AD57 General Regulations on Use of University Property
Subject Matter Expert:
Policy Steward:Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff>
The purpose of this policy is to facilitate the effective use and enjoyment of University property by faculty, staff, students, and visitors; to protect the health and safety of those using University property; to protect University grounds and facilities from damage; to ensure the approved use of property and facilities; to allow for normal operations to continue unimpeded; to safeguard the character and aesthetics of campus; and to comply with laws, policies, regulations and ordinances applicable to University.
This policy shall apply to all property owned or controlled by The Pennsylvania State University.
A. PHYSICAL SAFETY AND WELFARE: Any group or individual(s) using University property for a permitted purpose, including official uses, must make a reasonable effort as a condition of use to assure that:
- All University policies and regulations, and all local, state and federal laws concerning fire and safety, security and conduct will be followed.
- There will be no disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, other University activities or other permitted uses of University property.
B. APPROVAL FOR USE OF OUTDOOR AREAS: With the exception of expressive activities permitted by University Policy AD 51, use of outdoor areas for organized events is subject to the approval of the academic or administrative unit of the University responsible for the space and the Office of Physical Plant at University Park or campus facilities office at the Commonwealth Campuses. Schedule outdoor events using the University system for Classroom and Event Scheduling (25Live).
C. STRUCTURES: Prior approval of the Office of Physical Plant is required for the construction or placement of any structure, whether temporary or permanent, on University property. A temporary structure utilized for a University-authorized event or student event on University property and property controlled by the University must be approved by the academic or administrative unit of the University responsible for the event, along with the Office of Physical Plant, and the Office of Student Affairs for student events. Installation of student projects are subject to the Guidelines for Temporary Installations of Student Academic Projects on Campus.
D. PROTECTION OF UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS: Except as approved by the Office of Physical Plant and the academic or administrative unit of the University responsible for management of the property, any event, activity or structure (temporary or otherwise) that may result in damage or repair cost to any University property including, without limitation, buildings, roadways, sidewalks, plazas, fountains, sculptures, lawn spaces, walls, planting beds or trees (as determined by the Director of Buildings & Grounds in the Office of Physical Plant at University Park or the Chancellor at a Commonwealth Campus or designee) shall not be permitted. Examples of activities that may result in property damage include, but are not limited to:
- Breaking or uprooting of trees or shrubbery
- Penetrating the ground (e.g. tent stakes and sign posts)
- Defacing of buildings
- Skateboard or bicycle grinding of walls and/or handrails
- Installation of any items to the natural or physical features of the University
E. SIGNS, BANNERS, AND POSTINGS: All display cases, bulletin boards, signage format, and locations will be approved by the academic or administrative unit of the University responsible for management of the property in coordination with the Office of Physical Plant or as permitted by AD01. This applies to free standing and affixed, temporary or permanent signs, interior or exterior to buildings.
In addition, the following specific rules apply:
Building exterior – Flyers and signs are permitted only on approved outdoor bulletin boards.
Building interior – Flyers and signs are permitted to be posted on general purpose bulletin boards, office doors and windows, and other locations specified for purposes of posting materials.
University Housing Regulations – Housing, Food Services and Residence Life outlines posting and display policies for residence halls, commons buildings, and dining facilities.
Regulatory and Safety – Postings required by regulatory code, for safety reasons, or by the Office of Physical Plant are permitted.
Noncompliance with any of the above may result in damages being assessed and loss of posting privilege.
Procedures for requesting interior signage are addressed in Interior Sign Procedure.
Procedures for requesting temporary exterior signage, including banners, are addressed in Temporary Exterior Sign Procedure.
F. CAMPING: No group or individual(s) may engage in camping on University property, except in areas designated for that purpose by the Office of Physical Plant or the academic or administrative unit of the University responsible for management of the property. Additional regulations on camping may be applicable to those areas where such activity is permitted.
G. DEPOSIT OF TRASH, DEBRIS, OR UNATTENDED OBJECTS: The deposition of trash, debris, or unattended objects is prohibited anywhere on University property, except in receptacles marked for that purpose. Any unattended object that is deposited on University property may be removed and discarded.
- Camping: erection of a tent or shelter of natural or synthetic material; preparing a sleeping bag or other bedding material for use; use of a motor vehicle, motor home, trailer, bus or similar vehicle for overnight occupancy. The listed activities constitute camping when it reasonably appears, in light of all the circumstances, that the participants are in fact using the area as a living accommodation regardless of the intent of the participants or the nature of any other activities in which the participants may be engaging.
- Structure: a human-made object, whether permanent or temporary, having an ascertainable stationary location on land, whether or not affixed to the land.
- Temporary Structure: a structure that is not permanently posted or affixed that is intended to remain in place for a predetermined period with a defined end date.
- Sign: an object, whether permanent or temporary, usually posted or affixed, intended to convey information, instruction, or directions.
- Temporary Sign: a sign that is not permanently posted or affixed that is intended to remain in place for a predetermined period with a defined end date.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of Physical Plant (or appropriate Commonwealth Campus Chancellor).
Other Policies should also be referenced, especially the following:
AD01 Policies and Procedures for Use of University Auditoriums
AD02 Non-University Groups Using University Facilities
AD27 Commercial Sales Activities and University Locations
AD38 Administration of University Physical Facilities
AD51 Use of Outdoor Areas for Expressive Activities
Most recent changes:
- May 20, 2020 - Substantial changes to the policy including the following sections: Purpose, Physical Safety and Welfare, Approval for use of Outdoor Areas, Structures, Protection of University Buildings and Grounds (new section), Signs, Banners and Postings (new section), Camping, Depositing of Trash, Debris, or Unattended Objects, Definitions, Further Information, and Cross References.
Revision History (and effective dates):
- August 21, 2014 - Editorial changes. In the POLICY / Approval For Use section, reference to the Office of University Relations have been changed to the Office of Strategic Communications. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
- July 28, 2001
- Added the section APPROVAL FOR USE: Use of outdoor areas for organized events is subject to approval of the Office of University Relations.
- Under the STRUCTURES section, changed "University-sponsored event may be authorized" to "University-authorized event may be approved" ; added the provision that the Office of Student Affairs may approve a temporary structure utilized for an authorized student event.
- March 23, 2001 - New policy.
Date Approved:March 2, 2020>
Date Published:May 20, 2020>