The University of North Carolina at Asheville strives to create an open marketplace of ideas, and places a high value on the Constitutionally-protected freedom of speech, assembly and petition. Therefore, UNC Asheville strives to make all practicable areas on campus open to use by University groups, non-University groups in designated areas, or non-University groups sponsored by University groups, subject to reasonable restrictions such as protection of property, and the proper functioning of the University for its primary mission of education and those activities directly incidental to its mission. The purpose of this policy is to set forth the University’s guidelines and expectations regarding the utilization of Campus outdoor areas and exterior spaces by ‘University’ and ‘non-University’ groups. Use of an outdoor area or exterior space by an University or non-University group does not mean that the University in any way supports, sanctions, or agrees with the policies and activities of the group.
This policy applies to all University groups and non-University groups who may teach, conduct business, visit or participate in activities at the University and wish to utilize outdoor or exterior campus space. For the purposes of this policy, a “University group” is defined as (a) a student organization officially recognized and sanctioned by the University, (b) a group established by the Chancellor, faculty, staff or administration, or (c) groups established by University departments. An individual with University affiliation (current faculty, staff or student) is combined and identified, for the purpose of this policy, as a “University Group”. A “non-University group” is defined as any group other than those identified as a “University group.” An individual with no University affiliation (not identified as current faculty, staff or student) is combined and identified, for the purpose of this policy, as a “non-University Group”. For the purpose of determining privileges for a group, a mixed group will be categorized by the predominate category of its attendees. University police are authorized to make this determination, and the university acknowledges this is done in an good faith exercise of professional judgment by its officers.
III. Overriding Principles
- Any use of University facilities must not violate the University’s statement on non-discrimination or any federal or state law of regulation addressing nondiscrimination.
- Activities in or on University facilities must not violate the policies, regulations, or laws of the United States, State or University.
- The fulfillment of the educational mission of the University has first priority in all decisions concerning any use of ay facility under this policy. Facility use must be compatible with or complementary to the educational mission of the University.
- Use of any University outdoor area/exterior space shall not be authorized where such use may disturb the conduct of University activities.
- Use of any University outdoor area/exterior space must be appropriate for the size, design and purpose of the facility and must no pose an undue burden on University resources.
- Departments and divisions of the University shall have priority in the use of University outdoor areas and exterior space. Other University affiliated organizations shall have priority over unaffiliated organizations.
- The University reserves the right to cancel or modify reservations of any unaffiliated group should the reservation conflict with functions central to the educational mission of the university.
Both the University group and non-University group must abide by the following time, place and manner requirements:
A. Assembly and petitioning may not interfere with University operations.
B. Non-University groups are required to have a written invitation from a University group to be considered ‘sponsored’ by a University group.
C. The University group sponsor accepts responsibility for supervising the activities of the non-University group, including responsibility for assuring that the area is used for the purposes specified by the group. A minimum of 2 members of the sponsoring group must be present at the non-University group event for the duration of the event.
D. The University group sponsor must be clearly identified on a posted sign/banner no less than 2 feet by 3 feet in size.
E. University groups, sponsored non-University groups and non-University groups must also abide by all applicable aspects of University Policy 20, ‘Space Scheduling and Use’, which includes information on distribution of material.
F. Activities and assemblies cannot disrupt the flow of vehicle traffic, pedestrians, or bicycles.
G. Activities and assemblies cannot disrupt the access to department, program or individual offices.
H. Persons shall not engage in unlawful speech such as threatening or abusive speech, or intimidating conduct towards any other person.
I. Persons shall comply with directions of University officials acting in their official capacity.
J. Persons will not deface or destroy campus property, and are responsible for damage and clean-up associated with the event.
K. Public address systems or amplified sound is only permitted on the University Quadrangle and only at times agreed in advance.
L. No assemblies shall take place within 50 feet of academic buildings during class hours, or in areas directly adjacent to residence halls between 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.
M. Assemblies with an expected attendance of more than 25 people must be reported no less than 48 hours in advance to the University police.
N. No permanent or semi-permanent structure, including but not limited to stakes driven in the ground, tends or trailers, etc. may be constructed or placed for any activities in these outdoor facilities without the approval of Facilities Management and Emergency Management/Environmental Health and Safety.
O. Users are responsible for the cleanliness and order of all outside facilities following their use.
P. Persons shall comply with the directions of a university official acting in the performance of their duty.
Q. Persons on University property at outdoor assemblies/events may be required to provide picture identification and evidence of qualification to a University official upon request. Evidence of qualification means (a) a currently issued University OneCard or (2) written documentation of an invitation from an affiliated organization and an Outdoor Space Usage Group Information and Request Form. The group may be asked to complete a form to ensure we have contact information, if needed.
R. The University may disapprove, retract an invitation or cancel/postpone a scheduled event based upon reasonable time, place and manner considerations or when an extenuating situation may demand. Should an event be postponed, an invitation to reschedule will be extended as quickly as possible. The University will determine the appropriate venue/location for an outdoor activity/assembly based only upon reasonable time, place and manner.
Zones for University groups
A. University groups may conduct activities and assemblies without prior approval at any exterior campus location provided the assembly/activity aligns with the requirements in section III above and the space is not required to be reserved (see University Policy 20, link above).
Zones for Sponsored non-University groups
A. Sponsored non-University groups may conduct activities and assemblies without prior approval at:
ii. The lawn areas on either side of the steps in front of Ramsey Library, bounded by the concrete sidewalks.
B. With prior administrative approval (Outdoor Space Usage Group Information and Request Form, see below), a sponsored non-University group may conduct an activity/assembly at any exterior campus location provided the assembly/activity aligns with the above (II) and the space is not required to be reserved (see University Policy 20, link above).
Zones for non-sponsored, non-University groups
A. Non-University groups who have not sought or obtained sponsorship by an University group must restrict their activities and assemblies to the two outdoor spaces
B. Location of ‘open’ outdoor spaces:
b. The lawn areas on either side of the steps in front of Ramsey Library, bounded by the concrete sidewalks
C. The use of the above spaces is open to non-University groups in this category provided they are not currently reserved, in use by another group, or there is another adjacent area reserved which would require the space to remain open for programmatic or preparation reasons, or other reasons as determined by University officials.
D. Non-sponsored, non-University groups are required to complete an ‘Outdoor Space Usage Information and Request Form’ preferably in advance, which assists with providing contact information and space scheduling.
Petitioning and Distribution
A. Students, University groups, or sponsored non-University groups may petition or hand out written, non-commercial materials in any space also suitable for assemblies.
B. All restrictions regarding assemblies apply to petitioning.
C. More specific information regarding petitioning and distribution are found in University Policy 20.
Outdoor Space Usage Information and Request Form Process
A. Outdoor Space Usage Information and Request Forms can be obtained from the Office of the Division of Student Affairs and the Information Desk at Highsmith Union.
B. For sponsored, non-university groups, a Outdoor Space Usage Information and Request form is to be completed, but not required in advance if a non-reservation area is being utilized. If the sponsored, non-university group is requesting to reserve an outdoor space, an Outdoor Space Usage Information and Request Form must be completed, preferably in advance. Failure to do so may result in requested area being unavailable. Requests should be made no less than 48 hours in advance for review.
C. For non-sponsored, non-university groups, an information/request form is to be completed, preferably in advance for request for usage of the above identified outdoor spaces. The form completion is to provide identifying/contact information for the group and is reviewed solely for time, place and manner concerns.
D. The request review process is begun when an Outdoor Space Usage Information and Request Form is turned into the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or delegate. Completed applications must be submitted a minimum of 5 business days in advance of the assembly or activity. [The Vice Chancellor and General Counsel may waive the 3 business days requirement for good cause, which shall include 1) consideration of the number of people expected to attend the assembly/activity; 2) the availability of the space and whether other events are concurrently scheduled; and 3) whether the activity will disrupt normal University operations.].
E. Upon satisfactory completion of an Information/Request Form, an approval or denial decision will be made. An approved request will yield an Outdoor Area and Space Use Permit, which the group will receive and be expected to maintain with the group for the duration of the event.
Requests to use space may be denied if:
A. The request has not been fully completed, or contains material misrepresentations. The group is not sponsored in writing by a University group. If the group is not sponsored, they will still be able to utilize one of the ‘open’ outdoor areas – see above ‘Zones for Non-University Groups’. The group would still be required to complete the required information form for emergency management purposes.
B. Prior approval has been granted to another group for the same time and place.
C. The assembly or event would interfere with previously planned University programs.
D. The assembly or event would pose an unreasonable danger to the health or safety of the applicant, members of the University community or the public.
E. Applicants are groups who have established a history of property damage, unlawful activities, personal injury, material misrepresentation or disruption of University operations.
University groups which violate the policy may be asked to leave, and can be removed and disbanded from their location and face disciplinary and/or other action. Sponsors of non-University groups who violate the policy may also be asked to leave, can be removed and disbanded from their location, and their sponsoring group can face disciplinary and/or other action. Non-University groups without sponsors who violate the policy can be asked to leave, may be removed and disbanded from their location, banned from campus (individuals/group), and face other action. Cleanup, property damage and similar issues which require repair or response to renew area to original status can be charged to the University group, sponsored group or other avenues of collection. Law enforcement reserves the right to respond accordingly depending upon the nature of the violation of the policy in light of campus safety.