POL 04.05.01 – Free Speech Event Policy

Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies School: University of North Carolina – Pembroke Statement Rating: Green Last updated: April 10, 2018

Relevant excerpt

4.1.a. The University supports outdoor assembly of persons for free speech activities, including vigils, protests, demonstrations, and similar activities. Therefore, the University is committed to making outdoor space available to university affiliated or unaffiliated groups or individuals for the purposes of free speech, assembly, and activities related to petition or redress.

4.1.b. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as limiting the right of student expression elsewhere in the outdoor, publicly available areas of campus. This includes the right to engage in spontaneous, unregistered expression, provided the expressive activity or related student conduct does not violate any other applicable university policies.

4.1.2 Outdoor speech events in which more than 50 people are expected to attend shall require a reservation to be made at least two business days prior to the start of the event utilizing the Free Speech Event Application. Where an outdoor speech event was not initially expected to have more than 50 people, but evolves to exceed 50 people, the responsible sponsor(s), as applicable, shall make reasonable efforts to inform Campus Police (910-521-6235) of the activity with as much lead time as possible under the circumstances.

The right to dissent is the complement of the right to speak, but these rights need not occupy the same forum at the same time. The speaker is entitled to communicate his/her message to the audience during her/his allotted time, and the audience is entitled to hear the message and see the speaker during that time. The dissenter must not substantially interfere with the speaker’s ability to communicate or the audience’s ability to hear and see the speaker. It is also unacceptable for such dissent to interfere with the free flow of traffic into or out of the event or to interfere substantially with the speaker’s communication.

When the speech is closed, the sponsoring organization will ordinarily be responsible for funding extraordinary security measures required by the university. The determination of such security measures will be made using content- and viewpoint-neutral criteria, such as the size and nature of the venue; the anticipated size of the audience; whether the event will be open to the general public or limited to the campus community; and related factors. At no point will the content or viewpoint of the speech be a consideration in the determination of security measures.

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