Chapter 35 – Conditions of Use of University Facilities and Outdoor Spaces

(President 2/59, 1/12/72, 8/1/73, 7/1/78; amended 5/91; 9/93; 10/94; 1/02; 12/03; 10/04; 6/07; 7/07; 10/07; 7/1/08; 4/09; 12/09; 2/10; 8/10; 2/11; 12/13; 8/24/15; 6/1/18; 6/11/19; President 3/15/21)

35.1 Definitions

(Presidet 3/15/21)
  1. University facilities. Unless the context otherwise requires, the term "University facilities" as used herein includes all campus buildings and grounds except the following: Old Capitol, Stanley Museum of Art, Iowa House Hotel, Hancher Auditorium, Iowa Memorial Union, office space in University buildings, and any other space which is committed to internal University use at all times or in which public use would be inconsistent with its primary function.
  2. Outdoor space and use of campus outdoor areas. Section V-35.6 below applies to outdoor campus areas and outlines viewpoint-neutral time, place, and manner policies related to six specific outdoor areas of the campus in Iowa City including the Pentacrest. Inquiry concerning use of any other outdoor areas should be addressed to the respective directors or building coordinators as reflected at

    Consistent with Iowa Code Chapter 261H, Board of Regents Policy Manual 4.2 designates all outdoor areas of campus to be public forums, open on the same terms to any member of the campus community subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that are consistent with established principles of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Members of the campus community may engage in noncommercial expressive activity (defined below  as "casual use") in any outdoor area of campus in accordance with the provisions of Iowa Code 261H and time, place, and manner restrictions defined in V-35.6 below. No campus outdoor area shall be designated as a free speech zone, and no policies will be created by administration that restrict expressive activity to a particular zone.

    Nothing in this policy shall be construed to grant individuals the right to engage in conduct that intentionally, materially, and substantially disrupts the expressive activity of a person or student organization if the University has reserved space in an outdoor area of campus for activity by the person or student organization in accordance with this policy. (See IC 261H.4.3).
  3. Primary uses. "Primary uses" include established student, faculty, and staff activities which are part of the course of regular University business, including classroom activities, faculty and staff work and research activities, University committee meetings, regular meetings of University-wide student governments, and other activities necessary to and a regular part of the conduct of University business. 
  4. Non-primary uses. "Non-primary uses" include all uses of University facilities which are neither primary uses nor casual uses.
  5. Casual uses. "Casual use" means any spontaneous use of University facilities or outdoor spaces for which there is no prior promotion, solicitation, or purposeful attempt to attract the public. The campus community may use University facilities for any casual and reasonable use at all times.

35.2 Use of University Facilities

(President 3/15/21)

University facilities are dedicated to primary uses within the institution. Such primary uses, however, do not require that University facilities be exclusively reserved for those uses, and it is therefore University policy to make University facilities available for other uses that are consistent with the University's mission as a public institution of higher education.

  1. The factors below shall be considered in determining whether a proposed use is consistent with the academic mission of the University. This listing of factors is not intended to be exhaustive, nor is the presence or absence of any one or more factors determinative of the appropriateness of a planned use.
    1. If the proposed use is appropriately sponsored, whether by an academic department of the University or by a student, staff, or faculty organization officially recognized by the University;
    2. If the proposed use is part of or contributes to the outreach efforts of the University;
    3. If the proposed use is non–profit making in the commercial sense;
    4. If the proposed use does not involve efforts at selling commercial products or services to students or staff;
    5. If the proposed use is open to students, faculty, or staff of the University;
    6. If the proposed use is academic or educational in nature. 
  2. If a proposed use is determined to be consistent with the academic mission of the University, approval of the proposed use shall still be subject to the following requirements:
    1. The proposed use must not conflict with scheduled or anticipated primary uses, nor interfere with ongoing primary uses.
    2. Adequate physical space must be available for the proposed use.
    3. Adequate support services must be available, including restroom facilities, security, overnight accommodations, food service, parking, and janitorial services. 
    4. The proposed use must not present a physical danger to persons or the reasonable probability of damage to the University facilities or to equipment.
    5. Evidence must be presented by the user of ability to pay the rates and charges for use of University facilities and services and, where appropriate, advance payment of a portion of the anticipated rate and charge and/or refundable damage deposits may be required.
    6. Assurance must be given in writing that required support services (such as overnight accommodations, and the like), which the University deems necessary but is not providing, will be provided by the user. 
    7. Use of the space shall be subject to all applicable policies of the University.

35.3 Assignment, Application, and Approval

(President 3/15/21)

Space assignment is the responsibility of the University administration. Space is assigned to colleges, departments, and support units of the University to enable them to carry out their assigned responsibilities and to house the personnel associated with those activities, consistent with strategic planning initiatives of the University.  

Space assignments for primary use will be approved by University administration, specifically the University Space Committee, a subcommittee of the Campus Development Team (CDT), after consultation with appropriate deans and directors.  

Application for proposed non-primary uses of University facilities must be made to the offices below for the respective facilities. In approving a proposed non-primary use, the office to which the application is made may specify such conditions of the proposed use as is deemed advisable. An application may be denied for failure of the applicant to provide full and accurate information as requested. Decisions regarding scheduling, space allocation, rates, facilities use, application deadlines, and all other matters relating to proposed uses of University facilities by non-primary users shall be made by the office to which application for use is made. Application for a proposed non-primary use that involves multiple University facilities may be made to the offices specified below:

  1. Use of the Iowa Memorial Union, Danforth Chapel, and outdoor spaces as defined by V-35.6: Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) Event Services.
  2. Use of University Housing & Dining facilities: University Housing & Dining.
  3. Use of general assignment classrooms: Office of the Registrar.
  4. Use of Athletic, Recreational Services, or Multi-Use Facilities.  All athletic and multi-use facilities (Duane Banks Field [baseball], Ashton Cross Country Course, Grant Field [field hockey], Pearl Field [softball], Kenyon Football Practice Facility, Kretzmeyer Track, Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Finkbine Golf Course, Recreation Building, Indoor Practice Facility, Field House, Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center, and other outdoor and indoor practice facilities and playing fields) shall be scheduled as follows: 
    1. Athletic events. All intercollegiate competitive events will be scheduled with the approval of the Director of Athletics, who may consult as appropriate with the Presidential Committee on Athletics (PCA). Department of Athletics usage of multi-use facilities shall be scheduled by the Director of Athletics in consultation with the Director of Recreational Services.
    2. Recreation and academic events. All recreational and academic events will be scheduled with the approval of the Director of Recreational Services.
    3. Other activities and events not covered in paragraph a or b. Requests for the use of athletic or recreational services facilities are to be submitted to either the Director of Athletics Facilities or the Director of Recreational Services, depending on the facility being requested. The request will then be reviewed according to University policies. Upon approval and if deemed necessary, a contract will be produced and sent to the University Business Manager for University consideration and approval.
  5. Use of the Old Capitol is restricted. The Old Capitol, which served as Iowa’s first state government building, is not a general-purpose meeting facility. The Pentacrest Museums now govern its use (see
  6. Policy for Old Capitol Flagstaff. Requests for flags to be flown over Old Capitol. Three different flags may be flown from the Old Capitol flagstaff at the University of Iowa. These are the flag of the United States of America; the flag of the State of Iowa; and, on home football game days, the University of Iowa "Hawkeye" flag. No other flag may be flown over the Old Capitol except a special flag that may be flown only as directed by proclamation of the President of the United States or the Governor of the State of Iowa.

    Requests to lower the American flag and the State of Iowa flag to half-staff. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of Iowa are to be lowered to half-staff exclusively on orders from the office of the President of the United States or the office of the Governor of the State of Iowa.
  7. Use of all other University facilities: Facilities Management.

35.4 Reassignment of Space for Primary Use

(Presidet 3/15/21)
  1. Reductions in personnel, teaching, research, or service loads may result in the reassignment of space assigned to the unit. The following conditions will prompt a space assignment analysis, which may direct the reversion of space to University administration for reassignment:
    1. the absence of authorization to replace vacated personnel lines, to include faculty, graduate assistants, and staff;
    2. the relocation of a unit to different space;
    3. the loss of sponsored research support that results in a reduction of personnel supported by the research grant (the space which would continue to be assigned will be determined using an appropriate level of facility support per faculty member by discipline);
    4. the loss of students enrolled in courses for which space is assigned to the unit, such as teaching laboratories or special classrooms; and
    5. the phasing out of educational, research, or support programs, or adjustments made as the result of strategic planning.
  2. Space which reverts for reassignment will be used to meet the emerging needs of the institution, including those of the unit initially losing the space, consistent with University strategic planning priorities. Under some circumstances, space which would normally revert may remain under the temporary use of the occupying unit pending subsequent reassignment to other units.

35.5 Prohibitions in Use of Facilities

(Amended 9/92; 10/94; 9/98; 9/99; 2/00; 7/07; 10/07; 7/1/08; 12/09; 2/10; 8/10; 12/13; 8/24/15; President 3/15/21)
  1. Casual users. Casual users of University facilities shall not disturb or disrupt persons in adjacent buildings, and such users are expected not to damage or destroy any property, and must not cause any litter or other nuisance. Casual users are not permitted to use any electronic sound amplification system or equipment. 
  2. Tobacco-free campus policy. The University of Iowa is a tobacco-free facility. Use of tobacco, as defined in II-38, is prohibited in any building, vehicle, or outdoor area owned, leased, or controlled by the University. See II-38 University of Iowa Policy on a Tobacco-Free Campus. (See also IAC [681]12.6.)
  3. Food and beverages. Food and beverages shall be consumed in academic buildings only in areas designated by the responsible administrative (e.g., collegiate, departmental) unit. (See also IAC [681]12.7 and V-26 University of Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Service Guidelines and Procedures.) 
  4. Obscene materials. As defined by Iowa Code Chapter 728, obscene materials may be disseminated or exhibited in campus facilities only if:
    1. appropriate steps are taken to prevent their dissemination or exhibition to minors located inside and outside the facility; or
    2. the materials are being used for such educational or artistic purposes as would be permitted under Iowa Code 728 and do not constitute child pornography under federal or state law.
  5. Animals in buildings. Animals are not permitted in any University building or structure, and if found are subject to impoundment. Exceptions from this general prohibition include service animals, experimental subjects, approved animals in University student housing, or certified therapy animals at UI Health Care or in other events or programs as approved by the appropriate vice president.
  6. Grilling. Individuals and unauthorized groups may not conduct grilling on campus except as specifically allowed. Individuals may grill for tailgating during football games in designated parking lots where tailgating is allowed to occur. Guidelines are outlined on the Campus Safety fire safety web page or the Risk Management web page. University departments, vendors, and recognized student organizations that adhere to the procedures are allowed to conduct outdoor grilling in approved locations.

(See also IAC [681]12.6 and [681]12.7.)

35.6 Use of Campus Outdoor Areas and Prohibitions in Use of Outdoor Areas 

(President 3/15/21)
  1. Use(s) by the campus community. For purposes of this section, the campus community is defined as students, administrators, faculty, staff, and guests invited to the University by students, administrators, faculty, or staff. 
    1. Applications for use of outdoor areas for a purpose beyond the scope of regularly assigned use are submitted as provided below. Only the campus community is permitted to use University facilities for these scheduled uses. The Vice President for Student Life (or designee) reviews, schedules, approves, and denies outdoor space requests and applications.
    2. Reservation applications. Members or invited guests of the campus community may seek to reserve an outdoor campus area for use by submitting to IMU Event Services a written application specifying the area desired, properly signed by a campus community member or an authorized representative of the group. 
    3. Applications must be submitted at least one week in advance of intended use to provide time for all necessary arrangements. 
    4. There is no charge for the use of the area unless special expenses or damages are incurred which are charged to the group at actual cost. 
    5. IMU Event Services grants timely and reasonable applications in the order received and denies any application that does not conform with University regulations, these rules, or the law. 
    6. In reviewing an application, IMU Event Services considers whether the intended use may disturb or disrupt the University’s primary use of the facilities or regularly scheduled University programs, events, or activities in the areas.
    7. No application may be denied for any reason that would deny constitutionally protected rights of freedom of speech, expression, or assembly. 
    8. An application may be resubmitted for reconsideration after revision based on feedback from the University Event Committee and/or to better align with University policies and procedures regarding use of outdoor space.
  2. Approval process.  Members of the campus community may tentatively reserve space for a potential event prior to the event’s approval by the University Events Committee.  The approval process is outlined in the University Events Committee Policies and Processes.  In addition to submitting a request form, the applicant may be required to appear before the University Events Committee. The University Events Committee will communicate with other campus partners (e.g., building coordinators) about the potential use of certain spaces based on the type of event prior to approval being granted. Final approval will be communicated to applicants electronically. 
  3. Casual use. Any person may use outdoor areas for any casual and reasonable use at reasonable times. "Casual use" means any spontaneous and unorganized use for which there is no prior promotion, solicitation, or purposeful attempt to attract or solicit the public in the course of such use. Casual users shall not:
    1. Interfere with the use of outdoor spaces by authorized members of the campus community; 
    2. Unreasonably disturb or disrupt persons in adjacent buildings; 
    3. Damage or destroy any property, including the grass or shrubbery, nor cause any litter or other nuisance; and
    4. Use any electronic sound amplification systems or equipment. 
  4. Prohibited and limited outdoor activities. The following activities are prohibited or limited within outdoor campus areas. 
    1. Camping. Camping is prohibited in all outdoor locations, unless supported and approved through a University-wide initiative or specifically related to the academic mission of the institution and approved by the University Events Committee. Camping is only allowed, if approved, in Hubbard Park and no other outdoor space location(s).
    2. Structures. No tent, hut, platform, vehicle, or similar object or structure shall be placed or erected in reserved outdoor space locations unless supported and approved through a University-wide initiative or specifically related to the academic mission of the institution. Tables (with chairs) are the only allowed equipment or structures to be used in outdoor space locations, with the exception of Hubbard Park as described below, as approved by the University Events Committee in connection with an authorized group event or activity. Hubbard Park allows for structures and equipment, such as tents, tables, huts, kiosks, booths, vehicles, or similar structures, to be used only as approved by the University Events Committee in connection with an authorized group event or activity. 
    3. Signs and banners. Registered student organizations and UI departments may use A-frame signs (sandwich boards) in the following locations, provided that accessibility is maintained between any affected sidewalk and/or street:
      1. The T. Anne Cleary Walkway; 
      2. The southeast corner of the sidewalk adjacent to the IMU, near the intersection of West Jefferson and North Madison Streets; and 
      3. The sidewalk entrance to North Library Plaza, north of the Main Library and south of Becker Communication Studies Building, near the intersection of West Washington and South Madison Streets. 

        No other sign (including yard sign), banner, balloon, slogan, symbol, display, or other similar device may be painted, affixed, erected, or installed on the campus except as expressly approved by the University Events Committee or in conjunction with a University-wide initiative or if specifically related to the academic mission of the institution. This prohibition does not apply to the distribution of leaflets to individuals or to the carrying of picket signs or placards by individuals, provided such activities are conducted in a legal manner. Outdoor campus signage must comply with the campus brand manual. See  II-20 University Brand Policy.
    4.  Balloon and/or lantern release. Because of shared airspace with UIHC Life Flight, the release of balloons, lanterns, or similar objects is not allowed on the University of Iowa campus. 
    5. Use of drones or uncrewed aerial systems. The use of drones or “uncrewed aerial systems” is strictly prohibited on campus property, except as expressly approved by the Campus Drone Committee pursuant to the University Drone Policy. on the Risk Management web page.
    6. Food trucks and carts. Food trucks operate on the University of Iowa campus only at the invitation of a department or registered student organization. Food trucks will operate on campus only after signing a standard contract managed by University Purchasing.  For information, visit the Food Trucks web page via Purchasing, Accounts Payable, and Travel.
    7. Exterior illumination and facility lighting.  All illumination and facility lighting shall be determined by the University Events Committee.
  5. Chalking. Chalking of sidewalks is a means of expression. It may be used in many ways, including to announce programs, promote events, exchange opinions, share messages, and otherwise express ideas. This policy is designed to permit sidewalk chalking while also advancing important university interests, including but not limited to ensuring campus safety, safeguarding entrances and exits to and from university facilities, protecting University property and facilities, and maintaining the aesthetic appeal of campus. Policy related to chalking applies to all University students, staff, faculty, affiliates, invited guests, and visitors. Chalking on campus sidewalks is permitted subject to the viewpoint-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions detailed below. 
    1. Chalking is limited to: the use of water-soluble chalk (sidewalk chalk). The use of markers, paints, oil-based products, nonsoluble products, and spray chalks is prohibited. 
    2. Chalking is permitted only on: horizontal (flat) sidewalks that are open to the elements (i.e., sidewalk that is not covered by a roof or overhang). 
    3. Chalking is prohibited on all vertical surfaces and all non-sidewalk surfaces, both inside and outside, including benches, buildings, bus stops, bridges, columns, fountains, monuments, newsstands, overhangs, planters, poles, roads, rocks, signs, statues, stairs/steps, trash receptacles, trees, walls, and windows. 
    4. Chalking is not allowed in any of the following areas (see Iowa Code Chapter 261H.1(4)), as depicted in this PDF icon campus chalking map:
      1. areas outside health care facilities, including stand-alone facilities and mixed-use facilities that are embedded within another facility; 
      2. veterinary medicine facilities;
      3. any facility or outdoor area used by the University’s athletics program or teams, including the following: all athletic and multi-use facilities (Duane Banks Field [baseball], Ashton Cross Country Course, Grant Field [field hockey], Pearl Field [softball], Kenyon Football Practice Facility, Kretzmeyer Track, Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Finkbine Golf Course, Recreation Building, Indoor Practice Facility, Field House, Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center, and other outdoor and indoor practice facilities and playing fields); and
      4. any other outdoor areas where access is restricted to a majority of the campus community.
    5. Overwriting, erasing, defacing, or altering existing chalking is prohibited by anyone other than the person or organization who did the chalking, except that University facility and grounds personnel will clean and wash sidewalks, plazas, and other outdoor areas in the course of their usual and ordinary campus maintenance activities.
    6. Chalking that violates any federal or state law or any other University of Iowa policy is prohibited.
    7. Commercial solicitation, advertising and sales, including through chalking, are not permitted on campus except as explicitly permitted by IAC (681)13.15.
  6. Outdoor locations. The use of specific outdoor campus locations listed below is subject to all the application and use requirements and restrictions stated above, as well as the additional viewpoint-neutral restrictions described within the polices and guidelines of the University Events Committee. 
    1. Pentacrest. Area of the campus bounded by Clinton Street on the east, Washington Street on the south, Madison Street on the west, and Jefferson Street on the north, and on which are located the Old Capitol, Macbride Hall, Schaeffer Hall, MacLean Hall, and Jessup Hall. The Pentacrest forms the core of the central campus, and the buildings thereon contain classrooms, laboratories, and faculty and administrative offices. The Old Capitol is a state historical monument. 
    2. Kautz Plaza. Elevated concrete area north of Jefferson Street and south of Market Street, bounded by Calvin Hall to the South, Iowa Memorial Union Parking Ramp to the west, Trowbridge Hall to the north, with T. Anne Cleary Walkway (formerly North Capitol Street), Pappajohn Business Administration Building, and Gilmore Hall to the east. The T. Anne Cleary Walkway is not deemed a part of the plaza, for purposes of this policy.
    3. T. Anne Cleary Walkway. The walkway is located to the east of Calvin Hall, Kautz Plaza, Trowbridge Hall, and the Chemistry Building and to the west of Gilmore Hall, Pappajohn Business Building, Pomerantz Center, and Belin-Blank Center. The T. Anne Cleary Walkway is intersected by Market Street. 
    4. Gibson Square Park. Gibson Square Park is the green space located on the northeast corner of Burlington and Madison Streets, south of the Main Library and to the north of the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
    5. North Library Plaza: North Library Plaza is the space located to the west of Madison Street bounded by the Main Library to the south, Becker Communication Studies Building and Adler Journalism and Mass Communication Building to the north, and the CRANDIC bridge to the west.  
    6. Hubbard Park. Hubbard Park is the green space west of Madison Street and north of Iowa Avenue. The space is bounded by the railroad tracks and the Iowa River on the west, the Iowa Memorial Union driveway to the north, Madison Street to the east, and Iowa Avenue to the south. Danforth Chapel is not deemed a part of the park.
  7. End of event. Events must end at the agreed time approved by the University Events Committee. If the event does not end at the specified time, the group will receive a written warning for the first infraction. This reprimand will state that further infractions may result in prohibition of outdoor space reservation privileges for increasing durations according to the frequency and severity of the infractions. 
  8. Appeals. University Event Committee decisions may be appealed to the Associate Dean of Students and Executive Director of the Iowa Memorial Union by filing a written notice of appeal within 10 University business days following the receipt of the decision.
    1. Grounds for appeal. Appeals may be submitted by addressing one or more of the following grounds: 
      1. The decision was unsupported by current University policies and procedures pertaining to outdoor space reservations.
      2. The decision denies constitutionally protected rights of freedom of speech and/or assembly. 
    2. Decision on appeal. On appeal, the decision may be denied or granted by the Associate Dean of Students and Executive Director of the Iowa Memorial Union. The Associate Dean of Students and Executive Director of the Iowa Memorial Union will respond in writing (or by email) to the appealing parties within 10 business days. The notice of appeal and response will be kept on file in the Office of the Dean of Students. The decision constitutes the final institutional action on the matter.