PRM-017: Use of University Facilities and Limits on Direct Solicitation and Advertising

Date: 08/31/2016 Status: Final
Last Revised: 11/02/2016
Policy Type: University
Contact Office: Accounting Services, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (Office of the), Executive Vice President for Health Affairs (Office of)
Oversight Executive: Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Applies To: Academic Division and the Medical Center.
Reason for Policy:

The University of Virginia is a community in which the ideals of freedom of inquiry, thought, and expression are respected and sustained. The University is committed to supporting the exercise of protected expression in University-controlled facilities while maintaining an atmosphere free of disruption.

The University has established requirements for use of its facilities in order to: (1) focus on its mission; (2) provide a safe environment; and (3) preserve the aesthetics of the Grounds.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • University Facility:

    Any defined space of the University, including a room, lab, series of labs, building or controlled outdoor area.

  • University Property:

    Land or buildings that the University owns or leases and that is under the direct control of the Board of Visitors. University property also includes premises the University uses for activities of its offices, departments, personnel or students.

Policy Statement:

The use of University facilities must:

  • not disrupt student education, academic activities, research, patient care, scheduled events, University functions, or the faculty/staff work environment;
  • be safe for participants and not generate security issues; and
  • preserve the integrity and aesthetics of the University’s property.

This policy does not apply to: (1) use of University facilities for official events sponsored by the University; (2) use of University facilities by its employees acting in the course of their job responsibilities or other official University activities; or (3) vendors and other third parties that have a contractual relationship with the University.

Expressive activity under this policy is not considered speech made by, on behalf of, or endorsed by the University of Virginia.

  1. General Access:
    Subject to reasonable, time, place and manner restrictions, University facilities may be made available, on a first come, first serve basis in the following order of priority: student groups or organizations, employees, and third parties. Access shall be granted without regard to the content or viewpoint of speakers or their sponsors. Individual schools and departments may adopt guidelines governing the use of their facilities provided that they are consistent with this policy.

    1. Access by Student Groups or Organizations:
      Student groups or organizations that have an active Contracted Independent Organization Agreement, Fraternal Organization Agreement, or Special Status Organization Agreement with the University have priority over the use of University space designated for student activities. Other University facilities, including available academic spaces, may also be reserved for extracurricular activity by these groups or organizations.

    2. Access by Employees:
      Employees may use University facilities for meetings and events related to professional associations/organizations or programs consistent with the University’s mission.

    3. Access by Third Parties:
      Third parties (i.e., non-University affiliated organizations, commercial sponsors, non-profit organizations, employees not acting in their official/professional capacities, etc.) must be sponsored by a student group/organization or a University department in order to use a University facility. The event must be conducted in a manner that does not hinder or disrupt the University’s mission. If a resource or scheduling conflict arises, events by University departments and student groups shall have scheduling priority over events and activities conducted by third parties.

    4. Access by Students, Faculty/Staff, and Alumni for Weddings & Memorial Services:
      The University Chapel, select locations in Newcomb Hall, and Ern Commons may be made available to students, faculty/staff, and alumni for weddings and memorial services. Procedures governing the use of these facilities for weddings are available in Event Planning Services.

  2. Admission Fee:
    Admission may be charged for events sponsored by University groups and student organizations, but no admission fees may be charged for events held at the Rotunda.

  3. Protests and Demonstrations:
    Peaceful protests and demonstrations on outdoor University property are permitted unless they disrupt normal operations or obstruct access to offices or buildings. Unauthorized entry into or occupation of any University office, building or area is prohibited. Protesters may assemble and express their views, but may not disrupt an invited speaker or hinder the ability of other attendees to see or hear a speaker. Persons engaging in disruptive behavior may be removed, subject to disciplinary action, and/or prosecuted for trespass, disorderly conduct, or other offenses under state law.

  4. Limits on Advertising, Sales, and Solicitation:
    Direct advertising, sales, and solicitation by outside vendors are not permitted on Grounds, in University Housing, or in the Medical Center. Student organizations may, however, engage in promotional and fundraising activity if such activity does not disrupt University business, generate security issues, duplicate services or goods provided at the University, block sidewalks or roads, impair the aesthetics and integrity of University property, or generate personal profit for individuals.

    The following sites may be reserved for promotional activities or fundraising by student groups or organizations: Northwest sidewalk of the lower Lawn, Second Floor of Newcomb Hall, Monroe Plaza, and Observatory Hill. No sales or promotional activity is permitted on the upper Lawn, in the Academical Village, or in the Gardens. Promotional activity or fundraising by student groups/organizations shall occur only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7:00 pm.

  5. Use of the Lawn and Gardens:
    Tables permitted on the South Lawn only by reservation and may not be used for a period of time that exceeds three consecutive days. Given the residential and historical nature of the Lawn and Gardens, outdoor events at or around the South Lawn or Gardens must be approved, in advance, by Event Planning Services. Use of the Lawn will typically only be approved for University-wide ceremonies and events sponsored by a University agency or department. No structure is permitted on the Lawn except those deemed necessary to accommodate residents and visitors or support official University functions.

    Questions about application of this policy may be directed to the Office of the General Counsel at (434) 924-3586.


Schedulers for the Extracurricular Use of University Facilities:

Departments Scheduler



Office of the Dean of Students Event Planning Services

Scheduler for Student Activity spaces

Intramural Recreation

Scheduler for athletic spaces

Office of the Dean of Student Event Planning Services
University Registrar

Scheduler for the extracurricular use of academic spaces


 For information on all other spaces, contact Event Planning Services or the appropriate facility director.

The Source: See Department Scheduler Contact List.

Display of Information Space Request for a Medical Center facility is required.

Related Information:

Amplified Sound Policy
Athletic Facility Policies
Athletic Sponsorships
Handouts at JPJ
Parties, Dances, Socials and Late Night Events
Residence Hall/Apartment Visitation
Statement of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

PRM-007, Use of the Rotunda
PRM-008, Exterior Posting and Chalking
GOV-004, Use of the University’s Federally Registered Trademark
GOV-004, Solicitations (Medical Center Policy)

Major Category: Physical Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review: 08/31/2019
Approved by, Date: Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, 08/31/2016
Revision History: Minor edits 11/2/16.
Supersedes (previous policy):
XV.G.1, Use of University Resources; Use of University Facilities; Sales, Solicitation, and Student Organization Fundraising.