Policy Library: Facilities and Grounds Use, Activities

Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies School: Iowa State University Statement Rating: Green Last updated: March 27, 2017

Relevant excerpt

Outdoor Areas

Non-Commercial Expressive Activities (Free Speech)

ISU embraces the sharing of knowledge and ideas through public discourse and free speech. As part of this community devoted to learning, ISU students, faculty, staff, and visitors are encouraged to engage in respectful dialogue.

Any member of the university community or the public may use unrestricted outdoor areas for non-commercial expressive activities on a first come, first served basis without giving prior notice if—

  • 50 or fewer people are anticipated to assemble at one time (otherwise the use is subject to restriction as a Public Event (see Public Events in Outdoor Areas, below);
  • The event will occur only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; for events held on weekdays before 5:00 p.m., the event will be held at least one hundred feet away from buildings that normally hold classes;
  • The activity will not impede walkways or access to buildings or other university facilities;
  • No other individual or group has been scheduled or authorized to use the area, or has filed a notice of intent to use that area or an adjacent area;
  • The organizers will not use amplification equipment or equipment requiring use of electrical power connections (hand-held megaphones are permitted if used so as to direct the sound away from nearby buildings that normally hold classes);
  • Signs or banners will be carried/attended at all times by one or two participants (unattended displays may not be used without permission); and
  • The sponsor of the event takes responsibility for compliance with this policy.

The university highlights two outdoor areas (known as “agora/agorae”) that are especially conducive to non-commercial expressive activities because they are located centrally and in high-traffic areas. These areas (agorae) are located–

  • West and south of the Hub
  • Immediately south of the Campanile in the grassy area

In unrestricted outdoor areas on campus, including the two agorae—

  • Signs or placards, each of which is carried by one or two persons, are permitted.
  • Freestanding displays are permitted as long as the display occupies a space of less than 200 cubic feet and has a footprint of not more than 100 square feet, weighs less than 300 pounds and is accompanied at all times by an individual responsible for the display.
  • Leafleting (handing out fliers) may be conducted if done in a way to avoid substantial littering of the campus.

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