On January 9, 2018, the campus established a Major Events Policy (PDF) governing the planning and presentation of Major Events sponsored by Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and other non-departmental users.
The Major Events Policy was developed with extensive collaboration with the campus community and the general public. A preliminary version of the Major Events policy was originally implemented on August 14, 2017 with the intention of revising it based on experience and public comment. The campus solicited feedback from the campus community, campus event stakeholders, and the general public throughout October 2017. Nearly five hundred comments, most of which came from students, were carefully reviewed and considered, leading to a number of revisions now incorporated into the policy. (You can read more about the changes and other details in this FAQ that addresses the evolution of the policy as well as the rationale behind some of its key provisions.)
The University of California, Berkeley is committed to free speech as essential to its educational mission and as a vital component of its identity. The University is also committed to enabling student organizations and other groups to host a variety of events on campus and thereby to supplement and enrich students’ educational experience. Toward that end, the campus makes certain facilities and spaces available to student organizations and to other non-University users for events. Non-departmental users may host Major Events with written permission from the campus and must adhere to the terms and conditions of the policy. Campus facilities are made available for non-departmental users other than Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) only when those events result in the generation of revenue in support of the campus mission.
Note: Upper Sproul Plaza and the West Crescent area, are not subject to this policy. Their use is governed by Section 331 of the Berkeley Campus Regulations Implementing University Policies.
The Major Events policy (PDF) is applied without regard for perspectives or positions expressed in connection with those events. Criteria for assessing Major Events are applied in a viewpoint-neutral manner and without regard to the content of any performance or speaking aspect of the event. This policy in no way represents a restriction or curtailment of the campus’s content-neutral commitment to Free Speech and expression. Upper Sproul Plaza and the West Crescent Lawn will not be subject to the Major Events Policy. Nondepartmental users may plan events at those locations on short notice in accordance with the requirements of the Berkeley Campus Regulations Implementing University Policies.
This policy was developed to promote the efficient and orderly use of campus property. It includes procedures to ensure there is sufficient time to assess and, if needed, address security concerns so Major Events can take place in a way that minimizes the risk of disruption, maximizes the opportunity for success, and keeps participants and the campus community safe.
The policy includes these key aspects and provisions:
- A requirement that non-departmental users provide the campus with at least six weeks’ advance notice of proposed Major Events;
- Specific criteria defining “Major Events”;
- A requirement that the UCPD provide a security assessment for potential Major Events;
- Utilization of neutral, objective criteria for review of events and requirements for security precautions;
- A requirement that non-departmental users assume responsibility for basic security costs related to some kinds of events, such as dances (socials, not dance performances) (please reference the fee schedule (PDF) for details);
- A timeline for each required step in the event planning process.
In summary, this policy is designed to be consistent with the University’s paired commitments to free speech and the safety and well-being of the campus community.