SEC-039: Protests, Demonstrations and Other Expressive Activities during Finals Weekend

Date: 07/20/2016 Status: Final
Policy Type: University
Contact Office: Major Events (Office of)
Oversight Executive: President of the University
Applies To: Academic Division
Table of Contents:

Policy Statement

Reason for Policy:

The University of Virginia respects and encourages free expressive activity by its students, faculty, and staff. At the same time, consistent with its educational mission, the University has established reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on such activities on University Grounds to assure that such activities are undertaken in ways that avoid disruption of University operations, and are consistent with its educational, employment, and safety responsibilities to its students, faculty, and staff.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Solicitation:

    Selling, promoting for the purpose of sales, commercial advertising, canvassing, and/or fundraising.

  • University Grounds:

    The areas where administrative functions, teaching and research facilities of the University that are used by members of the University community are located as well as athletic and recreational facilities.

Policy Statement:

Finals Weekend (which includes the Valedictory Exercises and Final Exercises ceremonies) always creates special challenges for the University because of the great number of activities occurring during that period across University Grounds, and the large number of people attending them. Because of this, the University has created the following policy that is specific to Finals Weekend. During Finals Weekend, this policy supersedes all other policies regarding use of University Grounds and facilities to the extent such policies may be inconsistent with this one.

  • Attendance at Finals Weekend events and activities is by invitation only unless otherwise noted. Those in attendance without having been invited or otherwise having been authorized to attend may be asked to leave if their presence creates disruption, impedes movement of invited guests from place to place, or otherwise creates unsafe conditions for participants or invited visitors.

  • Because of the large crowds and multiple venues that are typical of Finals Weekend, activities that otherwise may be consistent with University policy may be impermissible during that period.

  • Items currently approved and authorized to be carried in the Academic Procession are placards that are not attached to sticks, and balloons (including inflated surgical gloves), as long as those placards and balloons are not so large or unwieldy as to obstruct or impede the procession and do not otherwise pose a safety risk.

  • Items held or carried must not obscure the view of participants or invited visitors or interfere with the ceremonies.

  • Activities of participants or invited visitors must not interfere with Finals Weekend events and activities.

  • No non-University commercial solicitation will be allowed on University Grounds during Finals Weekend.

  • Protests, demonstrations, and other expressive activities may take place during Finals Weekend within the following area of University Grounds: in the area bounded by Alderman Library, Monroe Hall, Peabody Hall, Special Collections Library, and McCormick Road (subject to space needed for emergency medical services). If Valedictory Exercises or Final Exercises are moved to the John Paul Jones Arena, the designated area is the grassy area outside the north entrance of University Hall.

  • Even within this designated area, protests, demonstrations and other expressive activities, including distribution of leaflets or other written materials, may not:
    • Block or impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic along streets and sidewalks;
    • Involve placement of tents or other temporary structures;
    • Interfere with or impede Finals Weekend events and activities;
    • Use sound amplification devices; or
    • Violate applicable law or University rules, regulations, or procedures.
  • Persons in violation of this policy either will be instructed to bring their activities into compliance with the requirements set forth above, or asked to leave.  (Ushers, representatives of the offices of the president or vice president and chief student affairs officer, and police officers are authorized to ask guests to modify behavior in accordance with this policy.) If such persons do not comply with the University’s request, they may be arrested and/or charged with violating the University’s Standards of Conduct, if applicable.

Related Information:

Finals Weekend
Prohibited Items

Policy Background:

This is the 1st version of this policy.

Major Category: Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Category Cross Reference: Physical Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review: 07/20/2019
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 07/20/2016