Office of the President

Policy on Time, Place, and Manner of Expression; Supercedes EM 86-012 and EM 10-017 (Guidelines for Speech and Advocacy)

Executive Memorandum 14-013 May 27, 2014

From: Paul J. Zingg, President

Subject: Policy on Time, Place, and Manner of Expression; Supercedes EM 86-012 and EM 10-017 (Guidelines for Speech and Advocacy)

POLICY OBJECTIVEThrough this policy, the University seeks to foster and sustain a forum for the free exchange of ideas, values and opinions, recognizing that individuals grow and learn when confronted with differing views, alternative ways of thinking and conflicting values.

POLICY STATEMENTFreedom of expression is a cornerstone of a democratic society and is essential to the educational process. Universities have a special obligation not only to tolerate but also to encourage and support the free expression of ideas, values and opinions, even where they may be unpopular or controversial. California State University, Chico (herein after the University) accepts and embraces this obligation, recognizing that such expression may take a variety of forms, such as speeches, signs, written materials, public assemblies, parades, demonstrations and artistic representation.

Acknowledging the central role the unfettered exchange of information and ideas plays in learning and in a free society, the University shall ensure that individuals and groups are afforded wide latitude in exercising the right of free expression and that their constitutionally protected right to free expression is not abridged. Freedom of expression, however, is not an absolute right. It coexists with other rights and the need for public order.

To ensure that exercise of the right of free expression does not interfere with University functions, imperil public safety, or obstruct or damage University facilities, the University will establish and enforce lawful campus regulations regarding the time, place and manner of the exercise of free expression by individuals and groups.

The University recognizes that causing discomfort and even causing offense is not, of itself, a basis for limiting free speech. At the same time, all members of the University community should recognize that freedom of expression includes acknowledging the right of others to express differing opinions.

AUTHORITYThis policy is promulgated under the authority of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, the California Education Code, state and Federal law, and subsequent directives, resolutions, standing orders, and Executive Orders of the Board of Trustees and Chancellor of the California State University, and the President of California State University, Chico.

GENERAL LIMITATIONS AND GUIDELINES FOR CAMPUS EVENTS AND ACTIVITIESThere shall be no restrictions on speech activity based on the content of such speech or expression, or on the political, religious, or other affiliations of speakers. The exercise of free speech and assembly must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws.

At California State University, Chico, the time, place, and manner of expression are limited solely by the following general conditions and by additional specific conditions as defined in this policy.

Such activities may not:

  • Unreasonably interfere with student’s ability to participate in the educational process or to gain access to the educational resources and opportunities the University provides.
  • Disrupt University activities, including classes in session or other scheduled academic, educational, athletics, cultural arts, and career programs or with use of the University Library;
  • Obstruct the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic;
  • Interfere with or disrupt the conduct of University business and operations;
  • Employ unauthorized sound amplification or create unreasonable noise disruptive of normal University activities;
  • Disrupt the residential tranquility of on-campus housing facilities, such as through unauthorized commercial solicitation; or
  • Violate any federal, state, local, or University safety code, such as regulations set by the State Fire Marshal.

Illegal speech activity, not protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or by this policy, includes:

  • Defamation;
  • Obscenity;
  • Terrorist threats;
  • False advertising;
  • Criminal harassment, and
  • Promotion of actual or imminent violence or harm.

Anyone who observes speech or other expressive activity that violates the general conditions above, or the more specific conditions set forth below, may report such violation by contacting the Student Life and Leadership Office.

TIME, PLACE AND MANNER GUIDELINESThe University may impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on exercise of the right of expression, to preserve the safe and orderly operation of the campus.

Guidelines as to TimeIndoor events and activities are not assigned fixed limits as to time of day or day of the week. Outdoor events and activities that involve amplified music or speech are prohibited during the hours of Sunday through Thursday, 10:00 pm to 7:00 am; and Friday and Saturday, 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. University scheduling protocols must be followed. (See Scheduling of Campus Events and Activities, and Guidelines as to Place.)

Outdoor events and activities that do not require use of amplified sound may be held anytime, Monday through Sunday. For use of the University’s scheduling protocols is encouraged to facilitate coordination with other events and among potential campus service providers. Regardless of the time they are held, events and activities must be conducted in a manner consistent with General Limitations, and in conformity with any additional guidelines pertinent to a particular venue.

Guidelines as to PlaceFreedom of expression is an individual right, and therefore is not restricted to place. While freedom of expression is encouraged everywhere on campus, the Trinity Commons area is the most common place where individuals and groups assemble to exercise the right of free expression unless the space has already been reserved for a scheduled event or activity. (See Scheduling of Campus Venues.)

Other outdoor spaces on campus may be used as public gathering spaces for events and activities. Where amplified sound equipment or commercialism is involved, use of University scheduling protocols is required. (See Scheduling of Campus Venues.) Use of University scheduling protocols is encouraged in all cases to facilitate coordination with other events and among potential campus service providers.

All indoor facilities and certain campus outdoor spaces must be reserved in advance. (See Scheduling of Campus Venues.)

Whether conducted indoors or out of doors, activities must be conducted in a manner consistent with General Limitations, and in conformity with any additional guidelines pertinent to a particular venue.

Guidelines as to MannerRegardless of time or place, expressive activity conducted in a manner that violates the General Limitations is prohibited.

SOLICITATIONAs defined in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations (Section 42350), “’Solicitation’ means to importune, or endeavor to persuade or obtain by asking, but does not include ‘commercial’ solicitation.”

As further provided by Title 5, Section 42350.5: “Solicitation shall be permitted on a campus subject, however, to a reasonable regulation by the campus president as to time, place and manner thereof. Solicitation in violation of established campus directives regarding time, place and manner is prohibited.”

Faculty, Staff, and off-campus organizations or individuals wishing to engage in commercial solicitation at the University must contact the Facilities Reservations Office. Student Organizations must contact the Student Life and Leadership Office (See Appendix A.7).

ON-CAMPUS SALESMembers of the campus community are permitted to use the campus to conduct sales or solicit donations as long as they register their intent to do so in advance. Non-members of the campus community may only use the campus to conduct sales or solicit donations when partnered with a specific campus group or office which shares both the mission and activity of the sales or fundraising effort, or are specifically renting space to do so. No entity, campus or non-campus affiliated, may engage in unregistered sales in direct competition with the commercial operations of the Associated Students (See Appendix A.7).

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONSAll use of University information technology resources for purposes of individual or collective free expression must adhere to the provisions of the CSU, Chico policies found in Appendix A.1.

ASSEMBLIES, MARCHES AND DEMONSTRATIONSFreedom of expression extends to the right to demonstrate, protest, and advocate through public assemblies, marches, and demonstrations.

These activities must comply with the General Limitations set forth in this policy (See General Limitations and Time, Place and Manner Guidelines).

To address public safety issues (routes of march, necessary public safety staffing, etc.), where possible groups contemplating holding public assemblies, marches, or demonstrations are strongly encouraged to notify the University Police, preferably at least 48 hours in advance.

In addition, to avoid conflicts with other scheduled University events, and to utilize other necessary support services and to ensure event success, where possible organizers of public assemblies, marches, or demonstrations are also strongly encouraged to notify the Facilities Reservations Office.

Where facilities or equipment are required, formal scheduling protocols and reservation procedures for booking equipment must be followed. (See Appendix A.2).

The University President has delegated oversight of campus demonstrations to the Vice President for Student Affairs to ensure protection of freedom of expression and constitutional rights. This Vice President will cooperate with University Police, if needed, to implement dispersal procedures only when participants have exceeded the limits of their constitutional rights or exceeded the general limitations of this policy (See General Limitations).

Nothing in this section should be construed as prohibiting spontaneous speech events which arise from news or affairs that reach public awareness less than 48 hours prior to the event.

WITHHOLDING OR WITHDRAWAL OF APPROVALApproval for events or activities encompassed by the campus wide policies on free expression may be withheld or withdrawn where determined by the University President or designee to be inconsistent with Federal or state law, with existing University policies, with the orderly conduct of University business, with preservation of the campus learning environment, with the preservation of public safety, with maintenance of University property, and/or with the free flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

In the very rare circumstances when approval may have been denied, an applicant may appeal to an ad hoc Speech committee. This committee will be made up of three students appointed by the President of the Associated Students with the approval of the Associated Students Board of Directors; two faculty members appointed by the Chair of Academic Senate with the approval of the Senate Executive Committee; one staff member appointed by the Chair of Staff Council with the approval of the Staff Council; and one staff member assigned by the Vice President for Student Affairs. This committee will advise the University President, who has final authority, on the merits of the appeal.

ADVERTISING IN PUBLICATIONSAdvertising may be permitted in faculty, staff, alumni, and student publications subject to the policies of each publication. Restrictions regarding advertising of alcohol and tobacco products at the University are contained in the Campus alcohol policies found in Appendix A.3.

Publications in electronic format, utilizing campus information technology resources, are subject to the CSU, Chico policies found in Appendix A.1.

USE OF THE UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS AND GROUNDSSee California Education Code, § 89030-31; Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Sections 41301 and 42350-42354 for specific references.

APPROVED AND PRIORITY USES OF UNIVERSITY FACILITIESUse of those University facilities that may be scheduled for activities or events is limited to the following purposes and is normally granted in the following order of precedence:

  • The Regular University Instructional Program: Actual classes and scheduled meetings that are part of the regular academic program.
  • The Broad University Instructional Program: Discussions, instructionally related activities/programs such as music, drama, forensics, journalism, intercollegiate athletics; special programs and other activities, that are a part of normal class-associated or academic programs; courses that are a part of the authorized campus Continuing Education program.
  • Research and Consultant Activities: Programs that are research-oriented in nature that contribute to the professional development of students, faculty, and staff, and consultant activities that have been approved by the University.
  • Educational and Co-Curricular Activities: Events such as conferences, meetings, lectures, musicals, concerts, films, productions, contests, or public assemblies concerned with the professional, cultural, recreational, or entertainment phases of University life. Participants and guests may include students, faculty, and staff of other educational institutions, and the general public when such participants or guests are appropriate to the function.
  • Other Uses: Use of facilities for programs consistent with the objectives of the University may be granted to those agencies and organizations with whom the University is authorized to make lease agreements. See Appendix A.4.

COSTS AND FEESUse of campus facilities or other property may be subject to a fee and/or require liability insurance and/or an indemnity agreement. Where this is the case, persons or groups granted the use of campus facilities or other property are responsible for payment of any fees and for reimbursing the University or its auxiliaries for any costs incurred. (See Appendix A.5).

SCHEDULING OF CAMPUS VENUESThe University has established formal procedures for scheduling of campus venues to ensure effective campus coordination and to provide individuals and groups with a means by which to reserve facilities, spaces, equipment, and other resources and support services.

Unless otherwise noted below, all campus venues are scheduled through the Facilities Reservations Office. The Bell Memorial Union, Wildcat Recreation Center, and adjacent outdoor areas are scheduled through Conference Services. Student organizations schedule outdoor venues through the Student Life and Leadership Office.

Any events or activities held in CSU, Chico’s residential communities are subject to the policies of University Housing and Food Services Office. Questions about these policies may be directed to that office. During certain campus wide special events (e.g. Commencement, Preview Day, and Orientation), priority will be given to event-related activities in the scheduling of campus facilities, grounds, and resources.

In carrying out the scheduling function, the University will retain a position of strict neutrality regarding the views groups or individuals may wish to express. The institutional control of campus facilities shall not be used as a device for censorship. The University will not preclude groups or individuals from expressing their views because of disagreement with the views to be presented.

Nothing in this section should be construed as prohibiting spontaneous speech events which arise from news or affairs that reach public awareness less than 48 hours prior to the event.

LEAFLETING AND DISTRIBUTION OF NON-COMMERCIAL WRITTEN AND PRINTED MATERIALSAll groups or individuals wishing to leaflet, handout or otherwise distribute non-commercial written or printed materials on campus must comply with the applicable CSU, Chico policies. Individuals may, however, without prior scheduling, distribute non-commercial written and printed materials in any outdoor area of the University (excepting roadways) or in any University building. Where facilities or equipment are required or commercial activity is involved, use of campus scheduling protocols is required. (See Scheduling of Campus Venues.)

Individuals, organizations, or groups must consult with the Student Life and Leadership Office for assistance in ensuring that leaflets and fliers comply with the provisions of campus policy before they are distributed. (See Appendix A.6).

Littering is not permitted. Posting of written and printed materials on vehicles without the owner’s permission is not permitted.

Distribution of materials in electronic format using University information technology resources must comply with the policies found in Appendix A.1.

These activities must be consistent with the University’s general requirements regarding preservation of campus order and public safety, as presented in Section IV. General Limitations.TEMPORARY NON-COMMERCIAL SIGNAGEAll temporary signage on university property must comply with University posting policy. (See Appendix A.6).

POSTING AND SIGNAGEAll requests for commercial signage in the Bell Memorial Union must be approved by A.S. Conference Services and for signage in all other locations throughout the University by the University Student Life and Leadership Office. Restrictions on signage (non-commercial) and on posting of materials (including flyers, posters, chalking, banners) must comply with University posting policy. (See Appendix A.6).

APPENDIX A

  1. Policy on the Use of Computing and Communications Technology (EM 97-018) and Revised Policy on the Use of Computing and Communications Technology for Faculty (EM 07-001) and the Standards for Student Conduct (PDF), Title V, Section 41301, esp. β 15
  2. Facilities or equipment requirements are accommodated by the Facilities Reservations Office and Student Life and Leadership/Facilities Reservations
  3. Restrictions on alcohol and tobaccos product advertising are found in (EM 99-011) and (EM 94-050)
  4. For general protocols about facilities use, see Facilities Reservations and interim EM 13-078
  5. Fee schedules and additional details can be found at the Facilities Reservations/Facilities Use/ Charge Process and for the AS Conference Services
  6. University posting policy
  7. For permission to engage in commercial solicitation, faculty and staff and off campus entities must contact the Facilities Reservations Office. Students must contact the Student Life and Leadership Office.