Demonstrations and Assemblies
About This Policy
Montclair State University’s campus is dedicated for use by the University, and its faculty, employees and students, for education, research, administration and University sponsored activities. This policy is adopted to designate certain areas on campus as non-public forums for free speech and expression activities by University employees, University students, University organizations and University sponsored organizations. The policy and procedures concerning demonstrations and assemblies are also based on a balance between two principles. The first principle is the right of members of the University community to freedom of assembly and speech and the benefits to be derived in a free society and in a free and open University from fostering discourse and permitting the exchange of ideas. No member of the University community shall be subject to any limitation or penalty for demonstrating or assembling with others for the expression of his/her viewpoint. The second principle is the right of all members of the University community to be able to engage without disruption in all University organized activities, including, but not limited to, educational, scholarly, research, business, cultural, informational, recreational or public outreach activities.
Therefore, it is permitted by any University employee, student, organization and University sponsored organization:
- to demonstrate and assemble to provide information or to express views;
- to demonstrate and assemble to protest;
- to display posters and to distribute literature;
- to organize activities that present differing viewpoints;
- to express views at all organized events and activities where the opportunity for such expression is offered by the organizers.
And, therefore, it is not permitted by any University employee, student, organization and University sponsored organization:
- to prevent or disrupt any organized University activity, including, but not limited to, educational, scholarly, research, business, cultural, informational, recreational or public outreach activities;
- to prevent or interfere with the ability of members of the University community, guests or visitors to have access to activities or facilities which have been provided for their use;
- to intimidate or harass members of the University or external community, thereby preventing their ability to exercise their rights, duties and responsibilities within the University.
In order to assure a balanced and equitable protection of the rights of free expression and the rights of all members of the community to pursue their responsibilities and enjoyment of their benefits as members of the University community, the procedures set forth below shall apply.
Individuals who are not students or employees of the University, and organizations that are not sponsored by the University, are required to schedule University space in accordance with the regulation entitled “Scheduling of University Facilities,” and pay for the use of space and services in accordance with it and any fee schedules. Any University employee, student or organization sponsoring a non-University individual or organization for the purpose of holding meetings, demonstration or assembly without the express understand and permission of the Dean of Students Office is participating in fronting for the organization which is prohibited by University policy. “Fronting” is defined as permitting a non-University individual or organization to use University space, facilities and services under the guise that the activity is a University sponsored program in order to avoid payment or compliance with University policies.
Policy and Procedures for Planned Demonstrations or Assemblies
- Any University employee, student, group or organization that wishes to demonstrate or assemble on the University’s campus shall, at least two weeks in advance of the planned demonstration or assembly, obtain from, and file with, the Office of the Dean of Students a “Request for Demonstration, Assembly, Presentation or Forum,” which sets forth a) the identity of the University employee, student, group or organization making the request b) the date(s) and time(s) of the event; c) the desired location for the event; d) the planned objective of the event; e) the materials that will be used to conduct the event, including information concerning any music or sound amplification; f) for University groups or organizations or University sponsored groups or organizations, the number of people expected to participate in the event; and g) the estimated number of people the event organizers expect to attract to the event.
- The Office of the Dean of Students may request a meeting to review the application and policy prior to approval.
- The Office of the Dean of Students will attempt to notify the requesting party within 48 hours in writing whether the application is approved and any conditions that may apply to such an approval. A copy of the approval should be maintained at the location of the demonstration and be made available for review upon request from any University official.
- Place and Time
- a. Demonstrations and assemblies are permitted on the University campus outside of University buildings in public places that are paved and used as sidewalks, outdoor seating areas, internal roadways that are not used for general vehicular traffic, and other similar outdoor areas designated for a pedestrian or seated use. Preferred locations for outdoor demonstrations are the plaza in front of the Student Center and the Amphitheater.
- b. Indoor demonstrations and assemblies are permitted in the Student Center ballrooms and Memorial Auditorium. With those two exceptions, demonstrations and assemblies are never permitted in buildings that house faculty or administrative offices, classrooms or other instructional or research facilities, althetic facilities, performance facilities or residence halls.
- c. The approval of any specific location will always be subject to accommodation of planned or ongoing University activities and any relevant physical conditions and safety issues.
- d. Demonstrations and assemblies may occur any day of the week from Sunday through Saturday but shall occur no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and shall terminate no later than 10:00 p.m.
- a. Demonstrations and assemblies may not: 1) prevent or disrupt other University activities or business; 2) prevent or interfere with the ability of other members of the University community, visitors or guests to pursue their activities or have access to University facilities; 3) engage in, or threaten, physical violence or destruction of University property; 4) jeopardize the safety and/or security of the University community.
- b. Signs affixed to poles or sticks are not permitted. Signs that are not affixed to sticks or poles are permitted.
- c. Tents, tarps and all other forms of camping equipment are prohibited.
- d. Alcoholic beverages and the use of controlled substances are prohibited.
- e. The individual, group or organization that requested approval for the demonstration or assembly is responsible for removing all trash at the conclusion of the demonstration or assembly and for restoring the area to the condition it was in at the beginning of the demonstration or assembly.
- f. Public restrooms are available for demonstrations and assemblies. Bathing within public restrooms is prohibited.
- g. Participants in demonstrations and assemblies must carry official and current student or employee I.D. cards or state-issued identification at all times and present it to University officials upon request.
- h. University Police may monitor the demonstration and, at their discretion, install barricades for the protection and safety of the demonstrators, those assembled, and/or the general University community.
Policy and Procedures for Spontaneous Demonstrations and Assemblies
The University recognizes there may be occasions that do not permit the submission of an application two weeks in advance of a demonstration or assembly. Such spontaneous demonstrations or assemblies in response to emergent situations where advance planning is not possible are permitted, but they are limited in location to: a) the plaza in front of the Student Center or b) the Amphitheater. Any individual, group or organization calling for or organizing such a demonstration or assembly must report that information immediately to the Office of the Dean of Students, and comply with the time, place and manner provisions set forth above in this policy. Only University employees, students, groups or organizations may conduct spontaneous demonstrations and assemblies on the condition that they not interfere with or displace previously scheduled activities.
Applicability and Violations
This policy will be applied consistently, recognizing that special circumstances may arise on occasion that require the granting of exceptions.
This policy applies to all members of the University community, including students and employees, and to all guests and visitors to the University. All persons involved in or attending a demonstration or assembly must adhere to this policy, as well as other applicable University policies, and Federal, New Jersey, and local laws. Any person in violation of this policy or applicable laws will be asked to cease and desist and, upon failure to do so, University police will take appropriate action. Any member of the University community who acts in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action under applicable University policies, collective bargaining agreements, and the Student Code of Conduct. Any person in violation of Federal, New Jersey or local law will be subject to criminal prosecution.
MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY – OFFICE OF THE DEAN OF STUDENTS REQUEST FOR DEMONSTRATION/OPEN AIR ASSEMBLY, PRESENTATION OR FORUM
Individual Making Request on behalf of the Individual/Group/Organization: _______________
Telephone:(Mobile) ______________________ (Work) _______________________
University Employee or Student ID Number:_________________________________________
Requesting Individual/Group/Organization: __________________________________________
Proposed Date and Time of Event: ________________________________________________
Requested Location: ___________________________________________________________
Purpose of Event: _____________________________________________________________
Materials Used During Event (including Amplification Devices):__________________________
Number of Organizers Expected to Participate in the Event: ____________________________
Estimated Number of People Organizers Expect to Attract to the Event: ___________________
For University Use Only
Event Approved: ____________________
Location Approved: _________________________
Time Approved: _____________________
Conditions of Approval: _________________________________________________________
Approved by Dean of Students or Designee:_________________________________________