The University of Minnesota is committed to free speech and the robust exchange of ideas both in the classroom and throughout the campus community. This policy seeks to uphold these priorities by facilitating the scheduling of major events on campus. It also aims to balance these priorities with the need to ensure campus safety and the responsible use of the University’s resources.
This policy outlines the University’s definitions and protocol related to the planning and hosting of on-campus major events and events that place significant demands on University resources. This policy applies to anyone, be it an individual, a group, an academic department, college, or administrative unit, proposing to host a major event on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. Requesters other than Academic Departments and Centers, Colleges, and Administrative Units should not enter into any major event commitments until they have completed review pursuant to this policy.
Requests for Major Event and Venue Reservations
Venues may only be reserved by Requesters primarily responsible for planning, implementing, and financing an event. A venue may be held while the review provided for in this policy takes place, but the reservation will only be confirmed upon completion of review of the Major Event Proposal. Requesters should submit the Proposal at least 30 days in advance to allow adequate time for the review process.
A Requester seeking to host a major event on campus must complete a Major Event Proposal form and submit it to the Major Events Committee for review. This information will be used to facilitate the Major Events Procedures and provide venue organizers and others the information they need to ensure a successful event.
The Major Events Committee (“Committee”) will review the proposal and consider the information provided by the requester along with at least the following factors to determine whether the proposed event can be held safely on campus:
- the time of the academic year during which the event will occur;
- other events happening on campus at or near the same time;
- potential impact of the proposed event on parking and traffic;
- anticipated weather conditions;
- public health concerns;
- the compliance history of the requesting party with University policies;
- University holidays; and
- whether the University’s Department of Public Safety is aware of any security concerns surrounding the proposed event.
Use of University facilities is governed by Administrative Policy: Use and Lease of Real Estate.
This policy assumes that most major events will be approved as proposed in support of the University’s free speech and exchange of ideas priorities. A Proposal will be denied only if
- the requested venue is an indoor facility that the University has designated as not available for hosting major events;
- the venue is already reserved for another event;
- the venue is not large enough to accommodate the anticipated audience;
- the event poses a clear and present risk to public health or safety and the University does not have sufficient resources to adequately address such risk; or
- the event necessarily would involve activity that is unlawful under federal, state, or local law.
The Committee will communicate any denial of the use of a requested venue in writing and will provide the reason(s) for the denial. If the proposal is denied for one of the first four reasons listed above, the Committee will give the Requester the opportunity to request another available alternative venue or a different date/time. If possible, the Committee will suggest an alternative venue. The potential reaction to the event will not be used as a basis for denying a proposed event. Registered student groups hosting an event will not be charged for security costs arising from protests of a planned event.
The Committee will respond to the proposal in no more than 14 business days after receipt of the proposal.
Notification of Academic Department and Center, College, and Administrative Unit Events
Academic Departments and Centers, Colleges, and Administrative Units that schedule major events on campus must notify the Major Events Committee of a scheduled event as early as possible, and preferably at least 30 days before the scheduled event, to facilitate the efficient and effective allocation of University resources, including public safety and parking and transportation resources. This notification must include the date, time, and location of the event and the identity of any guest speakers.
Aside from this notification, Academic Departments and Centers, Colleges, and Administrative Units do not need to complete the Proposal or undergo the review described in the preceding section for events that are planned by and directly connected to the mission of the Academic Department or Center, College, or Administrative Unit.
Events where a Requester outside of the Academic Department or Center, College, or Administrative Unit seeks to rent or use space controlled by the Academic Department or Center, College, or Administrative Unit, however, are subject to the review described in the preceding section, including the completion of the Proposal.
During an event, the Requester is responsible for preserving and maintaining the facility it reserved. If the Requester, or its invitee, causes any damage to University facilities, the Requester is responsible for any associated repair costs.
Elected Official Events
Requests for campaign events (candidate running for elected office or ballot initiative)) must follow Administrative Procedure: Elected Official Events. The University of Minnesota is a nonpartisan organization, and it will not host political campaign events or rallies in its venues that incur any cost to the University.
Reason for Policy
The University of Minnesota is committed to free speech and the robust exchange of ideas both in the classroom and in the campus community. It also recognizes that it has a duty to facilitate this free speech and exchange of ideas in a way that ensures the safety of its campus community while marshalling its resources responsibly.