Facilities and Grounds Use, Activities
Effective: Moved to Policy Library from 2.1(1), UPM 2.1(2), UPM 2.5(14)
Updated/Revised: August 9, 2016
Contact: Facilities Planning and Management
Commercial vs Non-Commercial Uses
Priority of University-Related Activities
Not for Personal Gain
-Non-Commercial Expressive Activities (Free Speech)
-Public Events in Outdoor Areas
-Notice of or Request for Outdoor Public Event
-General Policy Regarding Use of Indoor Areas
-Uses of Indoor Areas that Require Scheduling
-Uses of Indoor Areas that Require Approval
General Rules for Use of Facilities and Grounds
Display of Non-Instructional Materials
-Displays Within Buildings
Access to Facilities and Grounds and Access Restrictions
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS/Drones)
This policy provides for access to Iowa State University facilities and grounds, while preserving the primacy of the university’s teaching and research mission.
This university policy is in accordance with:
- Iowa Code 721.2.5 prohibiting the use of university property for personal gain.
- Iowa Administrative Code Sections 681, sections13.10 through 13.14 regarding uses of facilities and grounds. The Iowa Administrative Code prevails in any conflict with this university policy.
This policy applies to indoor and outdoor expressive activities that are open to the university community and general public, as well as “Public Events” as defined in this policy. top
“Public Events” are defined as outdoor events where more than 50 persons are participating or at which the sponsor reasonably expects more than 50 persons to be assembled, or indoor events where more than 15 persons are participating or at which the sponsor reasonably expects more than 15 persons to be assembled. Special rules apply to Public Events, as indicated in this policy and accompanying guidelines. Conduct at Public Events is also addressed in 681 IAC 13.16. See Resources below.
This policy also provides information applicable to private events to which the general public is not invited, such as weddings, reunions, and corporate events. See Resources for the Memorial Union Event Management Office for more information and resources for scheduling private events.
Except as specifically indicated, this policy is applicable to non-commercial uses. Commercial uses are subject to the Iowa Administrative Code sections on Commercial and Charitable Uses (681 IAC 13.15). top
University facilities and grounds are primarily dedicated to its missions of teaching, research and service. While facilities and grounds are generally open to non-commercial use by the public, students, student organizations and staff, use for other than university-related purposes must not substantially interfere with university activities and must be in conformity with the requirements indicated in this policy and in the Iowa Administrative Code. University-related activities, including the activities of recognized campus and student organizations, will be given priority.
No university or non-university persons may use university property or physical facilities for personal gain. Persons or groups engaged in activities for which an admission is charged or collections of money are made in any form may not reserve or use university facilities or grounds for such activities unless the personnel and the activities are clearly associated with or a part of a university department or with a recognized student organization with event authorization approval. (Iowa Code 721.2.5) top
Non-Commercial Expressive Activities (Free Speech)
ISU embraces the sharing of knowledge and ideas through public discourse and free speech. As part of this community devoted to learning, ISU students, faculty, staff, and visitors are encouraged to engage in respectful dialogue.
Any member of the university community or the public may use unrestricted outdoor areas for non-commercial expressive activities on a first come, first served basis without giving prior notice if—
- 50 or fewer people are anticipated to assemble at one time (otherwise the use is subject to restriction as a Public Event (see Public Events in Outdoor Areas, below);
- The event will occur only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; for events held on weekdays before 5:00 p.m., the event will be held at least one hundred feet away from buildings that normally hold classes;
- The activity will not impede walkways or access to buildings or other university facilities;
- No other individual or group has been scheduled or authorized to use the area, or has filed a notice of intent to use that area or an adjacent area;
- The organizers will not use amplification equipment or equipment requiring use of electrical power connections (hand-held megaphones are permitted if used so as to direct the sound away from nearby buildings that normally hold classes);
- Signs or banners will be carried/attended at all times by one or two participants (unattended displays may not be used without permission); and
- The sponsor of the event takes responsibility for compliance with this policy.
The university highlights two outdoor areas (known as “agora/agorae”) that are especially conducive to non-commercial expressive activities because they are located centrally and in high-traffic areas. These areas (agorae) are located--
- West and south of the Hub
- Immediately south of the Campanile in the grassy area
In unrestricted outdoor areas on campus, including the two agorae—
- Signs or placards, each of which is carried by one or two persons, are permitted.
- Freestanding displays are permitted as long as the display occupies a space of less than 200 cubic feet and has a footprint of not more than 100 square feet, weighs less than 300 pounds and is accompanied at all times by an individual responsible for the display.
- Leafleting (handing out fliers) may be conducted if done in a way to avoid substantial littering of the campus. top
Public Events in Outdoor Areas
The use of an outdoor area can be restricted if more than 50 people are anticipated to participate or to assemble at one time (constituting by definition a “Public Event”) and if one or more of the following are true:
- People will assemble within 100 feet of in-session classes;
- The use impedes walkways or access to buildings or other university facilities;
- An event held between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am;
- Conflict with a scheduled use;
- Amplification or electrical powered equipment (other than hand-held megaphone);
- Use of electrical power (e.g., for lighting, light shows) or staking of temporary structures deeper than 6 inches;
- Displays or signs and banners requiring more than two persons to carry;
- Serving food;
- Bringing in animals;
- Weddings, reunions, etc.; or
- The use otherwise violates university policy and rules.
If none of the above bulleted conditions apply, the only requirement is that the organizer provide notice prior to holding the Public Event. If one or more of the above bulleted conditions apply, the organizer must request approval prior to the Public Event. See the following section regarding Notice of or Request for Outdoor Public Event.
Preferred locations for outdoor Public Events covered under this policy are the areas south or north of the Campanile, west of Curtiss Hall, south of MacKay Hall, south of the Hub, south of the Parks Library, and west of Marston Hall provided the events do not conflict with university classes or scheduled activities and provided the events conform to appropriate uses for the area. top
Notice of or Request for Outdoor Public Event
The Guidelines for Non-Commercial Use of Outdoor Areas (see Resources below) indicate the circumstances that determine whether notice or approval are required, and provide detailed instructions for providing notice of or requesting approval of an outdoor Public Event. In summary--
- Notice of a Public Event must be provided to the Memorial Union Event Management Office (during non-business hours notify the Department of Public Safety) at least 3 hours prior to the event.
- Approval of an outdoor Public Event must be sought in accordance with—
- Student Activities Center Event Authorization process when recognized student organizations make the request, or
- Memorial Union Event Management Office when university departments or non-university entities request a general university outdoor space, or
- Other “Approving Units and Offices” as identified in the Guidelines for Non-Commercial Use of Outdoor Areas when requesting specific outdoor spaces
Approval of events will be based upon—
- Whether the event is appropriate for the location;
- Compliance/intent to comply with the General Rules for Use of Facilities and Grounds section of this policy (below); and
- Compliance with the Guidelines for Non-Commercial Use of Outdoor Areas.
Reasonable time, place and manner restrictions may be required. Unless the event will violate the law, events will not be disapproved based upon the content of proposed speaking or expressive activity. Persons denied authorization may appeal to the senior vice president for University Services. top
General Policy Regarding Use of Indoor Areas
Any use of indoor areas must not conflict with university programs and events and must be compatible with the purpose of the facility or the particular area to be used.
- Members of the general public and campus community are free to enter university facilities (other than restricted areas) during business hours as necessary to transact business, seek information about the university or deliver petitions or correspondence.
- Organizations and groups desiring to use university buildings and facilities for meetings, events, and conferences should contact the relevant office(s) as listed the Guidelines for Non-Commercial Use of Indoor Areas (see Resources below) to determine availability and fees for use.
- Organizations (other than recognized campus and student organizations) using classrooms, auditoria, and meeting rooms will be charged the customary rental of those facilities. All users will be responsible for costs incurred for set-up, equipment use, clean up and use of services and materials of the university.
- To avoid disruption, the following kinds of indoor areas are not available for non-university related assembly or solicitation: hallways, stairways, waiting rooms, residence halls and apartments, dining facilities, work rooms, common areas provided around service windows, the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center and the Thielen Student Health Center. Atria and open areas in buildings are generally available for use except when they are used as waiting areas or common areas around service windows. top
Uses of Indoor Areas that Require Scheduling
To avoid conflicts with university activities and permitted use by others, organized use of indoor areas by groups of fifteen or fewer persons, that will substantially exclude others from using the same or adjacent areas (other than transitory passage through public areas and hallways), require scheduling through one of the “Approving Units and Offices” listed in the Guidelines for Non-Commercial Use of Indoor Areas.
Uses of Indoor Areas that Require Approval
Organized or concerted assembly or solicitation at indoor areas by groups involving more than fifteen persons for non-university-related purposes must be approved as follows:
- Student Activities Center Event Authorization process when recognized student organizations make the request, or
- Facilities Planning and Management Room Scheduling when requesting general university classroom spaces
- Other “Approving Units and Offices” as identified in the Guidelines for Non-Commercial Use of Indoor Areas when requesting non-classroom spaces
It is preferred that the online request be made at least ten business days in advance, and no less than four business days in advance, of the activity. The approving unit will make every effort to provide approval or non-approval (with a statement of the reasons for non-approval) in a timely manner. The sponsors of the event may request a waiver of the four-day requirement. A waiver may be granted if the approving unit determines that there are good reasons for an exception.
Approval of indoor events—
- Will be based upon whether the event meets the General Rules on Use of Facilities and Grounds (see section below) and whether the event is appropriate for the facility.
- May be conditioned upon sponsors making reasonable assurances that the event will comply with the General Rules on Use of Facilities and Grounds. In addition, reasonable time, place and manner restrictions may be required.
- Will not be disapproved based upon the content of proposed speaking or expressive activity unless the event will violate the law.
Persons denied authorization may appeal to the senior vice president for University Services. top
The following rules are consistent with the Chapter 13 of the Iowa Administrative Code, sections 13.10 through 13.14. All users of university facilities and grounds must comply with these rules, university policies, and state and federal laws.
- Organizations (other than recognized campus and student organizations) using facilities will be charged the customary rental of those facilities. All users will be responsible for costs incurred for setup, equipment use, cleanup and use of services and materials of the university.
- As part of the university's comprehensive effort to conserve energy and save money, activities will generally be scheduled into buildings normally open and operational in the evenings. More information may be obtained through Facilities Planning and Management Room Scheduling and in the policy on the after-hours use of facilities (see Resources below).
- University facilities and grounds may not be used in a manner that substantially disrupts university events or the lawful use by other persons; substantially interferes with the free flow of vehicle or pedestrian traffic; results in injury or creates the threat of injury to persons; involves commission of a crime or illegal behavior; damages or defaces university property or creates the threat of damage to property; or results in significant littering, pollution or other nuisance.
- No person may conduct him- or herself in a manner so as to engage in harassment or stalking as defined by Iowa Criminal law, or engage in sexual or racial harassment in violation of university policy.
- No person may engage in public urination, defecation or other actions that create a sanitary hazard.
- Persons entering specialized facilities, such as libraries, recreation facilities, clinics, research laboratories and other research facilities, and areas not open to the general public must comply with policies established by such facilities. Questions about applicable policies should be directed to the manager or supervisor of the facility.
- Weapons are not permitted on the campus except for purposes of law enforcement and as specially authorized for purposes of instruction, research or service. A weapon is any instrument or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury upon a human being or animal, and which is capable of inflicting death or injury when used in the manner for which it was designed. Weapons include any pistol, revolver, shotgun, machine gun, rifle or other firearm, BB or pellet gun, Taser or stun gun, bomb, grenade, mine or other explosive or incendiary device, ammunition, archery equipment, dagger, stiletto, switchblade knife, or knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length. Residents of university housing may possess knives have a blade exceeding five inches for cooking purposes.
- Consumption of alcohol is not permitted in outdoor areas of the campus. An exception is made for consuming alcoholic beverages served at approved events for which a valid liquor permit has been issued as provided by state law, and for private events or designated areas at events. Unauthorized alcoholic beverages are subject to confiscation.
- Vehicles are not permitted off of roadways or parking areas without permission from Facilities Planning and Management Campus Services.
- For reasons of safety, sanitation, and preservation of campus property, camping is not permitted except for special events approved by the senior vice president for University Services or senior vice president for Student Affairs. top
Displays Within Buildings
Posters, advertisements, or other visual display materials may be affixed only on permanent building bulletin boards. Such display materials may not have a surface area of greater than 300 square inches.
Iowa State University students and organization as well as the general public may use "General" bulletin boards without approval for posting information related to their activities.
Bulletin board notices must include the date they are posted or the date of the event and may be posted no more than one month in advance of the event. Undated and early notices will be removed. Properly posted notices will be removed after thirty days or in the case of advertisements for an event, after the date of the event.
"Restricted" bulletin boards are limited to the use of designated departments or organizations. The official representative of the respective department or organization must approve use of these bulletin boards. top
Residence Department buildings: Signs, banners, and other display materials may be affixed to buildings only with the authorization of the Coordinator of Residence Life in each residence complex.
Academic, administrative and service buildings: Signs, banners and other display materials are not to be affixed to buildings. Exceptions may be made in cases where the display materials have temporary celebratory or informational messages. Prior approval of intent, location, design, and installation timetable must be obtained from the Director of University Marketing and the University Architect. See Resources below for Banner Authorization Request Form.
Exterior, not affixed to buildings: Signs, banners and other display materials are not to be affixed to sidewalks, trees, fences, shrubs, light poles or other fixtures of the landscape. Freestanding displays are not to be placed in any area other than those areas authorized through the event authorization process coordinated by the Student Activities Center (for recognized student organizations) or by Facilities Planning and Management (for university departments and non-university entities). See Resources below for Student Activities Center Event Authorization Process.
Clean up: All visual displays must be removed 48 hours after authorization has expired. If clean-up is not prompt, the university's campus services unit will remove displays and bill the unit or individual responsible for the display. Unauthorized posted displays, banners and signage will be removed by Campus Services and the unit or individual responsible for the materials will be billed for clean-up. top
University facilities and grounds are generally open to public access except as provided below:
- Persons may not enter buildings or facilities without authorization when the buildings or facilities are locked, when signs indicate they are closed to the public or when they are closed to the public for specific events.
- The following facilities and grounds are restricted areas; therefore access requires express permission of the relevant building supervisor, superintendent, or other person in charge of the facility:
- individual residences or dwellings
- research laboratories or facilities
- farms and associated buildings
- animal storage and confinement facilities
- utility and maintenance closets, mechanical rooms, utility facilities, and utility tunnels
- storage areas
- hazardous materials waste storage and handling areas
- marked or fenced construction areas
- institutional food preparation areas
- private offices
- work rooms
- areas where medical, psychological or other consultation takes place
- radio and television studios
- intercollegiate athletics competition facilities
- areas which bear signs indicating that access is restricted
- The university has leased some of its facilities and grounds to other parties for use related to the university purposes (for example, the Ames Laboratory and the National Laboratory for Agriculture and Environment). Such areas are not open to the public use except as provided by the lessee of the property or facility.
- The Scheman Continuing Education Building, Stephens Auditorium, Fisher Theater, and the Iowa State University Research Park are managed by separate organizations that regulate usage of these facilities and grounds.
- Access to facilities and grounds may be denied when they are closed to the public for special university events, or when access would conflict with an approved use of the facilities or grounds. The university may limit or control access to areas of the campus for ceremonial events and celebrations such as graduation.
- Unapproved uses of university facilities and grounds by the general public are subject to preemption for university activities for use by recognized student and campus organizations and for uses by students, faculty and staff for purposes related to the university's mission.
- Access to performances, art exhibits, museums and other exhibitions may be regulated by requirement of payment of a fee for entry. Visitors are required to abide by policies established for the various facilities and grounds.
- Access to campus roads and parking is governed by university parking and traffic regulations, as well as signage erected upon campus roadways and parking areas. top
All uses of UAS for other than ISU research, instruction or extension* must be pre-approved through Facilities Planning and Management (FP&M). This policy pertains to non-ISU uses of UAS such as recreation, hobbyist, or commercial. UAS are also commonly known as “drones.”
These requirements regarding UAS—
- Apply to individuals, groups, student and other organizations, vendors, and the general public.
- Include model airplanes and toys that may be operated by hobbyists for recreational purposes.
- Do not apply to university or university-sponsored* uses.
Operation of UAS for non-university purposes or events on or over ISU property (indoors or outdoors) requires prior written approval from FP&M.
For non-commercial, non-ISU uses of UAS, operators may be asked to provide proof of insurance. See UAS Procedures and Guidance under UAS Resources (below) for additional information.
Commercial users of UAS, in addition to requesting approval from ISU, must—
Provide to FP&M proof of appropriate insurance coverage
Comply with FAA regulations regarding the use of UAS
*University uses of UAS: All uses of UAS for university purposes by university employees or students must also be pre-approved; however, the review and response processes differ due to FAA regulations.
- UAS Procedures and Guidance
- UAS Request Form - Request for Permission to Use UAS at ISU
- FAA – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) top
- Memorial Union Event Management Office
- Student Activities Center Event Authorization Process
- Facilities Planning & Management Room Scheduling
- Director of University Marketing
- University Architect
- Office of the Senior Vice President for University Services
- After-Hours Facilities Use Policy
- Iowa Administrative Code §681 Chapter 13
- Banner Authorization Request Form [PDF]
- Guidelines for Non-Commercial Use of Outdoor Areas [PDF]
- Guidelines for Non-Commercial Use of Indoor Areas [PDF]
- Facilities and Grounds Use, Activities [Policy in PDF with line numbers]
- Article: "The Kitty Poster Rule and Other Free Speech Reminders" 2018-03-08 [PDF]