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Student Policy and Procedure

24.014:  Freedom of Expression

Status: Approved on August 17, 2017, for interim use in accordance with Policy 01.001 Signatures and dates
on archival copy
Effective: when approved  
Initiated by: John Biancamano
General Counsel
 
Endorsed by: David Descutner
Interim Vice President and Provost
 
Approved by: M. Duane Nellis
President
 
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Numeric Index Policy and Procedure Alphabetical Index
  1. Purpose

    1. The purpose of this policy is to promote the free exchange of ideas while ensuring the safe and efficient operation of university facilities and outdoor spaces.
  2. Freedom of expression in outdoor spaces

    1. University employees and students and groups or individuals not affiliated with the university may reserve and use available outdoor spaces for any legal purpose, including to engage in constitutionally protected speech, subject to compliance with the rules set forth in policy number 24.016. The university reserves the right to limit use of some outdoor spaces to university employees and registered students. Users must not materially disrupt educational and research activities and other university operations or interfere with the activities of other users of the space or adjacent areas.
    2. The unscheduled use of outdoor spaces for the purpose of engaging in constitutionally protected speech shall be permitted provided the space has not already been reserved by another user and that the unscheduled use does not result in disruption as defined below.
    3. The rights of individuals authorized to attend an event in an outdoor space to engage in constitutionally protected speech shall not be limited, provided they do so in a manner that does not materially disrupt the event or prevent others from expressing their views. Attendance at an event is authorized if the event is open to the public or, in the case of limited admission events, the individual has a ticket or invitation or satisfies other appropriate admission criteria.
    4. The university may provide a segregated space for protesters attending an event if, in the reasonable judgment of the university, that is necessary to preserve order and ensure the physical safety of all participants in the event.
  3. Freedom of expression in university buildings

    1. University employees and students and groups or individuals not affiliated with the university may reserve and use available facilities, such as classrooms and other identified meeting spaces for any legal purpose, including to engage in constitutionally protected speech, subject to applicable building rules and scheduling requirements. The university reserves the right to limit use of some facilities to university employees and registered students. Users must not materially disrupt educational and research activities and other university operations or interfere with the activities of other users of the facility.
    2. The rights of individuals authorized to attend an event in a university building to engage in constitutionally protected speech shall not be limited, provided they do so in a manner that does not materially disrupt the event or prevent others from expressing their views. Attendance at an event is authorized if the event is open to the public or, in the case of limited admission events, the individual has a ticket or invitation or satisfies other appropriate admission criteria.
    3. The rights of individuals authorized to be present in university buildings to engage in discussions and other forms of constitutionally protected speech shall not be limited so long as these activities do not disrupt university operations as defined in part four, below.
    4. Demonstrations, rallies, public speech-making, picketing, sit-ins, marches, protests, and similar assemblies are not permitted in the interior spaces of university buildings. This provision shall not limit the right of groups or individuals to reserve available facilities in accordance with part C (1), above.
    5. This policy shall not limit the university’s use of interior spaces in its own buildings for official events and other functions.
  4. Disruption of university operations and activities

    Users of university facilities and outdoor spaces must not engage in conduct that materially disrupts university operations and activities. For example, such disruption may occur where conduct:

    1. substantially interferes with the ability of university employees to perform their university responsibilities;

    2. substantially interferes with the ability of students to participate in academic, research or extracurricular activities or to use university facilities;

    3. substantially interferes with an authorized event or activity conducted in university facilities or outdoor spaces;

    4. materially impedes the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic;

    5. presents a reasonable risk of physical harm to individuals or damage to university property.



Administrative Policy Manual

Jill Bateman revised this page
(https://www.ohio.edu/policy/24-014.html)
on September 5, 2017.
policy@ohio.edu

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