SUNY Policy Overview: Maintenance of Public Order, Use of Campus Facilities & Campus Procedures

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Category Name: Administration and Operations
Responsible Unit: Student Union and Activities
Responsible VP: VP for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Adoption Date: March 6, 2019
Last Revision Date:
Last Review Date:
Shared governance: none

Introduction

The College at Brockport recognizes that we are a microcosm of the broader world, in which there are many differing experiences, perspectives, and understandings. The College values diversity of identity and opinion, engaging students, faculty, staff and community members in social, cultural and political activities representative of many local, regional, national and global communities. We are committed to maintaining a safe academic environment for all community members, compliant with local and national mandates.  

SUNY Policies

The College at Brockport complies with the State University of New York Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order, which “outlines the rules for the maintenance of public order (including prohibited conduct), applicability and communication of the rules, and statements regarding freedom of speech, assembly, picketing and demonstrations on campuses” (8 NYCRR §535).

This document is intended to outline “procedures appropriate to [the] campus for provision of reasonable advance notice of the date and time of any planned assembly, picketing or demonstrations upon the grounds of the campus; the proposed location of the assembly or exercise; and the intended purpose” (NYCRR §535).

The College at Brockport may determine policy and procedures regarding non-commercial organizations’ use of campus facilities as outlined in the SUNY Use of Facilities by Non-Commercial Organizations policy, which states, in part:

“It is the policy of the State University of New York, in order to further its commitment to education, research and public service, to support the use of University-controlled facilities by non-commercial organizations where the purposes of such use are not provided by the University or the campus and are consistent with or in furtherance of University purposes and where such use does not infringe upon, delay or conflict with the normal operation of the University’s campuses.”

Commercial use is governed by the Commercial Use Policy.

Campus Procedures for Assembly and Demonstration

The College at Brockport has established procedures to ensure compliance with SUNY policies and the safety of the campus community.

Giving Reasonable Notice of Planned Assembly and Demonstration.
The purpose of these procedures is to preserve the First Amendment rights of the campus community and others, and maintain public order, consistent with SUNY’s Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order. These procedural expectations should not be construed to prevent or limit communication between and among faculty, students, and administration, nor to prevent or restrain controversy and dissent. The principle and practice of intellectual freedom is best extended to all when clear procedures are established regarding the time, place, and manner for the exercise of free speech activity that is likely to disrupt usual campus activities.

  1. Advance Arrangements. Individuals and groups interested in organizing an activity or event, including protests or demonstrations, must make advance arrangements with Student Union & Activities, located at 227 Seymour College Union. Advance notification enables the College to support the event taking place in a constructive and peaceable manner. Notification of the intention to hold a protest or demonstration shared at least 48 hours before the start of the event is necessary to ensure that the College has ample notice to determine safety and resource needs. Failure to comply with these notification requirements may result in an event or activity being shut down.  

    1. How to Provide Notification
      1. Forms are available through the Student Union & Activities (SUA), 227 Seymour College Union or the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Please email Student Union & Activities at reservations@brockport.edu to request a form or call (585) 395-5646.
      2. For the reservation of campus space (indoor and outdoor), please review The College at Brockport procedures for hosting events and forums on campus, which can be found at: https://www.brockport.edu/support/plan_events/.

        SUA will assist and provide coordination for reservations and additional event support, costs, and review, ensuring successful support and accountability for the College’s appropriate management of its space, consistent with SUNY policies.

        To manage events occurring off campus in the Village of Brockport, please visit: http://www.brockportny.org/departments-services/forms-and-applications.

    2. Notification Content.  With respect to the assembly, picketing, or demonstration, notice of the event should set forth:
      1. The date and time;
      2. The requested location (see Section II for information regarding campus considerations);
      3. The intended purpose;
      4. The anticipated duration (see Section IV for information regarding campus considerations); and
      5. The anticipated number of people participating.
    3. The College’s Role. With the appropriate advance notice, the College, specifically SUA or designee, will engage with event coordinators and/or demonstrators prior to and during the event, to:
      1. Support the safe execution of the event;
      2. Engage campus partners to ensure participants’ and community safety; and
      3. Assist organizers to ensure the demonstration does not disrupt the normal operations of the College.
  2. Locations and Building Occupancy. “Grounds of this institution,” as used in these procedures, includes the campus of the College at Brockport, and any other premises or property under the control of the College used in its teaching, research, administration, service, cultural, recreational, athletic or other programs and activities.

    1. Designated Public Locations: The College is committed to making use of public locations on campus for events/activities associated with freedom of expression and rights to peacefully assembly. The College has identified a primary designated public forum space, the Campus Mall, located adjacent to the Seymour College Union between Edwards Hall and Smith Hall. This area has been designated as a primary outdoor location due to high pedestrian traffic and visibility. Additional public locations will be considered if those sites do not significantly interfere with the College’s operations.

    2. Building Occupancy: When assembly and demonstrations occur in a building, to maintain a physically safe environment and ensure compliance with the fire code, the College will take into consideration the number of people participating, and whether occupancy limits are being followed. Walkways and entrances to and inside buildings must always remain open, as well as clearly designated pathways through the building, to allow safe access and egress. Ticketing is strongly encouraged and may be required for some events, as a crowd control and safety mechanism.

  3. Noise Levels. College officials may require event organizers to change the volume if the activity interrupts the operations of the College or violates the Village of Brockport noise ordinance. To minimize potential disruptions to the community, all sounds (such as music, amplified sound, or other loud noises) are required to be kept at a reasonable level. “Reasonable level” will be determined by a College Official, in consultation with the event sponsor, and other impacted parties. 

  4. Protest and Demonstration Duration. Protests and demonstrations will be permitted until or unless College officials determine that the College’s operations have been disrupted and/or the rights of others, as determined by the law, have been significantly infringed. Interference with educational pursuits are viewed as particularly disruptive to the operations of the College.

  5. Counter-Protest. A protest, demonstration, or event on campus may invite additional forms of protest, and the College acknowledges that the free expression of all parties is important. Please note that the Office of SUA may designate additional protest areas for persons with views that differ from the views held by an event’s organizers. In order to ensure the safety of all participants, the University Police Department will determine the need for barriers, officers, and other protective measures.

  6. Penalties. With emphasis on safety for all, any person or group who violates, or fails or refuses to meet or comply with Sections II - V of these procedures, may be subject to penalties or discipline as provided in College policy and the Rules and Regulations for the Maintenance of Public Order on Premises of State-operated Institutions of the State University of New York.

Links to Related Procedures and Information

State University of New York Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order
SUNY Use of Facilities by Non-Commercial Organizations policy
Commercial Use Policy
Forms are available through the Student Union & Activities or the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

Contact Information

Student Union & Activities, Seymour College Union, Room 227, (585) 395-5646

History (in descending order)

Item Date Explanation
Next Review Date 3/6/22 Three year review
Adoption Date 3/6/19 Policy Adopted
Draft Review Date Draft Policy under 30-day Campus Review

Approval

This policy is approved by:

President's Cabinet

March 6, 2019

Last Updated 11/21/19

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