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

Date: 05/04/2018 Status: Final
Last Revised: 07/17/2018
Policy Type: University
Contact Office: University President (Office of the), 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 constitutionally protected expression in University-controlled facilities and property while maintaining a safe atmosphere free from disruption.

The University has established requirements for use of its facilities and property 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:
  • Affiliated Persons:

    (1) Students who are registered or enrolled for credit-bearing coursework and who are seeking a degree and (2) University employees, consisting of all full-time and part-time faculty, University staff, Medical Center employees, classified staff, wage employees (including temps), professional research staff, and post-doctoral fellows.

  • Public Speaking:

    Speech or expressive activity directed to a general audience or non-specific persons.

  • Student Groups or Organizations (Student Groups/Organizations):

    Student groups or organizations that have an active Contracted Independent Organization Agreement, Fraternal Organization Agreement, or Special Status Organization Agreement with the University.

  • Unaffiliated Persons:

    Any person or party who is not an affiliated person (e.g., businesses, non-profit organizations, independent contractors).

  • 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 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 and property must:

  • not impede student education, academic activities, research, patient care, scheduled events, University functions, residences, 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.

Exclusions:
This policy does not apply to: (1) use of University facilities and property for activities and official events sponsored by the University; (2) use of University facilities and property for activities and events sponsored by University-Related Foundations, as defined in BOV-008, Policy on University-Related Foundations1; (3) use of University facilities and property by its employees acting within the course and scope of their employment; or (4) use of University facilities and property by vendors and other unaffiliated persons that have a contractual relationship with the University, in the course of the performance of the contract.

Public speaking and distribution of literature under this policy is not considered speech made by, on behalf of, or endorsed by the University of Virginia.


1BOV-008, Policy on University-Related Foundations defines a “University-Related Foundation” as an organization that is created and operated exclusively to benefit the University or one or more of the University’s units. It is a separate legal entity that has been approved and designated by the Board of Visitors as a Foundation.


  1. General Access to University Facilities:
    Subject to University uses and 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 have priority over the use of University facilities designated for student activities. Other University facilities, including available academic spaces, also may be reserved for extracurricular activity by student groups or organizations.

    2. Access by Unaffiliated Persons:
      Unaffiliated persons must be sponsored by a student group/organization or a University school or department in order to use University facilities. The event must be conducted in a manner that does not hinder or impede the University’s mission. If a resource or scheduling conflict arises, events by University schools or departments and student groups/organizations shall have scheduling priority over events and activities conducted by sponsored unaffiliated persons.

    3. Access by Affiliated Persons and Alumni for Weddings & Memorial Services:
      The University Chapel, select locations in Newcomb Hall, and Ern Commons may be made available to affiliated persons and alumni for weddings and memorial services. Procedures governing the use of these facilities for weddings are available in the Division of Student Affairs, Event Planning Services.

  2. General Access to Outdoor University Property:
    1. Access by Affiliated Persons:
      Affiliated persons and student groups/organizations may utilize outdoor University property for public speaking or distribution of literature, so long as they do not impede normal operations or obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

    2. Access by Unaffiliated Persons:
      Unaffiliated persons wishing to engage in public speaking or distribution of literature on outdoor University property may do so in designated locations. The North Plaza of the Rotunda is not a designated location that unaffiliated persons may use. Unaffiliated persons wishing to utilize the spaces designated for public speaking or distribution of literature may do so by contacting the Reservation Officer in the Office of the President no more than 4 weeks in advance and at least 7 days in advance of the desired speaking date. Reservations are allocated on a space-available basis with priority given to student groups/organizations and affiliated persons. Reservations are for two-hour blocks, with a maximum of one two-hour block per speaker per week. Use of spaces designated for public speaking or distribution of literature must conform with University regulations and policies and must not block pedestrian or vehicular traffic or impede normal University operations.

      In addition to the opportunities for speech by unaffiliated persons outlined in this subsection, events that are held in indoor University facilities and are open to the public or to select unaffiliated persons create a right to peaceful demonstration and protest on outdoor University property in specific relation to such events in a manner that (1) does not impede normal operations or obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic, (2) is consistent with University policies, and (3) complies with any event-specific security requirements.

  3. Duties Toward Speakers:
    No person may disrupt an invited or permitted speaker or hinder the ability of other attendees to see or hear a speaker. (See the Procedure for the process to report any incident of disruption of public speaking or other constitutionally protected speech.)

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

  5. Limits on Advertising, Sales, and Solicitation:
    Direct advertising, sales, and commercial solicitation by affiliated and unaffiliated persons are not permitted on University property or in University facilities, including University Housing. Student groups or 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 p.m.

    Section (5) Limits on Advertising, Sales, and Commercial Solicitation shall not apply to University facilities operated by or under the control of the Medical Center, the School of Medicine, and the School of Nursing. See the Related Information Section for Medical Center and Health System policies that may apply.

  6. Use of the Lawn and Gardens:
    Tables are permitted on the Lower Lawn only by reservation by student groups/organizations or University schools and departments and may not be used for a period of time that exceeds three consecutive calendar days. Given the residential and historical nature of the Lawn and Gardens, outdoor events around the Lawn or at or around the Lower Lawn or Gardens must be approved, in advance, by Event Planning Services in the Division of Student Affairs, and use of such spaces must conform with the Division of Student Affairs, Event Planning Services policies and rules. The upper Lawn may be reserved only for events sponsored by the University. No structure is permitted on the upper Lawn except those deemed necessary to accommodate residents and visitors or support official University functions.

  7. Persons Lawfully in Charge:
    In addition to University personnel responsible for the management or supervision of University property and activities, University law-enforcement officers are lawfully in charge of University property for purposes of forbidding entry upon or within, or prohibiting remaining upon or within University property in violation of this policy.

  8. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination and expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies.

    Entry onto or occupation of University property or any University facility in violation of this policy is prohibited. Any person who violates this policy may be removed and/or prosecuted for trespass, disorderly conduct, or other offenses under state law.

    Affiliated persons who have questions about the application of this policy may contact Event Planning Services in the Office of the Dean of Students. Unaffiliated persons who have questions about this policy may contact the Reservation Officer in the Office of the President.

Required Policy Review: This policy shall be reviewed periodically and must be reviewed after the construction of the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers and on July 1 of each year.

Procedures:

Procedures:

  1. Report an Incident of Disruption of Constitutionally Protected Speech:
    To report an incident of disruption of public speaking, distribution of literature, or other constitutionally protected speech:

    • For non-emergency incidents that do not require police, fire or medical staff to respond:

      • Affiliated persons may make a report through the online system, Just Report It.
      • Unaffiliated persons may make a report through the online system, TipSoft.
      • Both affiliated and unaffiliated persons also may make a report by telephone to the Associate Vice President for Safety and Security by calling 434-243-2173.
    • Call 9-1-1 for emergency incidents that require a public safety response.

  2. Reservation Procedures for Unaffiliated Persons (Reservation Officer, Office of the President)

    1. Persons wishing to engage in public speaking or to distribute literature are required to reserve space by registering in advance with the Reservation Officer in the Office of the President. Reservations are allocated on a space-available basis with priority given to student groups/organizations and affiliated persons.
    2. Reservations are for two-hour blocks between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. A specific individual or group may reserve up to one two-hour speaking block per week. Reservations are valid only for the date authorized on the Speaker Registration Form
    3. Reservations may be made for the following designated locations:
      • Nameless Field may be reserved by a group of up to 50 persons.

      • The triangular, grassy area on the west side of Brooks Hall may be reserved by a group of up to 25 persons.

      • The grassy field in front of Brown Residential College, facing Minor Hall, may be reserved by a group of up to 50 persons.

      • Mad Bowl may be reserved by a group of up to 50 persons.

      • The grassy field between Shannon Residence Hall and Observatory Hill Dining Hall, facing Alderman Road, may be reserved by a group of up to 50 persons.

      • Newcomb Plaza, the Plaza located between the University Bookstore and Newcomb Hall, may be reserved by a group of up to 25 persons.

      • McIntire Amphitheater may be reserved by a group of up to 50 persons.

      • The grassy square in front of University Hall, bordered by the Frank C. McCue III Center, may be reserved by a group of up to 25 persons.

      • The Park complex located in the North Grounds area may be reserved by a group of up to 50 persons.

    4. A group making a reservation must designate one contact person for the group, and the contact person is permitted to reserve up to one two-hour block per week. The contact person is responsible for identifying the persons in the group. Additional reservations made for the same group under a different name are not permitted.

    5. Only one of the designated locations shall be available for reservation at a given time on a first-reserved basis. As soon as one location is reserved for a two-hour block, all the other locations will become unavailable to unaffiliated persons during that two-hour block.

    6. There shall be a thirty-minute period between each reservation to allow for a peaceful and orderly transition.

    7. A copy of the Unaffiliated Group Registration Form must be available for inspection upon request by University officials.

    8. In accordance with Title 8 Education, Agency 85, Chapter 20 of the Virginia Administrative Code and University Policy SEC-030: Regulation of Weapons, Fireworks, and Explosives, persons who engage in public speaking or distributing literature in the designated locations are prohibited from carrying weapons, including guns, knives, or instruments for cutting, stabbing, or bludgeoning.

    9. Unaffiliated persons wishing to speak publicly or to distribute literature must comply with these rules and with University policy, including the amplified sound policy and the prohibition on the sale or promotion of commercial goods or services. Unaffiliated speakers are prohibited from:

      • blocking pedestrian or vehicular traffic, and

      • impeding normal University operations.

    10. Failure to adhere to the above described University procedures will result in revocation of an approved reservation, other appropriate administrative action, and/or prosecution for trespass or other offenses under state law.

  3. Required Procedure Review: The designated locations that unaffiliated persons may reserve shall be reviewed periodically. These designated locations must be reviewed after the construction of the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers and also on July 1 of each year.
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

GOV-004, Use of the University’s Federally Registered Trademark
PRM-007, Use of the Rotunda
PRM-008, Exterior Posting and Chalking
PRM-018, Issuance of Trespass Warnings
SEC-030, Regulation of Weapons, Fireworks, and Explosives
SEC-032, Open Burn and Open Flame Operations at the University of Virginia
SEC-039, Protests, Demonstrations and Other Expressive Activities during Finals Weekend
SEC-040, Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("UAS" or"Drones")

Health System Policy HSG-004: Solicitations

Medical Center Policy No. 0013 Vendors, Sales and Service Representatives at the Medical Center

Open Burn and Open Flame Operations Regulation
Regulation of Weapons, Fireworks, and Explosives Regulation

Major Category: Physical Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review: 07/01/2019
Approved by, Date: President of the University, 05/04/2018
Revision History: Updated 7/17/18; Major Revision 5/4/18; 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.