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University Policy 82

Facilities Use and Public Art

Initially approved: January 14, 2002
Revised: September 11, 2006
Revised and Provisionally Posted: October 7, 2013
Approved as a permanent policy: November 18, 2013
Policy Topic: University Facilities and State Property
Administering Office: Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance


Recognizing that its support derives in large part from public funds, it is the policy of Western Carolina University (the "University') to make its facilities available for use by groups and individuals in a manner that is (i) consistent with its educational mission and related research, service, and outreach activities; and (ii) consistent with its responsibilities as a steward of the State's resources.


This Policy applies to the use of facilities located on the University’s campus in Cullowhee and any other instructional sites or facilities under the University’s operational control. It applies to University Groups, Non-University Groups, and Recognized Student Organizations.

The use of Facilities for summer programs, conferences, and events on campus must comply with this policy and University Policy #110, “Conferences and Events”.

This Policy does not address solicitation, assemblies, and public addresses on campus, which are governed by University Policy #114.


“University Group” is an administrative or academic unit within the University, staffed by state employees acting within the scope of their employment. A University Group also may be considered an “affiliated group.” A University Group may also be a single University employee.

“Recognized Student Organization” means the Student Government Association and other student clubs and groups that have been officially recognized by the University. A Recognized Student Organization also may be considered an “affiliated group.”

“Non-University Group” is a group other than a University Group or Recognized Student Organization that is a legally separate entity from the University, even though some of the members or participants may be University personnel, alumni, or students. A Non-University Group also may be a single individual.

"Affiliated Group" means a group or entity that is directly or indirectly controlled by, controlling or under common control with the University.

"University Activity" is any function, event or activity sponsored by the University. For purposes of this Policy, the term "sponsored" means having written approval or authorization from the appropriate University official(s).

"Non-University Activity" is any function, event or activity that is not a University Activity.

"Facility Function" means the primary activity for which a particular facility is used.

"University Facility" is any outdoor space, building or structure that is owned or leased by the University or otherwise operated under its control.

"Classroom" is any space that is dedicated and/or routinely used for instruction.

"Senior Administrative Officer" means, for purposes of this Policy, the Chancellor, the Provost, a Vice Chancellor, the Chief of Staff, the Chief Information Officer, or the Athletic Director.


Authority to schedule the use of a University Facility is vested in the Chancellor who may delegate the authority in writing to another Senior Administrative Officer. A Senior Administrative Officer may further delegate the authority in writing to other University administrators.

When more than one Senior Administrative Officer has delegated authority for a Facility Function or University Facility, they must agree on a procedure for scheduling the use of that facility and document the procedure.

Administrators may issue other policies for the use and scheduling of facilities under their administrative control. Such policies must be consistent in all respects with this Policy and applicable state and federal laws and regulations, and must be made available to prospective users on the University website. All such policies are subject to approval by a Senior Administrative Officer.


A. Priorities for Use and Scheduling

The use and scheduling of University Facilities will be prioritized consistent with the University's mission, and its instructional, student life, research, service, and outreach activities, with attention given to capital and operational funding sources and legislative authority. Subject to the provisions of University Policy #65, "Space Management", the following order of priority generally will govern the scheduling and use of University Facilities:

1. University Groups and University Activities;

2. Recognized Student Organizations; and

3. Non-University Groups and Non-University Activities.

B. General Requirements for the Use of University Facilities

1. Academic classes, research, service, outreach activities, and the activities of faculty and staff groups are central to the educational mission of the University. Use of University Facilities must not interfere with these activities.

2. Use of University Facilities must comply with United States and North Carolina constitutional provisions regarding free speech and public assembly. For public forums (areas consistently open to public speech and assembly by past practice or by administrative approval), administrators may place reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on public speech and assembly if they are not based on the content of speech (except that unlawful speech is prohibited) or the viewpoint of participants. For areas not traditionally open for public speech or assembly, administrators may also limit use to further the University's educational mission and operations. For more information on public assemblies and address, see University Policy #114.

3. The University assumes no obligation or responsibility for Non-University Activities and grants no right of access greater than that provided by this Policy or the Standard Facility Use Agreement.

4. Use of University Facilities by Non-University Groups does not imply that the University supports or sanctions the activities.

5. The University reserves the right to limit the use of the University's name and trademarks in connection with advertising or promoting Non-University Activities.

6. Use of University Facilities must comply in all respects with University Policy #114, "Solicitation, Assemblies, and Public Addresses", which addresses, among other things, the use of facility interior and exterior surfaces, the use of bulletin and e-bulletin boards and kiosks, the use of open/common spaces, and the use of University Facilities for political events.

7. Use of University Facilities must comply with applicable provisions of University Policy #110, "Conferences and Events".

8. Use of University Facilities must comply with the University's policies regarding non-discrimination.

9. Use of University Facilities must comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and ordinances.

10. Material applied to any University Facility exterior surface that results in a public safety concern or damage to the facility may be removed by Facilities Management personnel.

11. No permanent or semi-permanent structure, including but not limited to trailers, or tents with stakes driven into the ground, may be constructed or placed for any activity without the prior approval of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities or his/her designee. This requirement shall not apply to canopies and similar shelters used for football tailgating in approved areas in accordance with the university policy on tailgating: University Policy 103 Tailgating.

12. No semi-permanent structure may be constructed or placed for any activity conducted on emergency access roads, accessible paths or rights of way.

13. In accordance with North Carolina state fire code requirements, placement of any tent or membrane structure over 400 square feet or tents in excess of 700 square feet (without sides) must be approved by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities who is responsible for obtaining proper permits from the fire code official.

14. Generally the University does not allow camping on University grounds and/or facilities due to public safety concerns. "Camping" includes sleeping outdoors, the use of camping tents, or the parking/use of overnight camping vehicles, including but not limited to camping trailers, recreational vehicles, or other vehicles. In special circumstances, requests may be approved as exceptions by the Senior Administrative Officer most closely associated with the related event or activity (e.g., the Provost for Mountain Heritage Day, the Athletic Director for tailgating, or the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for student requests). Requests for exceptions must also be cleared prior to the event or activity by appropriate staff in Public Safety and Facilities Management.

15. No individual may take up residence in any University Facility or space not specifically designated for that purpose.

16. Exterior signage related to University Activities must be removed by the sponsoring unit immediately following the event. Unauthorized exterior signage related to Non-University Activities may be removed at any time by Facilities Management personnel.

17. University Groups, Non-University Groups, and Recognized Student Organizations are all responsible for the cleanliness and order of University Facilities following their use.

18. Fires are not permitted except upon prior written approval from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities or his/her designee.

19. In accordance with North Carolina criminal statutes, fireworks are not permitted on campus except upon prior written approval from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities or his/her designee, who is responsible for obtaining proper permits from the fire code official.

20. Persons shall comply with the directions of a University official acting in the course and scope of his/ her University responsibilities.

21. No outdoor assembly may be conducted within 200 feet of a childcare playground or facility during operating hours, within 50 feet of any building, or within 50 feet of any other individual's or group's outdoor assembly. The University may place barriers or other boundary indicators that must be respected during an outdoor assembly.

22. Outdoor assemblies may not take place within the confines of any University intramural, recreational or athletic facilities or grounds.

23. Outdoor assemblies may not take place within 50 feet of any residential facility between the hours of 12:00 midnight to 8:00 a.m.


A Standard Facilities Use Agreement is required if the University Facility is to be used by a Non-University Group for a Non-University Activity; and

1. The proposed use/activity involves minor children; or
2. The proposed use/activity involves summer programs, camps or conferences; or
3. The proposed use is for more than one (1) business day; or
4. The proposed use/activity poses an increased risk of damage to property or personal injury.

The University may require other forms of agreement or documents for uses not listed above. The Standard Facilities Use Agreement should be used without change unless modifications have been approved by Legal Counsel's Office.

Facility use charges may be assessed where permitted by state law and consistent with University policies and procedures, including University Policy #110, "Conferences and Events".


It is the policy of the University to ensure that University facilities are reasonably secure. Accordingly, building coordinators shall conduct routine and periodic reviews of authorized access to their buildings and any secured outdoor facility to confirm that access is both necessary and appropriate for the conduct of University business during normal hours of operation for the building or facility. For purposes of this Policy, the term "reviews of authorized access" shall include, at a minimum, reviews of building hours and control and accountability for keys.


All art installations in the public realm (both interior and exterior installations) are subject to review by the Chancellor's Executive Council and approval by the Chancellor, typically after full discussion and recommendation by the Public Art Committee ("Committee"). For purposes of this policy, the term "art installations" excludes informational and directional signage; graphics created to display information; information, notices, and promotional materials pertaining to university conferences, events, and programs; informational banners; digital/electronic informational signs; and university maps. For purposes of this Policy, the term "public realm" means any University-owned streets, pathways, right of ways, parking lots, publicly accessible exterior open spaces, and interior common areas in University buildings and facilities (such as lobbies, corridors, stairways, and elevators) located on the University's campus or other instructional sites. Projects are brought to the Committee by the Chief of Staff.

All art installations in the public realm shall be reviewed by the University Architect's Office and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities regarding compliance with safety, structural and code requirements. The Office of Safety and Risk Management is responsible for insurance arrangements, if any.

Membership of the Committee shall include:

1. The University architect;
2. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities;
3. The Director of the Fine Art Museum;
4. The Dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts;
5. The Chief of Staff; and
6. Such other members as the Chancellor determines.

Responsibilities of the Committee are to consider and make recommendations to the Executive Council regarding:

1. Temporary art installations in the public realm. For purposes of this Policy, "temporary installations" are those installed for periods of less than one (1) year in a campus-designated site reviewed periodically with the University Architect and other university officials as needed.
2. Student and alumni works temporarily displayed by the School of Art and Design, which are works installed for periods fewer than six (6) months in a site recommended by the School.
3. Permanent installations.
4. Complaints or other matters referred by the Chancellor.
5. Repair, restoration, or removal of art in the public realm.


This requirement is intended to minimize the occurrence of offensive odors, noise, excretion, fleas, biological agents, etc., on State property and in State buildings, where these or the animal itself may result in health hazards or other concerns to employees and the public or could interfere with the quality of service to the citizens of North Carolina. This requirement applies to all mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles.

Animals brought on the University's campus must be within the control and supervision of their owners. Owners are responsible for the proper disposal of animal waste, and owners are responsible for any injury or property damage caused by their animals.

Animals are not permitted in any University buildings except in the following cases:

1. Service animals in accordance with federal law. A service animal is any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability;
2. Approved therapy animals;
3. Animals used in research and teaching and authorized by the director of the division; or
4. Animals may be permitted in certain residential facilities for employees, subject to any facility specific policies.


This policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary every four (4) years.


University Policies

UNC Policy Manual:

University Policy #110, "Conferences and Events Policy"

University Policy #114, "Solicitation, Assemblies, Public Addresses"

University Policy #65, "Space Management"

Standard Facility Use Agreement

Standard Space Use Agreement

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