Use of University Facilities – LR 703.4

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Use of University Facilities
Policy Number: LR 703.4
Effective Date: October 15, 2019
Revised Dates: September 15, 2019
Most Recent Review Date: September 15, 2019 (Faculty Senate)

Reason for Policy:

This policy is required to comply with Act 184 of 2019, University of Arkansas Board of Trustees Policy 705.1, and University of Arkansas System Policy 715.1.

Policy Statement:

Statement of Principles

The University of Arkansas has an obligation to its students and the larger society of which it is a part to provide the fullest opportunity for a free exchange and critical evaluation of diverse viewpoints. This means freedom to teach, freedom to learn, freedom to discuss, and freedom to expose ideas to the critical analysis appropriate to the university setting. In order to accomplish its mission, the administration, faculty, and students have a continuing responsibility for preserving the properly directed use of the institution’s freedom to teach, discuss, and explore.

The university’s dedication to the spirit of free inquiry requires the examination and evaluation of controversial viewpoints but obviously does not require the endorsement of such viewpoints. Divergent points of view must be recognized but at the same time kept within a framework of orderly conduct in accordance with human dignity, respect for the individual, and the responsibilities of the University. The University is not available for exploitation, and special interests out of harmony with its educational objectives are not to be served.  This policy is consistent with Board of Trustees policy 705.1 and UA Systemwide policies and procedures 715.1 and is a related policy to Free Speech and Expressive Activities in Outdoor Areas of Campus.

Procedures for Use of University Facilities

A.  Faculty and Staff; Affiliated Organizations 

A member of the faculty may invite outside speakers to participate in a class, conference, or institute that is a part of the University educational program, subject to any campus policies governing such activities. Any college, department or other organization of the faculty or administration, any organization composed exclusively of University faculty and staff members, any scholarly organization whose membership includes University faculty, and any affiliated organization that exists solely for the benefit of the University may use University facilities to hold meetings, subject to applicable campus policies. Any use of University facilities for fundraising involving faculty or staff must benefit the University and is restricted to official University units and recognized supporting organizations.

B.  Student Organizations; Informal Student Use 

Any recognized student organization may use University facilities for meetings, performances, and other organized activities subject to campus policies governing such activities. A recognized student organization (“RSO”) may not be denied the use of a University facility for meeting or speaking purposes based solely upon the organization’s expression. In addition, RSO use of a facility for meeting or speaking purposes may not be denied based solely on an RSO’s requirements that members affirm and adhere to particular sincerely held beliefs or principles, that members comply with the RSO’s standards of conduct, or that members further the organization’s defined mission or purpose. Any restrictions must be reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions and must otherwise comply with Arkansas Code section 6-60-1005. Restrictions must advance a significant interest of the institution and must not restrict expressive activity more than is reasonably required to meet the institution’s interest.

If an off-campus speaker or performer is to be invited to campus by a recognized student organization, the faculty/staff advisor must give his or her approval prior to the time an invitation is extended and publicity is released. Approval or disapproval will not be based solely upon the content of the speaker or performer’s protected speech. In the event the group does not currently have an official advisor, the approval of a faculty member or administrator is required. Whether to invite a particular speaker or performer is generally up to the student organization, but event details such as date, time, location, and security arrangements are subject to review and approval by campus officials.

Publicity and communications concerning any meetings shall clearly identify the sponsoring organization and shall carefully avoid any stated or implied University sponsorship. In all open meetings at which an off-campus speaker will speak, a faculty member or administrator shall be present, and there will be an opportunity for questions.

An invitation to a speaker does not necessarily imply approval or disapproval of the speaker or his or her views by either the University or the student organization.

In case a request for the use of a University facility by a recognized student organization cannot be granted, it is the responsibility of the University officer to whom the request was made to notify promptly in writing the organization making the request and state the reasons for the denial.

Speakers may be invited to the campus to discuss political issues, but they may not engage in political fundraising.

Registered student organizations may solicit membership and dues at meetings, and philanthropic events may be conducted by registered student organizations on their own behalf in compliance with campus policies. This policy shall be interpreted consistent with the University’s educational mission of encouraging students to engage in expressive activity as part of their preparation for lifelong responsible citizenship.

C.  Non-University Entities 

The facilities of the University exists for the primary purpose of supporting and furthering a program of higher learning. The use of facilities of the University should be extended to non-university entities only when that use will serve an educational objective of the University and mission of the campus, division or unit, and such use will not interfere with the educational activities of the University.

A request for the use of University facilities by a non-University entity should be directed to an individual designated by the Chancellor or chief executive officer, unless otherwise provided for by the campus, division or unit under its policies. The evaluation of the appropriateness of a particular use of facilities by a non-University group or organization may include the following criteria:

  1. Relevance and contribution to the needs of the educational program of the University and mission of the campus, division, or unit, distinct from the entity’s viewpoint.
  2. Availability of suitable space not needed for the educational activities of the University.
  3. Potential for disruption to the University’s educational program, considering the proposed time, location, and attendance at the event.
  4. Security considerations and responsibility for any costs or damage associated with the proposed use.
  5. Wear and tear, cleaning costs, and similar facilities maintenance considerations.
  6. Compliance with campus, division, or unit procedures for requesting access to facilities and other applicable campus policies and governing law.
  7. Evidence that the non-University group has procured insurance required by the University, if applicable.

University facilities shall not be used by non-University groups or organizations to raise money for campaigns or for projects that do not further the University’s educational objectives or the mission of the campus, division or unit, as determined by the institution.

D.  Outdoor Campus Areas 

Outdoor campus areas are generally open for use by students, administrators, faculty, staff, and their invited guests for the purpose of engaging in protected expressive activities. Campuses may impose reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of outdoor expressive activity. Any such restrictions must be reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions and must otherwise comply with Arkansas Code section 6-60-1005. Restrictions must advance a significant interest of the institution and must not restrict expressive activity more than is reasonably required to meet the institution’s interest. Any such restrictions must be reflected in a campus, unit, or division policy that is publicized through student handbooks, websites, student orientation, and other forms of media deemed appropriate by the campus, unit, or division.  For additional information, please see related Policy on Free Speech and Expressive Activities in Outdoor Areas of Campus.

E.  Business Activities and Solicitation

University facilities exist to carry out the University’s educational objectives. 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 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. To the extent that a campus, division or unit allows any business solicitation, that campus, division or unit shall establish appropriate policies or procedures, which shall include the designation of the campus official authorized to handle any requests. Further, such policies or procedures must first be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel.

UA Little Rock is authorized to establish policies governing student entrepreneurial activity connected to the University’s educational program.

Source:  UA System Office
Status:  Under Review
Approved By:  Christina Drale, Chancellor
Originator:  Vice Chancellor of University Affairs
Custodian:  Vice Chancellor of University Affairs and Office of the Dean of Students