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Student Handbook - Using University Facilities

In order to further the educational process, Rice University encourages the use of its facilities by its students, faculty and staff for the orderly expression and discussion of various points of view.

The following regulations state the policy and procedures relating to the use of the Rice University facilities for purposes other than regularly scheduled instructional activities or normal departmental or administrative functions of the University: 

  1. Members of the University community, including students, acting as individuals and not in the name of the University or any of its component parts, have the right to express their opinions, to picket and to hold demonstrations or meetings on campus so long as such activities do not violate local, state or federal laws, and so long as University functions are not disrupted and access to any part of the campus is not impeded by the activity. The University reserves the right to limit the locations on campus where picketing, demonstrations or meetings may be held.
     
  2.  Persons outside the Rice community do not have the right to use the campus for picketing, demonstrations, meetings or similar activities without prior written per mission from the University.


As used here, a "campus organization" is any officially recognized Rice student organization or faculty or administrative segment of the University; an "event" is a meeting, lecture or speech, forum, drama, musical performance, motion picture, dance, party or any such educational or social activity; and a "University facility" is any room, auditorium, building or other area of the campus.

Indoor Events Presented by Campus Organizations
The regulations in this section apply to events initiated by registered campus organizations:

The regulations in this section apply to events initiated by registered campus organizations:
 

  1. For these events, the use of a residential college facility requires the approval of the Master of that college. However, during the period between commencement and four days before the beginning of Orientation Week, use of a residential college facility requires the approval of the Vice President for Administration rather than that of the Master of the college. When approved, advance notice of the event and of the facility to be used should be sent to the Master of the college. The use of indoor recreational facilities, such as a gymnasium or pool, requires the approval of the Recreation Center. The use of the facilities of the Athletic Department for an athletic event requires the approval of the Director of Athletics. The use of any other University facility by a student organization for an event requires the approval of the Office of Student Activities.

     
  2.  A request for the use of a University facility will be approved provided that: (a) the facility requested is available, adequate and appropriate for the proposed use at the time requested; (b) the proposed use excludes fund solicitation or commercial solicitation other than the sale of official University items unless otherwise approved; (c) the campus organization making the request is able to meet the financial obligations to be incurred by the proposed use; (d) the proposed use will not constitute any danger to the peace and security of the University, its members or participants in the use; (e) the proposed use does not violate any federal, state or local law.

     
  3. These events are normally open to all members of the University and may be opened to the general public on a space-available basis. Student organizations wishing to  schedule programs or events to be open to the non-Rice public anywhere on campus except in the colleges must receive permission from the Office of Student Activities, which will clear such use with the appropriate offices. Similar permission must be secured from the Master for events in college facilities. Events will be approved only when parking for the event will not interfere with normal University activities.

     
  4.  The University reserves the right to specify the conditions under which programs and events on campus can take place. No student or student organization may sign any contract involving the use of Rice University property or a legal commitment by the University.
     
  5. The campus organization presenting the event bears full responsibility for all expenses associated with it, including, but not limited to, any fee for the use of a particular facility, the rental of equipment, hiring of additional personnel and clean-up or repair of damage to the facility. Information concerning expenses likely to be incurred should be obtained from the management of the facility prior to the date when the event is scheduled.

     
  6. A reasonable admission fee may be charged to meet the actual expenses associated with an event. Such a charge must have the approval of the Office of Student Activities.

     
  7. Requests for the use of a facility by student organizations are to be made in person to the Master or via the internet to the Office of Student Activities, as appropriate, no less than seven days prior to the date of the proposed use. The Assistant Dean, Student Judicial Programs must approve the Alcohol Policy Form at the time the request is made if alcohol is to be served. Upon approval of the use of a facility, the Master or the Office of Student Activities will authorize the scheduling of the event through the appropriate office (Registrar's Office, VP for Administration, Student Center, etc…). The organization presenting the event must verify with the facility coordinator that the event is scheduled and the facility reserved. Arrangements of details associated with presenting an event must be made with the person or of fice in charge of the particular facility to be used. University departments should make their requests directly to the appropriate facility coordinator unless they plan to charge an admission fee that would generate net revenue, in which case the Vice President for Administration's office must approve in advance. If an admission fee is charged and alcohol served or if they plan to sell alcohol, the appropriate licenses must be obtained from TABC.

     
  8.  After the event has been authorized and scheduled, responsibility for the publicity and public relations associated with an event resides with the organization presenting the event. Publicizing the event either on or off campus will be in accordance with University regulations. Publicizing an event off campus is to be done via the Publications Office upon release by the sponsoring organization.

     
  9. An organization may appeal a decision regarding the use of a University facility to the President of the University. Such appeal must be detailed in writing.

     
 

Outdoor Events Presented by Campus Organizations

  1. Outdoor events initiated by a residential college on college grounds require the approval of the Master of the college. However, during the period between    commencement and four days before the beginning of Orientation Week, use of a residential college facility requires the approval of the Vice President for Administration, rather than the Master of the college. The Vice President for  Administration will in turn brief representatives of various campus constituencies on the event. When approved, advance notice of the event and of the facility to be used should be sent to the Master of the college.

     
  2.  Outdoor events initiated by a residential college using facilities outside of college grounds require further approvals. The use of outdoor recreational facilities, such     as tennis courts or intramural fields, requires the approval of the Recreation Center. The use of the facilities of the Athletic Department for an athletic event requires the     approval of the Director of Athletics. The use of any parking lot(s) requires the  approval of the Parking and Transportation Manager. In addition, at least one week in advance, details of the event must be sent to the Office of the Vice President for Administration.  Final approval will be given after it's been determined there are no       conflicting events, that the venue won't be compromised by planned construction, that there is adequate parking if open to the public, and that the Rice Police   Department has been notified. 

     
  3. Outdoor events initiated by all other student organizations require the approval  of the Office of Student Activities. After the required paperwork has been   completed, Student Activities will forward details of the event to the office of the Vice President for Administration, which will in turn brief representatives of various   campus constituencies on the event. Approval will be given according to the guidelines listed in article 2 under "indoor events," above, and when it's been determined       there are no conflicting events scheduled, that the venue will not be compromised by planned construction, that there is adequate parking if open to the public, and         that the event will not unduly interfere with normal campus life. All organized  outdoor events require the presence of police officers, who will be scheduled by the         Rice Police Department and paid for by the sponsoring organization.
     
     
  4.  In addition to the regulations listed in this section, use of the Founder's Court and the Academic Quadrangle is subject to additional constraints. Ceremonies,   demonstrations and other activities will be permitted by the Director of Student Activities only if it can be demonstrated that they will not interfere with the academic and administrative activities of the University. After the event, all signs of the activity are to be removed. Furthermore, nothing may be placed on the monument to William Marsh Rice, which is also his burial place.

     
 

Co-sponsoring an Event

On occasion a recognized student organization may agree to co-sponsor an event or activity with a non-university organization. Co-sponsorship is not intended to be a mechanism for non-university users to avoid rental and service charges, therefore co-sponsorship of an event or activity is subject to the following conditions:
 

  1.  written approval of the Office of Student Activities
     
  2.  the student organization bears primary responsibility for planning the event;
     
  3.  the student organization bears primary responsibility for implementing and producing the event;
     
  4.  the event has a direct connection and substantial relationship to the purposes of the student organization;
     
  5. a percentage of the student organization members must be on-site and in attendance at the event or activity (at least 25% is recommended);
     
  6. the event has logical and demonstrable relationships to the objectives and mission of the University;
     
  7. co-sponsorship must be approved by the Faculty Sponsor of the student organization.
     
  8.  additional fees may apply for co-sponsored events depending on the facilities used.
     
  9.  recognized student organizations are generally exempt from paying the University insurance premium, however, larger events may warrant payment. The University's
  10. Risk Manager must be consulted to determine if additional coverage is required.