Facility Use Policy

Policy Statement

Cameron University (University) strives to provide for the free exchange of ideas and opinions. To that end, Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and individuals currently enrolled in Cameron University classes (Students) may use defined University facilities for their activities in accordance with the policies adopted by the University Dean of Students, coordinated by the Conferencing Services Office and defined herein. The goals of the policies governing the use of University facilities by RSOs and Students shall be to facilitate the orderly conduct of the educational process and to facilitate the regular, efficient, and consistent use of University facilities.

Procedure

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: In support of the above policy statement, the following procedures and information are provided to establish a minimum standard for use of Cameron University (CU) facilities by Registered Student Organizations and Individual Cameron University Students.

Cameron University (University) strives to provide for the free exchange of ideas and opinions. To that end, Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and individuals currently enrolled in Cameron University classes (Students) may use defined University facilities for their activities in accordance with the policies adopted by the University Dean of Students, coordinated by the Conferencing Services Office and defined herein. The goals of the policies governing the use of University facilities by RSOs and Students shall be to facilitate the orderly conduct of the educational process and to facilitate the regular, efficient, and consistent use of University facilities.

The University is committed to protecting free speech rights of its Students, faculty and staff.  Assuming responsibility for the use of University facilities includes protecting the rights of speakers to be heard, the rights of the University community to hear speakers, and the reputation of the University as a center for free speech and scholarly inquiry.  However, such speech and advocacy may be exercised in the University facilities at such times and places and in such manner as to ensure orderly conduct, the least possible interference with University responsibilities as an educational institution, protection of the rights of individuals in the use of University facilities and reasonable protection of persons against practices that would make them involuntary audiences.

The University is a large campus with many public, private, and limited access/use locations, including public sidewalks, public lawns, specially landscaped lawns, traditional areas of free speech, administrative buildings, classroom facilities, athletic facilities, commercial facilities, leased facilities, music halls, theaters, and other facilities.  Not all locations are available for use by RSOs/Students at all times.

Nothing herein creates any contractual, constitutional or other legal rights on behalf of the Students, RSOs or others regarding the use of University property/facilities. No traditional public forum is intended to be created by any policy contained herein. The University reserves the right to amend, modify, or delete any of the policies contained herein at any time and in its sole discretion.

Definitions

1.1     Registered Student Organization (RSO)
Student clubs and organizations which are officially registered and recognized by the Office of Student Activities.           

1.2     Student
Individuals admitted to Cameron University and enrolled in the current term.

1.3     Event 
An event is any assembly, parade, street fair, street dance, carnival, assemblage, march, ceremony, show, demonstration, exhibition, pageant or procession of any kind, or any similar display, in or upon any building, street, park or other place at Cameron University.

Requesting Outdoor Locations

2.1     Public Areas for RSOs/Students
There are several areas located on the University campus that are open to Students and RSOs for free speech, protests, leafleting, etc. and require no reservation or notice (unless use also includes the placement of tables, booths, structures, large displays, vehicles, sound, audio or PA systems, or when assistance is needed from the University, in which case reservations as noted in Section 2.2 below are required).  Although not required, Conferencing Services requests that RSOs/individual Students notify the University of the use of such locations to ensure the space can accommodate such request, to ensure that no disturbance of the University’s educational mission occurs, to ensure it is not in conflict with other prior requests for the area, and so that the University can assist in reserving the requested location.   Notifications may be made by calling Conferencing Services: 580-581-2291 or by email addressed to: reservations@cameron.edu.

 The public areas for use by RSOs/Students include all sidewalks, and the following areas:

  • Grassy areas in between Burch Hall and Aggie Gym
  • Veterans Grove
  • Jesse Davenport Unity Garden
  • Charles S. Graybill MD Courtyard
  • Grassy areas between Nance Boyer Hall and the Academic Commons
  • Grassy areas between the Sciences Complex and McMahon Centennial Complex
  • Bentley Gardens
  • Monica and Tom McCasland Family Pond
  • Grassy areas west of McMahon Center
  • Grassy areas between Shepler Hall and the Aggie Rec Center
  • Cameron Park
  • Grassy Area north and west of main building (Cameron University-Duncan)

Reservations are required to use other areas of campus not specifically identified above. All of the above areas may be used on a first-come, first-served basis unless another RSO/Student has specifically reserved the space. RSOs/Students cannot reserve these locations through place holders except by providing the University with advance notice. Provided, however, where advance notice has been given and approved for items noted in Subsection 3.2 below, such use shall be given priority where feasible.

Under no circumstances shall an event, speech, protest, etc. in these areas interfere with the space already reserved for another event; disrupt University operations, including classes; impede ingress/egress of sidewalks, roadways, or any building; create a clear and present danger to the public; be unlawful in anyway; or disrupt another Student or individual’s right to expression. 

 

2.2     Three Day Notice Requirement for the Use of the Above Locations
Should an RSO/Student desire to utilize any structure, large display, vehicle, table, equipment, booth, sound or audio systems, or in instances where there is need of University assistance, Conferencing Services must be notified three (3) business days in advance of such use to ensure the space can accommodate such request, to ensure that no disturbance of the University’s educational mission occurs, and to ensure it is not in conflict with other prior requests for the area.  If the requesting person/group does not commence utilizing the space within 30 minutes of its requested time, the person/group will have forfeited its reservation. Conferencing Services will accept space requests less than three (3) business days in advance, if space is available, for events, gatherings, or other assemblies not requiring structures, large displays, vehicles, tables, equipment, booths, sound or audio systems, or do not require other significant set-up or coordination by the University. Accordingly, the University requests reservations needing accommodations from the University provide at least two weeks’ notice.

2.3       General Rules

2.3.1     When requests by RSOs/Students for the use of outdoor University facilities must be submitted as noted above, they are submitted to Conferencing Services for scheduling. To reserve those outdoor University facilities requiring a reservation, RSOs/Students must complete a “Request for Activity or Use of University Facility Form” available at http://www.cameron.edu/facility_reservations and submit it to Conferencing Services a minimum of three (3) working days in advance of the date requested.

2.3.2     Requesting RSOs/Students must be in good standing with the University and fully comply with policies governing use of University facilities. RSOs/Students failing to abide by this policy may have outdoor use privileges suspended.

Generally, RSOs and individual Students may request to reserve only one outdoor location on any day. The Director of Conferencing Services may grant exceptions provided justification for the extension is submitted along with the request.  Such decision shall be guided by the need for the outdoor areas by other RSOs, Students and others, the availability of other locations, the costs associated with providing other locations, and the actual need, as opposed to speculative need, identified by the RSO or Student (e.g. RSO or Student attempting to reserve space not necessary to further their use but merely to prevent others from utilizing the facility).

Requesting Classroom or Indoor Facilities by Registered Student Organizations

3.1      Because the mission of Cameron University is to teach and promote academic excellence, the educational purpose of the University must be maintained at all times. To avoid conflict with the teaching goals of the University, the following policies must be followed when using classrooms or indoor facilities;

3.1.1    Buildings on the academic campus are primarily for academic purposes (i.e. scheduled classes, departmental programs) and such use takes priority over any other type of use.

3.1.2    Programs sponsored by branches of the Cameron University Student Government Association (SGA), which include the SGA Executive Branch, Undergraduate Student Congress, and Program Activities Council (PAC), have first priority followed by programs sponsored by RSOs, and then individual Student use.

3.1.3    Classroom space and some indoor facilities are not available for use by RSOs and individual Students during the first three weeks of each academic semester in order to accommodate necessary academic class adjustments.

3.1.4    Classroom and indoor facility space with a capacity of 100 or more is at a premium at the University. The multi- functional uses of these spaces – classes, films, speakers, etc. – result in a high demand for reservations by University departments and RSOs. To ensure equitable accessibility, RSOs and individuals may reserve these classrooms one time only during any given week.

3.1.5    To avoid reservation conflicts between RSOs and official University programs, reservation requests by RSOs must be made two weeks in advance and will be considered tentative until 5 days before the date requested. It is the responsibility of the RSO to confirm the reservation, and reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis.

3.1.6    Conferences, statewide or regional meetings, or similar events will normally be scheduled in University facilities designed for that purpose. However, these events may be scheduled by RSOs in academic buildings if the Rules Governing Facility Use (Section 7 of this Policy) are met.

3.1.7     Unless authorized by Conferencing Services, RSOs and individual Students may not use classrooms or other indoor facilities after 10 p.m. for security reasons.

3.2     Requests by RSOs for the use of University classroom and indoor facilities must be submitted to Conferencing Services for scheduling. To reserve University classroom facilities, RSOs must complete a “Request for Activity or Use of University Facility Form” available at http://www.cameron.edu/facility_reservations. The form must be complete, and will be confirmed via email once all appropriate approvals are received. The requesting organization must be in good standing with the University and fully comply with policies governing use of University facilities. RSOs failing to abide by this policy may have classroom use privileges suspended. Conferencing Services processes these requests;

3.3     Scheduling of University facilities for RSO use will be made for only the current semester or session. Each request must be submitted and processed separately.

3.4     Facilities generally may be scheduled for a period of up to four (4) hours. The Director of Conferencing Services may grant exceptions provided justification for the extension is submitted along with the request, identifying why additional time is needed for the event. The Director of Conferencing Services, who may consult with the Dean of Students, Director of Student Development, or Director of Campus Life, , will determine whether extended time shall be given. Assuming there are no conflicts regarding the use of the requested facility, and assuming no actual disruption of the educational mission of the University or its daily operations is likely to occur because of the extension, most extensions will be granted. Requests for use of facilities for periods longer than four hours may require that the RSO provide additional security as defined in Section 5, and additional facility use fees or other criteria as determined by Conferencing Services in light of the needs of the event, the costs associated with the requested facility and the likelihood of actual disruption caused by the event.

3.5     The University does not charge a facility use fee for classroom or indoor facility use to RSOs or for University sponsored events where only the University community is invited.  However, a reasonable fee may be charged for costs associated with opening and maintaining the facility for the event as well as any clean-up charges associated with use of the facility.

3.6     Arrangements and payment for electricity, trash receptacles, and/or any equipment such as platforms, chairs, microphones, etc., must be made directly with Conferencing Services. RSOs using SGA funds must obtain a purchase order before charging anything to a SGA account.

Requesting Facilities on Athletic Event Days or Major Campus Event Days

4.1     The University hosts numerous athletic and other major campus events. These events attract large crowds. Use of facilities and outdoor property may be limited or restricted on the days of these events depending on the anticipated number of people in attendance, the location of the facility and the location of the athletic or other major campus event.

4.2     Conferencing Services coordinates all requests for events on athletic event days with the Athletic Department.

4.3     Facilities where athletic and other major campus events occur may not be available for use before, during, and after those events.

4.4     To ensure the safety of attendees and to ensure there is no impediment of ingress and egress to the facility, no picketing, leafleting, handbilling, peddling or other displays shall be permitted within 300-feet of the facility hosting the event on the day of such an event.  Provided, however, such activities by RSOs/Students are permitted on all remaining public areas and public sidewalks, as defined in Section 5.1 below. RSOs and Students must ensure these activities do not disturb the educational mission of the University or its daily operations and must not impede individuals’ abilities for ingress and egress.

Security

The University wants to provide a safe and secure environment for its community. During events, gatherings, and assemblies attracting large groups of people, there is an increased risk for affrays, altercations, vandals, predators, and other disturbances that can cause injury to attendees or other individuals and that can cause damage to University property or that of others.. During all such events, the following minimum standards will apply:

5.1     The Director of Public Safety, or his/her designee, shall have the final decision- making capability and will decide how many police officers will be present, if any, and how many security personnel will be present, if any, after being properly advised as to the facts surrounding the event and the likelihood of potential disruptions or security threats, based on the history of the event in other areas, room size, value of the property, number of entry and exit points, daytime/nighttime use, estimated crowd size, and the nature of the area hosting the event.

5.2     Conferencing Services, in conjunction with the Director of Public Safety, or his/her designee, shall review security requirements for all events scheduled outdoors or in classroom facilities. When the Director of Conferencing Services determines that additional security beyond that normally provided is necessary, the Director of Conferencing Services shall so inform the RSO/Student. The RSO/Student shall be responsible for the cost of additional security.

5.3     The RSO/Student shall be responsible for the cost of security for events where more than 200 people are expected to (or do) attend or if the event organizer requests security.  In such cases, the Director of Public Safety, in conjunction with Conferencing Services when appropriate, may conduct a security assessment detailing the appropriate level of security.  If security is deemed necessary or appropriate, the RSO/student shall be responsible for the costs of security.

Facility Deposit Charges and Damage Recovery

6.1     Classroom and Other Facilities
The University does not charge a facility use fee for classroom or indoor facility use to RSOs or for University sponsored events where only the University community is invited.  However, to ensure continued use of University facilities by RSOs and individual Students, it is important that the facility be left clean and as found prior to use. Therefore, RSOs and individual may be charged for costs associated with opening and maintaining the facility for the event as well as any clean-up charges associated with use of the facility.

If an RSO or individual sponsors an event where the public-at-large is invited, the University may charge a standard fee for facility use.  Fees are charged depending on the timing of the event, the nature of the event, the nature of the facility, the length of the event, costs associated with opening and maintaining the facility for the event as well as any clean-up charges associated with use of the facility.

6.2     Other Facilities
Facilities may have cancellation policies and damage policies specific to the facility. RSOs and individual Students are advised to be fully knowledgeable of those policies at the time of reservation.

6.3     Damages
RSOs/Students shall be responsible for any cost to clean or repair damage.  Damages will be deducted from the RSO’s SGA account or charged to the Student’s account. Payment will be required before any other University facilities may be used by the individual Student or the RSO or its individual officers.

Rules Governing Facility Use

7.1     Use of University facilities may not disturb or disrupt the continuity of the educational process and must be otherwise consistent with the educational mission of the University and should typically be scheduled between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., unless authorized by Conferencing Services.

7.2     Unless otherwise permitted (e.g. fundraising for Student organizations, University-related vendor/licensing arrangements), University facilities or properties may not be used for personal profit or gain. Advertising encouraging Students at the University to purchase reports and/or research material done by others requiring the reader to send money to obtain further information on the product is not acceptable.

7.3     Attendance must not exceed the capacity of the facility requested.

7.4     The physical characteristics of the facility requested must be appropriate for the activities planned.

7.5     No weapons are permitted on campus, including swords.

7.6     The facility request must comply with all requirements of this policy and other applicable regulations and policies.

7.7      Permission to host a concert or operate a sound truck or a public address system at any time on the University campus or adjacent streets must be secured from the Director of Campus Life in accordance with Section 4 above.

7.7.1     The use of loudspeakers near academic buildings and Student campus residences is prohibited from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, except as authorized by Director of Conferencing Services who may consult with the Dean of Students, Director of Student Development, or Director of Campus Life to make a determination.

7.7.2      No bands or loud music are allowed in classrooms at any time.

7.7.3      Noise levels must be kept to a minimum during any organization meeting, rehearsal, or performance taking place in academic facilities. RSOs are expected to remember that classes and other meetings may be taking place around them. If complaints are received, the RSO’s privileges to use academic facilities may be suspended.

7.8     Any RSO or individual RSO’s officers or individual Students misusing University facilities are subject to being charged under the provisions of the Code of Student Conduct. Complaints of misuse will be forwarded to the Office of Student Development. Misuse includes, but is not limited to, use of reservable University facilities without filling out the  online reservation form at http://ress.cameron.edu/ress/gridpage.asp, failing to notify Conferencing Services where required, failing to receive permission for such use, disrupting the educational process, or damaging the facility.

7.9     RSOs and RSO officers and advisers will be responsible for organization’s activities and conduct during an event, and the prompt payment of expenses incurred. The individual applying for or reserving the facilities must be present throughout the event. If the individual applying for or reserving the facilities is not present, the University will consider this “fronting” as defined herein and will order the event to cease.

7.10          Facilities should be left clean and as found prior to use, subject to inspection by University staff.

7.11     There may be times when the high legal risk of damage to persons or property exists, the RSO and its individual officers and individual Students reserving facilities may be asked to agree to indemnify, defend and hold the University, its officers, employees, agents, current and former Regents harmless from any and all claims arising out of the RSO’s or the individual Student’s use of University facilities, including but not limited to any claims of personal injury, strict liability, products liability, environmental claims or negligence.

 7.12     Decorations shall not include items that cannot be easily removed after an event without damage.

 7.13     Events where minors (under the age of 18) may be in attendance are required to have adult supervision at all times and must comply with the University’s Minors on Campus Policy. 

 7.14     The University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, manufacture, or distribution of alcohol and other drugs by Students and employees on university owned or controlled premises, as a part of any university sponsored activities, or in the work place. The consumption or distribution of alcoholic beverages is governed by the “Alcohol Policy for Facilities at Cameron University” and the “Alcohol and Drug Free Campus Policy.”    

7.15     Facility Use for Political Activity by RSOs - A policy of nonpartisanship and neutrality will govern the University at all times in its relationship with elected officials or persons campaigning for public office.

7.15.1  RSOs may use University facilities to express political messages or discuss political topics.  If the public at-large is invited to an RSO meeting concerning political messages or political topics, (as opposed to only the University community being invited), the RSO will not be charged the standard facility rate charged to the public for such use.  Such events are not considered “fronting” as defined herein. Standard fee schedules for RSOs as well as those fees charged to the general public may be requested of any venue.

7.15.2    Except as provided herein, RSOs may not use University facilities to promote, oppose, or fundraise for the campaign of a candidate for public office.

7.15.3    There may be no fundraising during the events described above.

Publicity

8.1     Advertising must not begin until reservation, if required, of the facility has been confirmed.

8.2     All advertising, promotional or informational materials using the University’s trademarks, logos and trade-names must be submitted to the Senior Director of Public Affairs before distribution.  All advertising, promotional or informational material designed for display on any surface is restricted to permanent bulletin boards inside or outside University buildings unless there is prior approval by the Director of Student Development.

8.3     Using chalk to write on concrete sidewalks is allowed. All chalking must be approved by the Director of Student Development prior to its use. The name and phone number of the responsible party should be submitted with the message. Chalking can be done 72 hours prior to an event and should be removed within 72 hours after the function.

8.4      All posters, flyers, and other printed materials to be placed on University bulletin boards or offered for free distribution must either appear in English, or the poster, flyer or other printed materials must be provided to Student Development, along with English translations signed and certified as accurate by a Student organization officer, prior to distribution.

8.5     All printed materials that announce an event or program, including invitations, news releases, fliers and newsletters, must include information to offer accommodations. An appropriate phrase to offer accommodations is: “Cameron University is an equal opportunity institution.  Accommodations on the basis of a disability are available by contacting the Office of Student Development at (580) 581-2209, N. Shepler – Rm. 314, or by email at student_development@cameron.edu.

8.6     RSOs and Students shall not imply, infer, or otherwise state that the views it expresses are those of the University.

To ensure the campus remains litter free, RSOs or Students engaged in excessive leafleting, pamphleting, posting flyers, etc. may be asked to clean up the materials handed out or posted after activity has concluded.  RSOs or Students failing to do so may be charged for cleanup costs or issued a citation for littering.

Solicitation

9.1     Solicitation shall be prohibited on campus except for solicitation by RSOs or branches of the SGA, which may occur in conjunction with regular Student activities and campus events with the approval of the Director of Student Development, or where in conjunction with vendor or licensing agreements with the University.

9.2     Fronting is strictly prohibited.

9.3     Fronting

9.3.1     “Fronting” is defined as permitting a non-University individual or organization to use University space/facilities and services under the guise that the activity is a University- sponsored program in order to avoid payment. Fronting is prohibited by University policy. Non-University individuals/organizations are required to request use of University space through Conferencing Services and pay for use of space and services in accordance with current policy and fee schedules. Any sponsoring University individual or organization that reserves space for the purpose of allowing non-University groups or vendors to advertise, hold meetings, and/or sell items without the express understanding and permission of Conferencing Services is participating in fronting for the organization.

9.3.2    Violation of this policy by an individual Student or RSO may result in Student misconduct charges.

Individual Student Use of Facilities

10.1     Individual Students requesting use of University facilities to demonstrate, inform, or protest should contact Conferencing Services for a current list of locations.  Some locations are open for demonstration without reservation as noted above; others may require advance notice or reservation depending upon the location or the use of the area as noted herein.

10.2     Individual Students are not permitted to use University facilities for political campaigning, solicitation or fundraising except as provided by for in this policy.

10.3     Individual Students requesting use of University facilities must comply with the regulations defined in this policy for RSOs.

Appeals Process

Should an application for use of a University facility be denied in any fashion, applicants may seek an appeal by written request to the Dean of Students or other executive officer responsible for the facility within 72 hours of the denial. A determination shall be made by that executive officer, or his/her designee, within 24 hours before the event. The decision of the executive officer, or his/her designee, shall be final and binding.

Student Handbook