Statement of Principles
The University recognizes, endorses, and abides by the principles of free speech that flow from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Protected speech cannot be completely suppressed solely because of the audiences’ approval or disapproval of its content. Yet, there is no absolute right to assemble or to make or hear a speech, at any time or place regardless of the circumstances, content of speech, purpose of assembly, or probable consequences of such meeting or speech. In addition, the First Amendment will not protect expression where reasonable content-neutral University rules and regulations have not been followed.
Rights Reserved to the University
The University reserves the right to deny permission to University organizations or units and/or community groups that may wish to sponsor lecturers, entertainers, groups, or exhibitions that may be in conflict with the University’s policies or local ordinances. The University’s Division of Student Affairs shall be responsible for administering policies and procedures to regulate campus activities and to control the use of University facilities in order to, amongst other legitimate purposes, maintain order on campus, avoid disruption of the educational mission, promote an educational atmosphere, and promote safety and security. Such policy shall be issued by the Vice President for Student Affairs and approved by the President.
All events and activities that may be sponsored on the University campus must be pre-registered with the Office of Student Leadership and Activities; and the Administration will determine if the activity or event is appropriate and in the best interests of the University. The sponsoring organization, unit, or community group is responsible to provide adequate provision for the health, safety and welfare of the general public. If the sponsoring agency fails to insure the proper behavior and conduct of its audiences, the sponsoring agency may be subject to penalty or discipline where applicable, if damages or mishap occur during the course of its sponsored activity. The University must insist on proper conduct and proper use of its facilities in accordance with University policy.
Uniform Regulation of Campus Activity and Facility Use
The University regulates and controls the use of its facilities in order to, amongst other legitimate purposes, maintain order on campus, avoid disruption of the educational mission, promote an educational atmosphere, and promote safety and security. Consistent with these purposes and the requirements of the First Amendment, campus activity and facility use are subject to the following requirements and limitations:
For purposes of this subpart, “advocacy” means preparing the group addressed for imminent action and steeling it to such action, as opposed to the abstract espousal of the moral propriety of a course of action by resort to force; and there must be not only advocacy to action but also a reasonable apprehension of imminent danger to the essential functions and purpose of the University.
Prohibition of Certain Conduct by Campus Speakers
A speaker must not urge the audience to take action which is prohibited by the rules of the University or which is illegal under federal or Michigan law. Advocating or urging the modification of the government of the United States or of the State of Michigan by violence or sabotage is specifically prohibited. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring student organization to inform speakers of these prohibitions.
Sponsorship of Campus Speakers
Sponsorship of a campus speaker must be by a student organization which has been recognized under the general regulations approved by the appropriate University authorities.
Responsibilities of the Sponsoring Organization
For purposes of preserving a record of all such public meetings and of coordinating them with the business of other activities taking place on University property, the sponsoring organization must (a) make all arrangements for reservation of space with the appropriate University officials, and (b) complete a form to be furnished by the appropriate University office indicating, among other things, the subject to be discussed, the names of all speakers and the time and place of the meeting, and the form is to be certified by the signature of a faculty advisor. All rules for administration of requests from recognized student organizations must conform to the requirements of this subpart. It shall be the responsibility of the institutional officer under whom the program is administered to certify that all appropriate steps have been taken before the event is officially scheduled.
Violation of this Policy
Any student organization violating this policy is subject only to the procedures and penalties applicable to students and student organizations that violate other University rules.