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Freedom of Expression Regulation - Interim

Version 2 (Current Version)
All Versions:
PolicyREG07.30.06
TitleFreedom of Expression Regulation
CategoryFinance, Operations and Auxiliary Services
Sub-categoryFacilities
AuthorityChancellor
History

April 19, 2017; revised July 17, 2017

Contact

Central Reservations Office:

Web site: http://www.ecu.edu/cro/

Email: CRO@ecu.edu

Telephone: 252-328-4731

Related Policies
Additional References

First Amendment, United States Constitution

Campus map: http://www.ecu.edu/ecuAssets/maps/main_campus.pdf


1. Introduction

East Carolina University recognizes its responsibility, not only to foster the right of free expression, but also to refrain from unnecessary restriction of that right.


The diverse ideas and opinions of members of the University Community will sometimes conflict. However, it is that very conflict which gives rise to the theories and concepts that drive our society forward, and which must not be suppressed solely because they are thought by others to be offensive, unwise, immoral, disagreeable or wrongheaded.

Any University Regulations, Rules and SOP’s regarding use of University Facilities are hereby nullified to the extent they restrict Expressive Activity to a greater extent than this Regulation. The University may issue, amend or keep in place, as applicable, those Regulations, Rules and SOP’s regarding use of its facilities and grounds that do not restrict Expressive Activity to a greater extent than this Regulation.

2. Definitions

2.1. "All Persons and Organizations" means, collectively, all Members of the University Community, their Guests and Non-Members of the University Community, any of whom are engaging in Expressive Activity anywhere on Campus.


2.2. "Associated Entity" means a private organization, foundation or association that operates under its own charter or bylaws, but which exists to provide funding or other support to the University.


2.3. "Brickyard" means the approximately 2.3 acre East Campus space, which consists of a brick plaza and associated greenspace. It is bounded on the south by Mendenhall Student Center, bounded on the north by the Erwin, Bloxton and Mamie Jenkins Buildings, bordered on the west by the Student Recreation Center parking lot, and bordered on the east by the Old Cafeteria Building. Contact the CRO with questions.


2.4. "Campus" means, for the purposes of this Regulation, the grounds and buildings owned or controlled by the University in Greenville, North Carolina, including the West Campus (sometimes referred to as the "Health Sciences Campus") and the East Campus (sometimes referred to as the "Main Campus").


2.5. "Central Reservations Office" ("CRO") means the University unit generally responsible for reserving and scheduling Campus space. In doing so, the CRO shall comply with this Regulation and any other applicable ECU Policy, Regulation. Rule, or SOP.


2.6. "Common Areas of the Student Center(s)" means, with regard to the West Campus, the second floor lounge of the Health Sciences Student Center. With regard to East Campus, the Common Areas will be ascertained and published after completion of the Main Campus Student Center.


2.7. "East Campus Designated Forum" means the approximately 5,250 square foot area, within the Mall, that contains the Cupola and is bounded on all four sides by well-traveled pedestrian sidewalks. Contact the CRO for details.


2.8. "Expressive Activity" or "Activity" means all forms of expression that fall within the ambit of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which may include, but not be limited to, demonstration, speech-making, oral presentation, protest, marching, picketing, leafleting, petition circulation, distribution of written information, counter-protest, and similar expressive communications and activities that are non-commercial in nature.

2.9. "Expressive Activity Area" ("EAA") means, with regard to the East Campus, the Mall, the Brickyard, the East Campus Designated Forum, those out-of-doors areas that have been consistently open to the Expressive Activity of Members of the University Community by tradition or by administrative approval, and the Common Areas of the Student Center. With regard to the West Campus, EAA means the West Campus Designated Forum and the Common Areas of the Student Center.


2.10. "Guest" means a person, group, club or other organization that is sponsored by the University, a University Unit, or a Registered Student Organization. The invitation of any individual student or employee, acting in their personal capacity, does not qualify any person, group, club or other organization for Guest status. The University, a University Unit or a Registered Student Organization may revoke their own Guests’ invitations at any time.


2.11. "Mall" means the approximately 5.5 acre site in the heart of East Campus that is bounded on the east by Founders Drive, bounded on the north by Faculty Way, bounded on the west by Cupola Court and bounded on the south by Alumni Walk. Contact the CRO with questions.

2.12. "Member of the University Community" or "Member" means a University Unit, a Registered Student Organization, a current employee, or a currently enrolled student.

2.13. "Non-Member of the University Community" means all persons, groups, clubs or other organizations that do not come within the definitions of Member of the University Community, Guest of a University Unit or Guest of a Registered Student Organization.

2.14. "Registered Student Organization" means an organization (including a club), comprised of University students, that is fully registered with the Department of Student Activities and Organizations.

2.15. "Sub-Schedulers" means those University employees and Units who have responsibilities for managing space reservations for particular Facilities outside of the CRO’s scheduling jurisdiction. Sub-Schedulers work in concert with the CRO as necessary to facilitate Expressive Activity.

2.16. "University Unit" means the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, and all University Divisions, Departments, Associated Entities, Registered Student Organizations, Centers, Institutes and any other organization that is wholly sanctioned, supervised and governed by the University or a Division or Department of the University.

2.17. "West Campus Designated Forum" means the approximately .5 acre green space located northwest of the intersection of the North Campus Loop and the East Campus Loop, which site affords those in attendance an unobstructed view of any speaker and is easily accessible to event participants. Contact the CRO with questions.


3. Responsibilities and Duties Applicable to All Persons and Organizations Engaging in Expressive Activity Anywhere on Campus

The University recognizes that its primary mission is to provide an environment that is conducive to education, research and patient care. The University has a significant interest in preserving its limited space and employee resources.

3.1. All Persons and Organizations engaging in Expressive Activity anywhere on Campus shall:


3.1.1. Comply with this Regulation and any applicable laws, Policies, Regulations and Rules;


3.1.2. Be liable for any damage to University property they cause;


3.1.3. Unless officially authorized to do so, refrain from representing that the person or organization is speaking on behalf of the University;


3.1.4. Have at least one responsible person physically present for the duration of the Expressive Activity, who shall, upon request by a University official, identify him/herself for the purpose of facilitating communications; and


3.1.5. At the conclusion of the Expressive Activity, remove and properly dispose of all garbage, signs, placards, papers, flyers and other materials that remain in the area of the Expressive Activity. If this is not accomplished, the Person or Organization may be held financially responsible. Any items left behind or unattended (including memorials) may be removed by University officials at the conclusion of the Expressive Activity.


3.2. Before moving or limiting a planned or ongoing Expressive Activity, the University will first make reasonable efforts to avoid or minimize any negative impact on the Activity. If a move becomes necessary, the University will move the Activity to either a mutually agreed-to location, or, if agreement cannot be reached, to the nearest suitable location as reasonably determined by the University. The University is not responsible for any costs incurred resulting from a change in location under these circumstances.


3.2.1. A planned or ongoing Expressive Activity may be moved or limited:


3.2.1.1.To the extent it is likely to produce a clear and present danger of serious bodily injury or substantial damage to University property or grounds based on prior experience in the same or similar circumstances; or


3.2.1.2. Upon the occurrence of:


3.2.1.2.1. Circumstances beyond the control of the University, such as facility infrastructure disruption and/or weather related conditions;


3.2.1.2.2. Bonafide unanticipated needs of the University for use of the space; or


3.2.1.2.3. Substantial changes in the needs or size of the scheduled Activity.


3.2.2. An ongoing Expressive Activity may lawfully be moved or limited to the extent it:

3.2.2.1. Substantially disrupts University activities or functions;


3.2.2.2. Violates any applicable law, lawful University Policy, Regulation or Rule;


3.2.2.3. Obstructs building entrances, walk-ways or rights-of-way of vehicular or pedestrian traffic on or adjacent to Campus;


3.2.2.4. Interferes with educational activities, meetings, events, ceremonies or other essential processes of the University;


3.2.2.5. Objectively provokes immediate violence ("fighting words");


3.2.2.6. Constitutes unlawful obscenity;


3.2.2.7. Constitutes unlawful harassment;


3.2.2.8. Interferes with the treatment of patients;


3.2.2.9. Uses amplified sound when classes are in session, on Reading Day or during final examinations, as set forth in the Academic Calendar; or


3.2.2.10. Violates the reasonable and lawful directions of a University official or a law enforcement officer, acting in the performance of his or her duty.


4. Notice Requirements Applicable to Expressive Activity in an EAA by a Member of the University Community or Guest


The goal of advance notice under the circumstances described below is to allow the University sufficient time to take content-neutral actions to facilitate the Expressive Activity, such as avoiding conflicts with already-scheduled events, facilities preparation, location of utilities and arrangements for security. Any reserved use shall have priority over any unscheduled use, even when reserving space is not required by this Regulation.


4.1. Prior Notice Generally Not Required for Expressive Activity in an EAA by a Member of the University Community or Guest of that Member. Although generally not required, Members of the University Community and Guests planning to engage in Expressive Activity in the Expressive Activity Areas ("EAA’s") of Campus are strongly encouraged to contact the Central Reservations Office ("CRO") preferably before, or at least during, an Expressive Activity. The CRO offers guidance in scheduling and planning, and works with the campus facilities and service providers to help ensure a successful and safe event. The CRO may also be helpful in identifying alternative space if an area is already reserved or in use.


4.1.1. Exceptions Requiring Prior Notice. Members of the University Community and Guests, must, however, contact the CRO at least two business days prior to the start of a planned Expressive Activity in an EAA in those instances where the Activity is reasonably expected to meet one or more of the three criteria below:


4.1.1.1. If more than 100 people are expected to attend;


4.1.1.2. If the Expressive Activity was planned more than two business days in advance of its anticipated start time; or


4.1.1.3. If the Expressive Activity will include placement of any of the following on Campus: stages, podiums, chairs, tables, vehicles, trailers or any object that will pierce or be driven into any of the Campus grounds or buildings.


4.1.2. Where an Expressive Activity in an EAA by a Member or Guest was not initially expected to meet any of the above three criteria, but evolves to meet one or more of those criteria, the responsible Member and/or Guest, as applicable, shall make reasonable efforts to inform the CRO of the Activity with as much lead time as possible under the circumstances.


5. Notice Requirements Applicable to Expressive Activity Outside an EAA by a Member of the University Community or Guest


Members of the University Community and Guests that wish to reserve Campus space for Expressive Activity or other events outside the EAA’s must pre-schedule the activity/event with the CRO or its designated Sub-Schedulers, pursuant to published content-neutral Regulations, Rules and SOP’s.


6. Notice Requirements Applicable to Non-Members of the University Community


6.1. Non-Members of the University Community may use the East Campus Designated Forum or the West Campus Designated Forum for Expressive Activity, free of charge, if they provide the CRO with a completed written request for use of the particular Designated Forum at least two (2) business days prior to the Expressive Activity.


6.1.1. Non-Members of the University Community who wish to reserve any other Campus space for Expressive Activity or other events must pre-schedule the activity/event with the CRO or its designated Sub-Schedulers, pursuant to published content-neutral Regulations, Rules and SOP’s.


7. Academic Freedom Shall Not be Adversely Impacted
This Regulation shall not be interpreted as limiting the right of Academic Freedom as set forth in the University’s Faculty Manual.

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