persons or facilities or the University’s other significant interests through proper planning and scheduling. Occasionally, events occur that demand immediate public response, and it is not the intent of this policy to limit the rights of a University affiliate to respond to such events.
    2. Spontaneous activities of expression, which are generally prompted by news or affairs coming into public knowledge less than forty-eight (48) hours prior to the Event, may be held by a University affiliate in the following defined areas, without advance approval, provided that the activity does not interfere with any functions for which that space has been reserved in advance or otherwise violate this policy.[11]
      1. The area at the corner of Wallace Wade Avenue and University Boulevard known as Solomon’s Lot;
      2. The grassy area facing University Boulevard between University Medical Center and the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house;
      3. The grassy area at the corner of Campus Drive West and 7th Avenue;
      4. The grassy area in front of the Ferguson Center Parking Deck that faces McCorvey Drive;
      5. The grassy area on the south side of Campus Drive East at the corner of the University recreation fields and adjoining parking lot on the north side of Campus Drive East;
      6. The grassy area at the corner of Shelby Lane and Hackberry Lane; 
      7. The grassy area at the corner of Bryant Drive and 2nd
    3. For scheduling conflict, site preparation/clean-up, and security purposes, a notification should be sent to groundspermits@fa.ua.edu promptly after the decision is made to hold the spontaneous activity of expression in any of the foregoing campus spaces.[12] The notice need simply identify the following:
      1. Contact information for the event organizer (e.g. name, cellphone number, e-mail, etc.);
      2. Which of the foregoing areas will be utilized;
      3. The time the activity is expected to begin and end;
      4. A general description of the catalyst for the activity; and
      5. An estimate on the number of individuals expected to be involved in the Event.
    4. Spontaneous activities of expression may occur in other areas of campus in addition to the areas listed above, but an expedited request for use of other campus space must be made at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance pursuant to Section E (Registration Process for Use of Campus Space). If properly requested, other campus space may be made available provided that the activity does not interfere with any functions for which that space has been reserved in advance or otherwise violate this policy.[13]
    5. It is inappropriate for events that have been planned to circumvent this policy by claiming to be spontaneous. In deciding whether an activity of expression is spontaneous or planned, the University may consider any relevant evidence. If it is determined an effort was made to circumvent established policies, the individual(s)/group(s) involved may be subject to disciplinary action.
  1. Special Guidelines for Material Distribution (e.g., distribution of leaflets, pamphlets, written materials, etc.)
    1. University affiliates may distribute directly to other members of the campus community, without advance approval, non-commercial announcements, statements, or materials in any outdoor area of the campus, the use of which is not otherwise restricted or scheduled.[14]  In an effort to avoid space scheduling conflicts, assist with site preparation/clean-up, and promote the safety/security of all those involved with the distribution activity, the University requests that a University affiliate organizing the distribution provide the University with notice at least twenty-four (24) hours before the planned distribution.  As stated above, the University does not require advance approval, and it does not take the content or viewpoint of speech into account.  Such notification should be sent to groundspermits@fa.ua.edu and identify/include the following:
      1. Contact information for the event organizer (e.g. name, cellphone number, e-mail, etc.);[15]
      2. The date and time of the planned distribution period;
      3. The proposed locale of the distribution;
      4. A copy of the materials that will be distributed at the event;[16]
      5. The anticipated duration of the distribution period; and
      6. The anticipated number of people expected to take part in the distribution of materials (not to exceed 10).[17]
    2. Persons distributing such materials are expected to refrain from littering and to encourage the same from others. “Distribution” is defined as and limited to individuals handing materials to other individuals who may accept them or refrain from receiving them. An individual’s right to privacy must be respected.  Thus, no person may attempt to threaten, intimidate, or badger another individual into viewing or accepting a copy of any material.  Further, no person may persist in requesting or demanding the attention of another individual who has attempted to walk away or has clearly expressed no interest in the material.  For purposes of this section, leaving materials unattended on a surface to be picked up is considered littering, not distribution.
    3. Materials may not be distributed door to door in residence halls or academic buildings.  Further, materials may not be affixed to the outside of University buildings/structures or placed on motor vehicles.  Additionally, equipment, such as tables, tents, and chairs, may not be used as part of any distribution activity under this section.

G.    Approval of Reservation Applications

Designated University officials, working in conjunction with relevant University partners, will approve an application properly made by an appropriate University affiliate unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that one or more of the following conditions are present:[18]

  1. The applicant has had their/its available privileges, such as the use of certain University space, withdrawn, suspended, and/or restricted.
  2. The proposed space is unavailable at the time requested because of conflicting events previously planned in or around that location.
  3. The proposed date, time, or requested space is unreasonable given the nature of the Event and the impact it would have on University resources.
  4. The Event would not comply with the provisions of Section D (General Provisions Applying to All Use of University Space).
  5. The Event would reasonably constitute an immediate and actual danger to the health or safety of University students, faculty, or staff, or to the peace or security of the University that available law enforcement officials could not control with reasonable effort.
  6. The University affiliate on whose behalf the application is made has on prior occasions damaged University property and has not paid in full for such damage.
  7. The requested use of campus space is inconsistent with the terms of University policy.

H.   Appeals of Grounds Use Request Denials

  1. Student organizations or students whose use of campus space is denied may appeal to the Vice President for Student Life in accordance with the following procedures:
    1. The student organization or student must file a written appeal to the Office of the Vice President for Student Life no later than five (5) University business days after receiving notice of the denial from the Office of Student Involvement.
    2. The Vice President for Student Life (or designee), shall convey the appeal decision, in writing, to the student organization or student and to the Office of Student Involvement within a reasonable time after receiving the appeal.
  2. Appeals of denials for the use of space in academic building should be filed with the Provost.
    1. Appeals should be filed in writing with the Office for Academic Affairs within five (5) University business days after receipt of notice of the denial.
    2. The Provost (or designee), shall convey the appeal decision in writing to the person or organization and to the appropriate academic department within a reasonable time after receiving the appeal.
  3. Faculty and staff members whose requests for the nonacademic use of campus space are denied may appeal to the Vice President for Finance and Operations. Additionally, any appeal relating to the use of University space pursuant to Section F (Activities of Expression) should be directed to the Vice President for Finance and Operations. Furthermore, any other denials for the use of University space not otherwise set forth herein may appeal to the Vice President for Finance and Operations.
    1. Appeals should be filed in writing with the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Operations within five (5) University business days after receipt of the decision that is the subject of the appeal.
    2. The Vice President for Finance and Operations (or designee) shall convey the appeal decision in writing to the person or organization and to the appropriate administrative unit within a reasonable time after receiving the appeal.
  4. The decision of the appropriate Vice President/Provost on any appeal shall be final.

I.      Use of Sound Amplification

The use of sound amplification (e.g., electronic amplification, public address systems, etc.) may be available upon written request and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  If approved, the use of sound amplification in conjunction with an Event must never disrupt the normal functions of the University or unreasonably disturb the surrounding community.  Sound amplification will generally be permitted upon request if the speaker/sound source volume is expected to be reasonably set and localized (i.e., cannot be heard beyond the immediate vicinity of the speaker/sound source).  Different locations, such as those adjacent to academic/administrative buildings or residence halls, as well as the timing of the Event may dictate the reasonableness of the volume and speaker/sound source placement.  The use of louder sound amplification may be permitted upon request depending on the specifics of the proposed Event (e.g., timing, location, event size, etc.).  University representatives responsible for managing University space (or their designees), which includes UAPD, maintain full discretion to require that the volume be lowered or muted at any time during the Event if it has the potential to interfere with the academic mission or operation of the University.

With the exception of Events exclusively subject to the Social Event Guidelines for Student Organizations, requests for use of sound amplification should be made to the University representative managing the University space where the sound amplification will originate (e.g., a request for use of sound amplification on the Quad should be directed to the University Office of Facilities and Grounds, a request for use of sound amplification in the Ferguson Center Plaza should be directed to the Ferguson Center Director, etc.).

J.      Posting Materials, Chalking, & Solicitation

Solicitations, advertisements, promotions, chalking, displays, yard signs or posting materials on The University of Alabama campus by a University affiliate are permissible as provided herein. All other solicitations, promotions, advertisements, chalking, sales, displays, yard signs or postings on campus are prohibited.

  1. Posting Printed Materials (e.g., advertisements, solicitations, information, etc.)

    1. Printed materials may be reasonably posted on designated bulletin boards in accordance with these guidelines. Posting of printed materials in any other location inside campus buildings is prohibited.
    2. Posted materials must not be obscene, illegal, must not be libelous, and must not be directed to and likely to have the effect of inciting or producing imminent lawless action.
    3. Advertisers are responsible for the removal and proper disposal of all advertising materials within 24 hours after the publicized event has occurred or the time limits or conditions of the advertisement have expired.
    4. City codes and state statutes prohibit notices on any curb, tree, mailbox, utility pole, or public building.
    5. Signs placed in the ground with a stake or similar device (“yard signs”) may not exceed 18” x 24” in size. Yard signs shall not be placed in flowering or non-flowering landscaping beds, tied to trees, or placed in the areas immediately around Denny Chimes, the President’s Mansion, and the Rose Administration Building. The total number of related yard signs allowed on campus per event may not exceed twenty (20).  Yard signs may be reasonably displayed 72 hours before an event and must be removed within 24 hours of the event. Signs must be dated.  Exceptions to these yard sign limitations may be available with prior written approval from the Office of Facilities and Grounds.  Before placing a yard sign on campus, University affiliates should complete the temporary signage paperwork available on the Grounds Use Permit Coordination webpage.  
    6. Printed materials may not be affixed to the outside of University buildings or structures, both permanent and temporary, including fences and barricades.
    7. Placement of printed materials on motor vehicles is prohibited.
    8. Permission for display of printed materials or commercial advertisements in or around all University facilities must be approved by the appropriate building director, department, or Dean of the college or school responsible for the building. Permission decisions will be made on a viewpoint neutral basis.
    9. Posted materials that do not comply with this policy may be removed.
  2. Chalking

    1. Only University affiliates are allowed to chalk within the guidelines provided herein.
    2. Chalking is only permitted on natural gray concrete sidewalks that are naturally subject to being washed by the rain.
    3. No chalking can occur on sidewalks or building entrances that are covered by a shelter of any type.
    4. No chalking can be closer than twenty (20) feet to a building. A building structure includes all porches, stairs, and drive-thrus attached thereto.
    5. No chalking is permitted on a vertical surface, including the riser portion of stairs and walls.
    6. Chalking is not permitted on any type of brick, concrete paver, and/or engraved surfaces.
    7. The type of chalk used must be washable and not capable of withstanding several rains. Spray chalk is strictly prohibited. Sidewalk chalk is recommended.
    8. In addition to the foregoing requirements, the following areas are expressly prohibited from chalking:
      • Ferguson Plaza
      • Crimson Promenade
      • The entrance to the south end of the main University Recreation Center
      • Law School and surrounding sidewalks
    9. Removal of chalk in prohibited areas will be handled by the department responsible for the given area. Organizations may be contacted by said department and asked to remove the chalking at their own expense.
    10. Please note that all departments have the right to remove chalking for aesthetic and event purposes or if not in compliance with this policy.
    11. If any expense is incurred in the removal of chalk because of a violation of the above policies the organization may be held responsible for all expenses and/or subject to disciplinary action.

K.    Violations of these Policy Guidelines

The University reserves the right to enforce these guidelines by all reasonably necessary means to ensure compliance.  Events that are or become non-compliant with these guidelines may be cancelled and/or dispersed.  Persons who violate these guidelines may be subject to disciplinary action according to the Code of Student Conduct, Employee Handbook, and/or Faculty Handbook as well as potential law enforcement action. Further, costs to clean up or repair damage associated with an Event may be assessed, as applicable, by charging the costs to a student account, a University account, payroll deduction, and/or any and all other methods allowed by law.  Persons or groups that repeatedly violate these guidelines may be prohibited from further use of University space.  A University affiliate who invites a non-University individual or group onto campus for an Event may be held responsible for that individual or group’s compliance with this and other University policies.  A non-University participant’s failure to comply with this policy may result in appropriate action under state or federal law. 

Scope

This policy applies to persons, groups, or organizations affiliated or unaffiliated with the University.

 

[1] University affiliates, rather than the University, decide which activities of expression and/or assembly they may wish to sponsor. 

[2] A “registered student organization” is one that is properly registered with the University’s Office of Student Involvement that has not had its available privileges, such as the use of University space, withdrawn, suspended and/or restricted. 

[3] This space includes the Ferguson Center Plaza and lawn in front of the Ferguson Center as well as the Crimson Promenade, which is the area from the top of the Ferguson Center Plaza steps to the 175th Anniversary Commemorative Gate.

[4] Law enforcement will determine the appropriate security perimeter for athletic events/facilities based on the circumstances of the event and situation. 

[5] As noted, depending on the type and scope of the Event, certain spaces described in Sections C (Procedures and Priorities for Designated Space) may also require registration pursuant to Section E (Registration Process for Use of Campus Space). 

[6] In situations involving the distribution of materials under this policy, the person or group distributing the materials will not be held responsible for acts of littering by individuals who voluntarily accepted the distributed materials, but did not dispose of them properly.  However, individuals distributing such materials are expected to refrain from littering and to encourage the same from others.

[7] Fires are permitted in permanent, properly maintained, and working internal fireplaces located on campus.

[8] Again, members of the campus community (i.e., faculty, staff, and students) have the right to engage in spontaneous activities of expression as provided for in Section F (Activities of Expression) of this policy, subject to compliance with applicable University rules.  Please review the requirements of Section F to determine if registration is required under Section E (Registration Process for Use of Campus Space).

[9] A University business day means any day when the University is in operation.  It does not include Saturdays, Sundays, and University holidays or other days when normal business operations are suspended. 

[10] Individual students may obtain a GUP to host an outdoor Event involving activities of expression. 

[11] See campus map, which also generally marks the noted areas.  To be clear, these areas available for spontaneous expression are not “free speech zones.”  These areas are designed to further promote activities of expression.  As provided for under this policy, there are numerous spaces across campus—including these designated areas—where faculty, staff, and students have the opportunity to take positions on public controversies and engage in expressive activity. 

[12] This notification may not be required in situations where the spontaneous activity must occur in one of the defined spaces with such immediacy that it is objectively impractical or unreasonable to provide any of the notification information referenced above in advance of the activity.  On the rare occasions that this occurs, the individual or group organizing the event is expected to otherwise comply with this policy as well as any directives from law enforcement or other UA representative aimed at maintaining the safety and security of the activity, participants, and/or the campus community.  Further, the organizing individual or group should provide the notification information as soon as reasonably practical once the activity is organized or underway. 

[13] University affiliates may also elect to engage in expressive activity on the public property that is immediately off campus.  Please review the campus map. which provides a general understanding of the property lines for campus.  Any individual or group engaging in expressive activity on public property is encouraged to review applicable Tuscaloosa city ordinances before engaging in such activity.     

[14] These guidelines for material distribution do not apply to Student Government Association Elections, which are subject to the requirements of the SGA Elections Manual.  

[15] This information will be used for internal purposes only to confirm the individual’s affiliation with the University and allow for contact with the individual to relay any issues with space usage conflicts or site preparation/clean-up as well as potential safety/security concerns.

[16] The purpose of this requirement is to assist with an assessment of security that the University may need to provide at its cost to support and facilitate the material distribution. 

[17] This participant restriction (Item 6) does not apply to material distribution occurring as part of spontaneous events held pursuant to Section F.1. 

[18] If an Event is not originally approved, changes may be suggested to help correct any deficiencies and bring the requested Event into compliance with University policy.

 
 

Office of the Vice President of Finance and Operations

Approved by Cheryl Mowdy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations, 7/1/2020