CHANGE UNLV FREE SPEECH POLICY sign now

PETITION TO CHANGE UNLV FREE SPEECH POLICY
December 2004

Important Links
Click here for the current UNLV Facilities Use Policy.
Go To UNLV FREE SPEECH for information regarding Free Speech Meetings and other actions.


Purpose: To demand that the UNLV Committee on Facility Use remove the designated areas language from the Guidelines for Scheduling University Facilities and designate all outdoor areas on the UNLV campus as a limited public forum that will allow for constitutionally protected non-commercial speech and expression.

Background: The UNLV Facilities Use Policy, or the Guidelines for Scheduling University Facilities, was last updated in August of 2000. Designated areas for free speech were included in this update. Since the update, and likely before the update as well, campus administrators and public safety officials have been selectively enforcing this policy for the benefit of some and not others. There seems to be no indication as to how and when the policy will be enforced, causing people interested in speaking and acting publicly on campus confusion and unnecessary hardships. Many people have been forcefully removed from campus as a result of this policy and often times, public safety fails to file charges against the individuals. The most recent known occurrence of this happening was on October 4, 2004 with the detainment of Joe Sacco during a free speech demonstration at the Moyer Student Union Alumni Amphitheater. Once again, public safety failed to file charges justifying their detainment while they publicly violated Joe Saccos right to free speech. The following petition demands a change in policy so that we can end this harmful pattern immediately.

The text of the Guidelines for Scheduling University Facilities (a.k.a. the UNLV Facilities Use Policy) that needs to be changed can be found below as well as the proposed changes to this policy.

Key:
What we want included is in Bold
What we want removed is Underlined

SECTION I - GENERAL GUIDELINES

I. PURPOSE OF POLICIES

The purpose of these policies and regulations is to ensure the effective use and enjoyment of the facilities of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus, hereinafter referred to as the University, as an educational institution. In line with this policy, the University and its facilities are deemed to be a "non-public forum [limited public forum]" unless otherwise expressly stated herein, for purposes of expressive conduct under the First amendment to the United States Constitution. Policies are applicable to all users and potential users of University facilities.

II. GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR SCHEDULING

A. For the purpose of this document, University is defined as:
1. CSUN recognized student organizations for events related to their function and purpose.
2. University colleges, schools, departments, staff and administrators and University system executives for events/functions which are related to or are a part of their official responsibilities.
3. University facilities, the campus grounds, property and appurtenances thereto under the control of the University.

B. University properties shall be used only in accordance with federal, state and local laws and shall not be used for the purpose of organizing or carrying out any unlawful activity.

C. University facilities are provided primarily for the support of the educational functions of the University and the activities necessary for the support of these functions. University functions take precedence over any other activities in the use of University facilities.

D. All persons on University property are required to abide by University policies and regulations of the Board of Regents and shall identify themselves upon request to University officials or appropriate University employees acting in the performance of their duties. Violation of such policies or regulations may subject a person to possible legal penalties; if the person is a student, faculty or staff member of the University, that person may also be subject to University discipline.

E. Public expression in the form of freedom of speech and advocacy may be exercised in University facilities at such times and places and in such a manner as to assure 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.

F. In the spirit of open discussion and freedom of expression, the University will not discourage any group from using designated University facilities or services to render an opinion as long as the University determines the time, place, and mode of presentation of the views in question. The University will not attempt to control the viewpoint of the speaker.

G. The name, insignia, seal, logo or other University or departmental indicia may be used by University and non-university groups or organizations with prior approval of the appropriate University authority.

H. Failure to comply with these policies may result in cancellation of the event.


SECTION II -- OTHER RELATED POLICIES

B. POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES

Note: UNLV Student elections, which are governed by CSUN policy, are exempt from this policy.

Religious and political campus organizations shall have access to selected University facilities on the same basis as all other campus organizations - in keeping with the civil rights of all members of the campus community to express political or religious views. All political and religious organizations are to be assessed applicable costs for the use of the facilities.

A policy of nonpartisanship will govern the University at all times in its relationship with elected officials or persons campaigning for public office. The following guidelines will be followed:

a. Off-campus groups requesting rental of university properties (or those co-sponsored by on-campus organizations) for political or religious activities are required to include the following statement in all publicity: "This event (or publication) does not reflect an opinion or endorsement by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas."

b. UNLV campus mail and e-mail will not be used to distribute political materials in any form. This applies to both members and nonmembers of the University community.

c. Political campaign signs and handbills for public officials, or for ballot initiatives or questions, are subject to the campus Posting Policy. Such materials may be distributed by hand outdoors in the designated area only [in all outdoor areas of campus excluding reserved spaces during confirmed scheduled activities. Interference with entrances to buildings, classrooms, offices or study areas is strictly prohibited.]

d. The designated area consists of the three campus malls: The Academic Mall between Pida Plaza and the steps leading to the Performing Arts Center, the East/West Mall, the Classroom Building Mall from the Student Services Building to the Lied Library, and the sidewalks along the perimeter of the campus.

e. If political signs are placed on the campus in violation of the Posting Policy, UNLV Public Affairs should be notified immediately. The owner of such signs will be given a chance to remove them voluntarily. UNLV will remove such signs placed in violation of the Posting Policy.

f. UNLV will not sponsor or support political candidates.

g. Candidates for political office, regardless of their affiliation or non-affiliation with UNLV, and their campaign organizations may rent campus grounds and facilities for campaign events. They will be treated as non-University users and charged the full rental and related use fees applicable to the grounds or facilities they wish to use [see Facility Use Fees].

h. Candidates and campaign organizations who rent UNLV grounds and facilities, regardless of their affiliation or non-affiliation with UNLV, must provide to UNLV, for each event, Certificates of Insurance which provide general liability coverage of at least $1 million combined single limit per occurrence.

i. University users (students, faculty, or staff) who wish to present informational and educational events such as lectures or debates may be subject to the insurance requirement; they may be eligible for reduced or waived use fees.

j. Candidates and their campaign organizations may film, video tape, or shoot still photos on the UNLV campus for the creation of campaign advertising and/or literature, but they may not state or imply any endorsement by UNLV or by any individual representing UNLV. Candidates will be charged the full applicable fees for such filming, taping or shooting (see Guidelines for Commercial Filming).

F. USE OF OUTDOOR AREAS:

a. The Alumni Amphitheater is designated as a limited public forum area where all persons may exercise, to the extent permitted by law and these policies, the activities of expression, speech and assembly. Such activities shall be consistent with the maintenance of University facilities and the free flow of persons and traffic and shall not interfere with other scheduled activities. Interference with entrances to buildings, classrooms, offices or study areas is strictly prohibited. This designated area shall be reserved through the Moyer Student Union Administrative Office. [No reservation is needed in order to use this area.]

b. [The Moyer Student Union Administrative Office is responsible for reservations pertaining to this.]

c. Use of University facilities for overnight camping is strictly prohibited. Camping includes staying overnight in a vehicle.

d. Amplified sound may be used at outdoor events only with the prior written permission of the University. The privilege may be withdrawn if the amplified sound interferes with classes, scheduled events, normal business of the University or the general public. (For specific guidelines on amplified sound, please reference UNLV Outdoor Noise Policy).

e. Any use of outdoor areas on campus must be approved by Facilities Management and Planning. The university will not be responsible for incidents involving sprinklers or other landscaping equipment without prior notification.

J. SOLICITATION OF SIGNATURES

Solicitation of signatures for petitions or other statements of support for public issues is permitted free of charge in the area designated for signature gathering and leafletting activities, with notification to the University Public Affairs Office. Designated areas include the Academic Mall from the sidewalk immediately north of the Alumni Amphitheater to the foot of the steps at the Performing Arts Center plaza; the East-West Mall from the east sidewalk of the Academic Mall to the eastern edge of the McDermott Physical Education Building plaza; the Alumni Walk from the Lied Library to the south end of the walk where it empties into the Thomas and Mack Center parking lot. Not included are the Dickinson Plaza at the Lied Library and the interior courtyard (above the steps connecting the courtyard to the Alumni Walk) of the Classroom Building Complex . [all outdoor areas of campus excluding reserved spaces during confirmed scheduled activities. Interference with entrances to buildings, classrooms, offices or study areas is strictly prohibited.]

P. UNLV POSTING POLICY

Posting of signs, flyers, placards, or any similar printed material is prohibited on the UNLV Campus, except in the following locations:

a. SITES AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS OF THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC
i. Moyer Student Union Bulletin Boards (with the permission of the MSU Office and in accord with the MSU posting policy
ii. Lied Library bulletin boards (with the permission of the Library administration and in accord with the Library's posting policy).
iii. Thomas and Mack Center (with the permission of the TMC Director's Office and in accord with the TMC posting policy).
iv. Residence Halls (posters are to be left with the Campus Housing Office, which will post them).
v. Fliers of a political or non-profit nature may be passed out by hand in the Academic Mall, Classroom Building Complex Mall, and East/West Mall areas only. Written permission of the Public Affairs Office is required. [all outdoor areas of campus excluding reserved spaces during confirmed scheduled activities. Interference with entrances to buildings, classrooms, offices or study areas is strictly prohibited.]

b. SITES AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS OF THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY ONLY
i. Departmental bulletin boards located in office and classroom areas (with the permission of the appropriate department or administrative unit).

c. ABSOLUTELY NO POSTING ALLOWED IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
i. On trees or other plants or objects in the landscape, lamp posts, exterior or interior walls, sidewalks, benches, windows, or other surfaces not specifically designed for posting printed material.
ii. Automobiles in university parking lots.
iii. Freestanding signs on university property.
iv. Campus and non-campus organizations may hang banners at appropriate locations, in accordance with the applicable policies, including the Advertising and Marketing Policy. Locations include Moyer Student Union, with permission of the MSU Director or designee; interiors and exteriors of other campus buildings, with the permission of the Facilities Management Department.

R. FREE SPEECH POLICY

It is the policy of this University not to interfere with an individual's right to free speech as expressed in the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Nevada. However, it is also the policy of the university to provide a quiet, secure place for its faculty, staff, and students to study, conduct research, and perform their other activities without undue interference or disturbance. Therefore, the University will designate certain areas for these activities and will require any and all speakers addressing the general public to confine their activities to these areas. These areas include the Academic Mall from the sidewalk immediately north of the Alumni Amphitheater to the foot of the steps at the Performing Arts Center plaza; the East-West Mall from the east sidewalk of the Academic Mall to the eastern edge of the McDermott Physical Education Building plaza; the Alumni Walk from the Lied Library to the south end of the walk where it empties into the Thomas and Mack Center parking lot. Not included are the Dickinson Plaza at the Lied Library and the interior courtyard (above the steps connecting the courtyard to the Alumni Walk) of the Classroom Building Complex . [all outdoor areas of campus, excluding reserved spaces during confirmed scheduled activities, to be constitutionally protected non-commercial free speech areas. Interference with entrances to buildings, classrooms, offices or study areas is strictly prohibited.]

a. PROCEDURE
1. Any individual observed on the University grounds speaking to the general public in an improper area will be approached by a university employee and will be politely asked to move to one of the designated areas [an outdoor area in order] to continue their activities.

2. Designated areas [Any outdoor area] can be reserved by anyone through the proper university department. However, certain charges may apply if the University needs to provide support services such as electricity, water, cleanup, or if the University feels [both parties agree] that security or police need to be present for traffic or crowd control. These charges will be available and follow standard University policy.

3. Anyone in violation of this policy who refuses to comply will be asked to leave. If the person refuses to leave, they will be in violation of the Nevada Trespass statute and Public Safety Officers should be notified and requested. Reference to the Constitution of the State of Nevada (as amended to 1974).

PREAMBLE: We the people of the State of Nevada Grateful to Almighty God for our freedom in order to secure its blessings, insure domestic tranquility, and form a more perfect Government, do establish this CONSTITUTION.

ARTICLE 1. Sec: 1. All men are by nature free and equal and have certain inalienable rights among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

Sec: 9. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions and civil actions for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the Jury; and if it shall appear to the Jury that the matter charged as libelous is true and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted or exonerated.

Sec: 10. The people shall have the right freely to assemble together to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives and to petition the Legislature for redress of Grievances.

We, the undersigned, support the above changes to the UNLV Facilities Use Policy and demand that these changes be implemented immediately.

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Marla NguyenBy:
TelecommunicationsIn:
Petition target:
the UNLV Committee on Facility Use

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