Skip to Content

UPPS 07.04.07 - Demonstrations on University Property

Demonstrations on University Property

UPPS No. 07.04.07
Issue No. 1
Effective Date: 10/09/2019
Next Review Date: 9/01/2022 (E3Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students


    1. Texas State University is a public institution and supports the free exchange of ideas which includes freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry, freedom of dissent, and freedom to demonstrate in a lawful fashion.

    2. The purpose of this statement is to establish policies and parameters to engage in free expression and lawful demonstration on university-owned or leased property located on the San Marcos or Round Rock campuses or surrounding areas.

    3. The common outdoor areas of the university are traditional public forums, subject to such reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions as the president, or designee, may impose.

    4. Time, place, and manner restrictions are content-neutral limitations imposed by the government on expressive activity and have been well defined by federal courts. Such restrictions must satisfy a three-prong test outlined by the United States Supreme Court:

      1. be content-neutral and viewpoint-neutral;

      2. be narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest; and

      3. leave open ample alternative channels for communicating the speaker’s message.


    1. Common Outdoor Areas – include the streets, sidewalks, or other common outdoor property owned or leased by Texas State. It does not include the inside of buildings or outdoor classrooms that are field-based research and educational teaching areas.

    2. Demonstration – a public meeting or march presenting a supporting or protesting view on an issue.

    3. Traditional Public Forum – includes the outdoor property owned or leased by the university that is available without the need for reservation or prior approval for expressive activity or demonstration, planned or spontaneous.

    4. University Official – an employee who has responsibility for making judgments and decisions on behalf of the university administration.


    1. Members of the university community have a responsibility to welcome and promote freedom of speech for all, even when in disagreement or opposition. All Texas State community members and affiliates must share responsibility to maintain an atmosphere conducive to scholarly, creative, and educational pursuits; to adhere to the shared values of the university; to preserve the dignity and seriousness of university ceremonies; and to respect the rights of all individuals (see University Rules for Demonstration and Protests for more information).

    2. Members of the university community who choose to observe and listen to a demonstrator bear the responsibility of recognizing and honoring the right of the demonstrator’s free speech.

    3. Persons who choose to demonstrate or protest must follow the rules in the University Rules for Demonstrations and Protests.


    1. No individual or group participating in a demonstration may be allowed into a building unless invited. When allowed, applicable safety and fire code regulations must be followed. If an invitation is granted, passage through reception areas leading to a private office must not be obstructed.

    2. Corridors, stairways, breezeways, doorways, and building entrances may not be blocked or obstructed.

    3. Clear and unimpeded passageways must be maintained at all times. Clear and unimpeded passageways also ensure that individuals with disabilities have accessible routes of entry and egress.

    4. Teaching, research, and official functions of the university have priority in allocating the use of space at the university. Further, an approved reservation takes priority over spontaneous activities including, but not limited to, public assemblies, demonstrations, and protests.

    5. To ensure the safety of all participants in a demonstration, organizers planning to host a demonstration should include the Student Involvement Office in the LBJ Student Center early in the planning process. This step allows potential safety issues to be addressed and for organizers to establish safety and security procedures.

    6. All persons may assemble lawfully to demonstrate on the common outdoor areas of the university. While this policy is content-neutral and viewpoint-neutral, the university reserves the right to limit, disallow, or disband a demonstration that:

      1. incites violent action;

      2. represents a clear and present danger to the university community in the judgment of the designated university official;

      3. fails to meet time, place, and manner restrictions;

      4. materially disrupts class, work, or other university business;

      5. substantially disrupts routes of entry or egress to class or work; or

      6. involves substantial disorder.

    7. Organizers are expected to inform attendees of the Code of Student Conduct and behavioral expectations. Organizers should be aware that some participants may have disabilities impacting access and require accommodations. The Office of Disability Services can provide advice on accommodating participants with disabilities.

    8. Participants may display a sign at the university by holding or carrying it by hand or otherwise attaching it to their person. For safety reasons, signs with stakes are not permitted.

    9. Any person holding or carrying a sign without handles should exercise due care to avoid bumping, hitting, or injuring any other person. Signs may be confiscated by a university official or law enforcement officer if they are used to bump, hit, or injure a person or damage property. Additional information regarding posting and distribution of literature must meet guidelines in UPPS No. 07.04.02, Posting/Distribution of Literature, Informational Booths & Banners on Campus.

    10. Employees must follow normal university leave policies if planning to actively participate in a demonstration on campus.

    11. Whether demonstrations are scheduled or occur spontaneously, organizers should expect university officials, typically Student Affairs staff or University Police Department officers, news service staff, and others to be present for all or part of the demonstration.

    12. The demonstration may be moved if the location is required for regular university operations.

    13. At the conclusion of the demonstration, organizers are expected to return the area to the condition it was in before the demonstration. This includes properly disposing of all garbage.


    1. A demonstration may invite a counter demonstration. All parties have a right to expression that must not be obstructed.

    2. University officials will monitor the demonstration area for counter protesters to ensure community safety and protection of rights.

    3. Counter demonstrations must not infringe upon the rights of others to engage in peaceful assembly, orderly protest, free exchange of ideas, or otherwise unreasonably interfere with the rights of others to make use of university outdoor grounds. This includes, but is not limited to, not damaging, defacing, marking, interfering with signs, tables or exhibits or other items posted or displayed by others.

    4. Counter demonstrations must follow the same guidelines as outlined in this policy.


    1. Any acts that are disruptive to normal university operations will not be tolerated.

    2. A student who engages in a disruptive act that violates this policy or the Code of Student Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action through Student Conduct in the Dean of Students Office. Faculty or staff who engage in violation of this policy will be subject to the established university disciplinary process. Non-university individuals engaging in behavior that violates the law may be removed from campus or otherwise dealt with through the law enforcement or criminal justice systems.

    3. Any property damage as a result of a demonstration may result in the assessment of fees for cleaning, repairs, and replacement of property to the organization and individuals involved by the appropriate university office that is authorized to issue a charge.


    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students September 1 E3Y
      Director, University Police Department September 1 E3Y
      Associate Director, Student Involvement September 1 E3Y

    This UPPS has been approved by following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Student Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Associate Vice President and Dean of Students; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Vice President for Student Affairs