Free Speech, Demonstration and Protest Policy

Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies School: University of Southern Mississippi Statement Rating: Green Last updated: September 5, 2017

Relevant excerpt

The University has established high visibility areas on campus in order to facilitate robust debate and the free exchange of ideas.  These “free speech zones” may be used by any person, including non-students and other campus guests:

1.1 Hattiesburg Campus:
1.1.1 Weathersby Lawn
1.1.2 Union Plaza
1.1.3 Shoemaker Square
1.1.4 Kennard-Washington Lawn
1.1.5 Centennial Lawn

1.2 Gulf Park Campus:
1.2.1 Shoo Fly area south of the tennis courts

These may be used without permission from the University so long as the area has not been previously reserved or scheduled for a particular function, no sound amplification is used, no structure is erected, and the participants do not violate other University policies.

If a student organization desires to demonstrate in an area of campus outside of the “free speech zones” or if the student organization intends to advertise for an event or anticipates an event that may draw a large crowd or impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic or will involve a parade, march or other similar activity, the University requires the student organization to complete an event form through the Office of Student Activities in advance of the activity. The Office of Student Activities will work with the organization to meet the request or find a suitable time and location that balances the rights of the student organization with the rights of others and the University’s educational mission. The purpose of this policy is not to designate University streets and common areas as a public forum or to accommodate demonstrations or protests by those who are not part of the University community (non-students and other campus guests). Rather, the purpose of this policy is to promote and facilitate student expression while allowing the University to make any necessary arrangements (such as arranging parade route, providing security) to assure such activities do not interfere with the University’s mission and operations or with the rights of others

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