Procedures for Non-Departmental Users to Request Access to Campus Facilities

UC Berkeley currently makes University facilities available to student organizations and other non-University users to host events. Student organization events are permitted as a means of supplementing and enriching the educational experience of our students. Facilities are also made available to non-affiliates for the purpose of generating revenue to support the programs of the campus. The existing campus policies that govern these events are designed to support and facilitate safe and successful activities in venues owned and operated by the University. These same policies are also intended to support the right and ability of organizations to host speakers of their choosing without regard for the speakers’ perspectives or positions. Upper Sproul and Lower Sproul locations are not subject to this policy, but are governed by other policies.

For these policies to be effective, legal, and consistent with our values they will in the future, as they have in the past, be applied in a uniform, consistent fashion without regard for the identity of eligible outside users or student organizations, or the speakers they may wish to host. Nothing is going to change on that front.

However, recent events on the Berkeley campus have made clear that there is insufficient awareness of existing policies and procedures, and, as a result, policy and procedures are not always complied with by those requesting to host events. In addition, we believe that existing policies can and should be unified, standardized and clarified. Finally, it is important for policies to explicitly address procedures for responding to a new set of security concerns that have recently emerged to ensure that events can occur in a manner that minimizes the risk of disruption, maximizes the opportunity for success, and keeps participants and the campus community safe.

Even as we seek comment on the new draft policy, we are committed to retaining these key elements of existing policy:

  • A requirement that these groups and organizations provide the campus with sufficient advance notice of proposed events;
  • A requirement that UCPD provide a security assessment for certain events;
  • Neutral, objective criteria for review of events and requirement of security precautions;
  • A requirement that all hosting organizations assume responsibility for basic security costs as per a UCPD assessment that is also based on neutral, objective criteria;
  • A requirement that contracts or obligations with outside speakers not be finalized until the availability of an appropriate venue can be confirmed and event approved by appropriate department.

At the same time, the draft policy will propose changes and additions to existing procedures, including:

  • A single, unified policy applicable to all student and outside organization-sponsored events on campus that draws together elements of several prior policies;
  • Specific criteria defining events that must be submitted for review;
  • A detailed timeline for each required step in the event planning process;
  • Statements reasserting and emphasizing our existing policies and practices that make clear speaker viewpoints will not influence decisions relating to event approval or required security measures;
  • Clear statements of campus administration’s authority to require security measures that maximize both the expressive rights of event sponsors and public safety.

In summary, this draft policy is designed to be consistent with the University’s paired commitments to Free Speech, as well as the safety and well-being of our students, other members of the campus community, their guests, and the public. 

From October 7 through October 31, the university is soliciting comments from the entire campus community on the draft policy. Please find a draft of this policy here. Please find the feedback form here.

Campus administration has established the following timeline for drafting, review, public comment, and implementation of the proposed policy:

  • June 22: Policy revision completed and shared with policy committee
  • June 26: Draft policy circulated to campus leadership (Protest Response Team, Chancellor’s Cabinet) for review and comment. Feedback due July 10.
  • July 14: Draft of policy ready for wider circulation
  • July 14: Draft policy circulated to selected campus stakeholders. Feedback due August 1
  • August 13: Policy implemented on an interim basis pending further review and comment
  • October 7: Interim policy distributed for public comment
  • October 31: Close of public comment period
  • November 15: Proposed Final Policy submitted to the Compliance and Enterprise Risk Committee (CERC) Policy Subcommittee for review
  • November 30: Proposed Final Policy submitted to full CERC for review and approval
  • December 15: Proposed Final Policy submitted to Chancellor for approval
  • January 9, 2018: Final policy implemented