Fayetteville Policies and Procedures  708.0 

Use of University Facilities and Outdoor Space

  1. General Policies
    1. University facilities and outdoor space are governed by the policies of the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas and exist for the primary purpose of serving a planned and scheduled program of educational activity. Consistent with Board of Trustees Policy 705.1 and UA Systemwide Policies and Procedures 715.1, when not required for the University’s organized educational programming or official functions, and subject to other University policies and governing law, University facilities or outdoor space may be made available for use by members of the campus community and non-University entities.  In particular, generally accessible outdoor space where members of the campus community are commonly allowed is available for expressive activity by members of the campus community, subject to restrictions stated in this policy.  Further, non-academic and publicly open portions of the Arkansas Union are also available for expressive activity, subject to the restrictions stated in this policy. Among other things, this policy establishes reasonable time, place and manner provisions governing use of University facilities and outdoor space for expressive activity.
    2. Members of the Campus Community and Non-University Entities.
      1. For purposes of this policy, members of the campus community shall only include colleges, departments, and other University organizational units; faculty; staff; administrators; University-related foundations and the University alumni association; enrolled students and registered student organizations; and their respective invited guests.
      2. Non-University entities are individuals and organizations that are not members of the campus community and are not invited in advance by a member of the campus community.
    3. Non-Interference with University and Expressive Activity. Use of University facilities or space must not materially and substantially interfere with the functioning of the University, or another person’s expressive activity if occurring in an area under exclusive use or control of a particular group. Moreover, such use is generally conditioned on receiving prior approval consistent with the procedures described below. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, all uses of University facilities and outdoor space by members of the campus community or non-University entities shall remain subordinate to the University’s right to use the facilities at any time to advance the mission of the institution.
    4. Private Business Activity and Fundraising. Subject to official economic development initiatives of the University and services officially authorized by the University to enhance the educational setting for students, faculty and staff, University facilities and outdoor space may not be used for the conduct of private business activity. Any uninvited private business solicitation, including any private fundraising activity, in University facilities or on University grounds is prohibited. Further, campaign fundraising is prohibited.
    5. Priority for University Use.
      1. Consistent with the University’s educational mission, first priority for use of facilities or outdoor space shall go to University academic, administrative, and programmatic units for educational programming and official functions, and the University reserves the right to modify or cancel reservations accordingly.
      2. Moreover, to help ensure a diverse array of activities and uses, non-University entities are limited to an initial total of five reservations each Fall Semester, Spring semester, and summer, with any portion of a calendar day considered one reservation.
      3. After the initial total of five reservations per semester has been obtained by a non-University entity, other non-University entities that wish to reserve space shall take priority; provided, however, if other non-University entities have not submitted a reservation request for a location in accordance with Section II below, then a reservation request submitted by a non-University entity that has utilized its initial total of five reservations shall be considered and processed consistent with this policy.
      4. Furthermore, after the initial total of five reservations per semester, non-University entities may receive no more than three reservations at a time.
      5. Reservations may be requested up to one year in advance but must be requested no later than three business days prior to the day of the event.
    6. Restricted Periods. Only official academic and administrative units of the University, University-related foundations and the University alumni association, and registered student organizations with approval of their faculty advisor, are allowed to reserve spaces and/or facilities during “Reading Days,” any official final examination periods, and all dates of any official University Commencement activities.
    7. Financial Responsibility. Those requesting reservations must agree to be financially responsible for all costs pertaining to the reservation, including but not limited to security costs, cleanup, or damage to University property associated with the event organizers and invited or expected attendees. Moreover, if warranted by the nature of the event, the University may require a requestor to obtain appropriate insurance coverage and/or to indemnify the University, its officials and employees for any claims pertaining to the use of the University’s facilities.
    8. RSO and Student Reservations. Registered student organization (RSO) reservations should be made with the prior approval of the faculty or staff advisor. Subject to all other provisions of this policy, if no registered student organization affiliation exists, individual students may make reservation requests directly. These provisions are not intended to limit informal student use of small group study or meeting space reserved according to facility-specific policies.
    9. Spontaneous Gatherings. In general, members of the campus community are expected to utilize the space reservation process to facilitate orderly and coordinated use.  Subject to other provisions of this policy, members of the campus community with a reserved space will have priority over others seeking to use an area during the scheduled time period for an expressive activity. However, this policy does not prevent, or require reservations for, spontaneous and contemporaneous gatherings of members of the campus community to assemble, speak, and distribute literature in outdoor locations that are generally accessible to the campus community, that are not already reserved for another activity, and that do not materially and substantially interfere with other University activities.  Such gatherings are expressly allowed, subject to all other provisions of this and other applicable University policies.  Members of the campus community engaging in spontaneous gatherings may be requested to furnish identification to confirm their official association with the University or documentation of invitation.
    10. Encouragement of Expression. At all times this policy shall be implemented consistent with the University’s core purpose of the advancement of knowledge, including fostering vigorous discussion among members of the University Community, and consistent with First Amendment principles. Various forms of expression, including peaceful assemblies, speeches, leafletting, circulating petitions, distributing literature, and similar expressive communications and activities that are non-commercial in nature, and that comply with this and other applicable University policies, are encouraged.  This policy shall be implemented consistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Art. 2, §§ 4 and 6, of the Arkansas Constitution, Ark. Code Ann. §§ 6-60-1001 - 1010, and §§ 6-60-1401 - 1405.
    11. Campus Fora. Provided the requirements of this policy are met, including the reasonable time, place, and manner requirements set out herein, with respect to generally accessible outdoor areas, as well as the non-academic, publicly open portions of the Arkansas Union described below (collectively, “Campus Fora”), the University shall not restrict the expression of a member of the campus community based on the viewpoint of the expression or the reaction or opposition to listeners to or observers of the expression. However, this policy does not designate any publicly accessible outdoor location on campus or any indoor location as a traditional public forum, regardless of whether it is a Campus Forum under this policy.
  2. Reservation Procedures
    The following procedures apply to reservations requested by members of the campus community or non-University entities.  This includes, but is not limited to, space reservations for such expressive activities as peaceful assemblies and speeches, distribution of literature, and circulating petitions:
    1. Indoor Space and Reservation Submission:
      1. Those requesting a reservation of an indoor University facility/space should contact the building executive responsible for that location and follow any policies and procedures established for that site.
        1. The International Connections Lounge (literature distribution, petition signature gathering, and speaking activities) and the exterior of the Food Court in the Arkansas Union (tabling) are available by reservation for members of the campus community to engage in expressive activity, but such activities shall not disrupt other activities, including previously scheduled activities.
          1. Requests for reservations in these Union locations must be submitted to the Arkansas Union office and shall be reviewed consistent with this policy. Decisions shall be made by the director of the Arkansas Union or designee, in consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
      2. Reservations of indoor space with seating capacity of 100 or more by non-University entities, or by RSOs when members of the public are invited, are subject to additional requirements described below.
    2. Outdoor Space:
      1. Those requesting a reservation of an outdoor University facility/space must complete a reservation request and submit the request to Facilities Management or the office responsible for the location.
      2. Reservations may be requested up to one year in advance but must be requested no later than three business days prior to the day of the event.
      3. Facilities Management or the office responsible for the location will circulate the proposed reservation to other appropriate offices for input based on the nature of the request.
      4. Following review, Facilities Management (or the office responsible) will notify the requestor whether the reservation has been approved.
      5. If approved, then Facilities Management (or the office responsible) shall notify the organizer, add the reservation to the University calendar, and notify University Relations, the Office of Student Activities, and the University of Arkansas Police Department (UAPD). Other units directly affected will also be notified.
    3. Outdoor Reservation Submission: Reservation requests are submitted through the Facilities Management Website.
    4. Security Assessment: If a planned event
      1. is expected to have 500 or more people in attendance (100 or more for reservations by non-University entities or by RSOs when members of the public are invited); or
      2. if a security assessment is requested by a University official; or
      3. if, in the opinion of the organizer, the event might require security, then, in all such instances, the space reservation request shall be referred to the Director of UAPD or the Director’s designee to conduct an assessment of potential security needs.

        The event organizer shall cooperate and provide any information necessary to conduct the assessment. UAPD must certify that this review (including development of an event security plan, if needed) has been completed prior to University approval of the space reservation. If the Director or his designee recommends that security be provided for the event, UAPD will provide a brief description of the expected arrangements and estimated costs to the organizer; costs associated with invited or expected guests shall be the responsibility of the event organizer as a condition of approval of the reservation, along with any other required costs.  Security assessment criteria are attached as Appendix A.
    5. Approval Subject to Review: At all times, any reservation approval is conditioned upon full compliance with all University policies and all reservation requirements. The University reserves the right to disapprove the request (or terminate the reservation) of any entity that
      1. fails to comply with University policies or state or federal law,
      2. fails to cooperate fully and promptly with University procedures or requests for clarification of information or attendance projections,
      3. provides false or misleading information, or
      4. which has damaged University facilities at any time.

        General criteria for review are attached as Appendix B.  For general outdoor space, decisions on space reservations for members of the campus community are made by Facilities Management in consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration (VCFA); for non-University entities, decisions are made by the VCFA or designee. Except as otherwise established by University policy, reservation decisions for other space and facilities are made by the relevant vice chancellor or designee. Any decision to deny a reservation shall be promptly communicated in writing to the requester and shall clearly set forth the basis of the denial.
    6. Appeals and Grievances:
      1. If all required information has been furnished but a space reservation request is not approved, the requestor may appeal the decision to the Chancellor.  The appeal shall be in writing and shall clearly indicate the basis for the appeal.  The decision of the Chancellor shall be final.
      2. Any other concerns regarding protection of expressive conduct that is permissible under this policy shall be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (for students) or the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration (for non-students). 
    7. Event Parking: Anyone organizing special campus events requiring parking for visitors will be responsible for requesting parking arrangements at least two weeks prior to the event. Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 320.1 covers the parking requirements for special events. Organizers should contact Transit and Parking to make arrangements at (479) 575-2356.
    8. Available Facilities: A list of reservable facilities/spaces available to student organizations and the approving official/department is available under the Building Reservation Guide on the Office of Student Affairs Registered Student Organization website. This list is compiled for reference purposes only.  Descriptive information regarding facility availability, use and applicability of charges to any facility/space is subject to change.  The list of reservable outdoor spaces can be found on the Facilities Management website.
    9. RSO Fundraisers: Fundraisers sponsored by RSOs must be approved by the Office of Student Activities (A665 Arkansas Union) no later than two weeks before the event is to take place. The fundraising form is available in the Office of Student Activities. The Office of Student Organization Accounts (213 Arkansas Union) keeps records of income generated by the activity. All funds must be deposited with the Office of Student Organization Accounts.
    10. Larger Internal Facilities – Reservations by Non-University Entities: The following additional requirements apply to any reservations of larger (seating capacity of 100 or more) internal facilities such as lecture halls by non-University entities, when such usage is otherwise allowed by the unit that administers the space and applicable University policies:
      1. At least five business days must be provided for the required security review by UAPD.
      2. The building executive for the space must provide the relevant vice chancellor a copy of the reservation request at least five business days prior to approval.
      3. The entity must have in place at the time of approval and maintain throughout the event a Commercial General Liability insurance policy with minimum limits of no less than $1 million per occurrence. A certificate of insurance listing the University and the University’s trustees, officers, directors, employees, agents and volunteers as additional insureds must be furnished by the entity reserving the facility prior to the event. The entity’s coverage shall be primary over any other coverage or liability.
      4. The entity must provide a security deposit if required by the building executive.  A security deposit may include any base amounts for cleaning fees and security costs, and some or all of any required usage fees.
      5. The entity must agree to be responsible for any accessibility needs of attendees.
      6. No event may be announced or publicized prior to approval of the event by authorized University officials.
      7. These requirements may be modified in some respects for certain facilities with the written approval of the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee.
  3. Additional Facility Use Policies
    1. Contact and Event Information. Event organizers, including for spontaneous and contemporaneous events, shall make available accurate contact and event information to University officials to enable communications regarding compliance with University policies, including as necessary regarding event security and crowd control arrangements.
    2. Organizer Presence Required: The organizer must be present throughout the event.  For a reserved event, the organizer must have a copy of the approved reservation form for the duration of the function and present the form to UAPD if requested. A reserved event may be terminated by UAPD for failure to have a copy of the approved reservation form on the premises.
    3. Impact on Regular Operations. Activities must not create unreasonable safety risks or materially disrupt vehicle traffic or pedestrian traffic, or scheduled University programs or events. Activities must not block free passage of walkways, building entrances, or other common areas or impede regular operations of the University, and must not disrupt the productive and efficient operation of the instructional and work environment.
    4. Prohibited Conduct. Expression that is obscene, defamatory, or consists of fighting words or threats of physical harm, incites imminent lawless action, or is otherwise not entitled to First Amendment protection is not permitted.  Prohibited conduct includes adult-oriented performances as defined by Ark. Code Ann. § 14-1-302(26).
    5. Non-Discrimination. Events must comply with applicable University policies and state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, consistent with First Amendment principles.
    6. Camping. Camping or attempting to camp, and events otherwise involving overnight attendance, are prohibited, with limited, pre-approved exceptions in designated areas in connection with entry to official University events.
    7. Alteration of University Property: Alteration or physical modification of property owned or leased by the University is not permitted. To prevent damage to the University infrastructure, tents and other similar temporary structures approved in advance as part of a single-day event plan must be anchored to the landscape by anchor weights (concrete blocks, barrels filled with water or sand, etc.). Tent stakes cannot be used anywhere on the campus landscape.
    8. Relationship to University: Consistent with Board of Trustees Policy 100.7, unless officially authorized to do so, no person engaging in expressive activity may represent or give the impression that the person or organization is speaking on behalf of the University, including through the use of the University name, marks, images, or logos. Communications regarding an event may factually state a university location for an event but shall not state or imply University sponsorship or endorsement of an event unless it is in fact conducted by the University.
    9. Decorations: Where decorations are being installed for an event, the organizer must have decorations approved and/or facilities inspected for safety (for example, for fire risk) by Facilities Management or the facility official.
    10. Property Damage: Any group or individual that causes damage to University property must pay any charges necessary to return the property to its original state; University employees, students or organizations may also be subject to disciplinary action.
    11. Organizer Arrangements; Financial Responsibility: The organizer shall be responsible for addressing issues such as special power requirements, access to restrooms, adequate waste receptacles, and inclement weather sites. Many campus buildings are closed after hours and on weekends/holidays; therefore, power and restrooms are not readily available. If waste receptacles are overflowing after an event, then the requester/sponsoring group will be charged the additional cleanup costs incurred by the department that operates the facility/outdoor space. The organizer shall be solely responsible for any and all costs arising from or relating to any event and by requesting to use University facilities agrees to pay all such charges.
    12. Signage:  Signage on Campus (including yard signs) is governed by Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 723.0.
    13. Publicity, Handouts and Printed Materials: All publicity, handouts, printed materials, and the like are governed by University policies and procedures. These procedures are outlined in the Student Handbook under "Publicity and Literature" and Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 723.0.
    14. Sidewalk and Hardscape Permits:  Any group that has been approved for space and will need vehicles on sidewalks or the hardscape for set-up or tear-down of their event will be required to fill out the appropriate forms and have a permit issued from the Director of Operations & Maintenance prior to their event.  Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 731.0 covers the appropriate procedures for obtaining permission to park on sidewalks and hardscape.  For more information, contact Facilities Management at 479-575-6441.
    15. Public Health: All campus events are to be held in accordance with any applicable University, Arkansas Department of Health, and other State of Arkansas laws, rules, executive orders, and guidance relating to public health, as well as any applicable guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  External event sponsors (other than official UA units) agree to hold the University harmless for any risk of harm or illness to participants that may result from an event.  The University reserves the right to cancel or alter approved events based on public health concerns; organizers bear any risk of loss or expense relating to such occurrence.
    16. Smoking Policy/Tobacco Use; Alcohol: Smoking and the use of tobacco products (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products), as well as the use of electronic cigarettes, by students, faculty, staff and visitors are prohibited on all University of Arkansas properties, Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 724.0. The purchase, service, possession, distribution, and consumption of alcoholic beverages is restricted on University property except as authorized under Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 700.5.
    17. Game Day Policy: Game day and tailgating activities are governed by Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 804.1.
      1. If an individual or group would like to reserve game day space for private or non-commercial purposes that is not in a location managed by University Athletics, a space reservation request must be submitted according to the procedures outlined in this policy at least 3 days prior to the event.
      2. Such space on campus during a home game weekend is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    18. Walks and Runs:  In addition to other aspects of this policy, walks and runs on campus are governed by the following procedures:
      1. All walks or runs are limited to Saturdays or Sundays only.
      2. Any organized walk or run is prohibited on reading days, final exam days, University commencement days, home football game weekends (including the spring scrimmage game), home basketball game days, and any time that the University is closed for an official holiday.
      3. Routes and street closures must be preapproved by UAPD and the organizer is responsible for obtaining the appropriate security assessment and paying all applicable fees (see provisions above for more information about security assessments).
      4. Any walk or run that involves roads that are off-campus must furnish their approval from the City of Fayetteville before their University reservation request can be approved.
      5. No non-University organization fundraising or sale of food or beverages is allowed to occur on campus in conjunction with such events.
  4. Sound Regulations on Campus and Respect for Others
    1. Noise Disturbances to be Avoided: University entities and non-University entities must respect others’ rights by not creating noise disturbances on the campus or around residences. Specific sound regulations apply to outdoor campus events that may potentially cause noise disturbances regardless of whether or not amplified sound is used (e.g., outdoor music performances).  Further, indoor events must not disrupt other activity within a facility.
    2. Maximum Decibel Levels for Outdoor Events: Absent a written waiver from the University, outdoor events held on campus must abide by the following sound regulations, which prohibit unreasonable sound disturbance.          
      1. A level of 70 decibels may be permitted in approved locations from 6:00 p.m. Sunday through 6:00 p.m. Friday.
      2. A level of 80 decibels may be permitted in approved locations from 6:00 p.m. Friday through 6:00 p.m. Sunday, provided that the use of sound systems during the weekend must be terminated by 1:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
    3. Additional Sound Restrictions: During the week (Sunday evening through Friday afternoon), sound systems may be used on campus and around University residences only between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. and only in preapproved locations.
    4. Noise Complaint Procedures: If a complaint is registered with UAPD, then decibel levels will be measured by UAPD from the location of the activity as well as at the source of the complaint to assure compliance with approved levels. An attempt will be made to work cooperatively with the event organizer in assuring approved sound levels. Subject to all other provisions of this policy, if cooperation by the organizer does not occur or if approved sound levels are not attained, as determined by UAPD, the event may be terminated.
    5. End of Semester Policy: Outdoor events that could create noise disturbances on campus will not be approved after the last day of classes through the end of finals each fall and spring semester.
    6. Notification to Others: Event organizers are responsible for notifying parties potentially affected by their event sound levels or activities. The University may approve lower sound levels in locations surrounding Fayetteville residential areas.
    7. Official Events: Any official athletic contest or spirit event sponsored or hosted by Athletics or any Razorback Band practice or performance, or official campus-wide events designated by the Office of Student Affairs, shall be exempt from the sound restrictions contained in this policy, provided that they do not interrupt the academic mission of the University.
  5. Addressing Non-Compliance:  Through education and outreach, the University will seek to work with members of the campus community and non-University entities to achieve voluntary compliance with this policy.  However, in the event of violations, including but not limited to unauthorized events, based on the nature and severity of the violation, groups or individuals may be subject to the following:
    1. Modification or cancellation of reservations and/or ineligibility to request reservations in the future.
    2. Employee or student discipline according to established University policies and handbooks.
    3. Removal from the location and issuance of a no-trespass warning.

Revised April 29, 2024
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Revised May 1, 2023
Revised June 23, 2021
Updated for COVID-19 response, January 26, 2021

Updated for COVID-19 response, July 27, 2020
Revised July 15, 2019
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Reformatted for Web May 27, 2014
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September 2008
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April 22, 1993