Expression Area Policy
The University of North Georgia (UNG) is committed to providing an educational and work climate that is conducive to the personal and professional development of each individual. In fulfilling its mission as an institution of higher learning, it encourages the free exchange of ideas. To do this, the university has an Expressive Activities Policy that promotes free speech while also helping to make necessary arrangements to ensure that activities can go on without disrupting our daily operations.
Space on UNG campuses is generally classified as one of the following types.
Designated Public Forum: Areas designated by UNG for Expressive Activity. The Free Expression Areas are Designated Public Forums. Free Expression Areas are as follows:
- Cumming Campus – the grass area in front of the building closest to the lower parking lots
- Dahlonega Campus – the grass area on the east side of the Memorial Hall pool
- Gainesville Campus – the grass area stretching from the Student Center to the Strickland Building
- Oconee Campus – the grass area between the quad walkway and the Library wing of the Student Resource Center
- Blue Ridge Campus – Due to space restrictions, no area has been designated.
Limited Public Forum: Areas with limited open access for Expressive Activity and may be limited to particular groups or particular topics. Examples include but are not limited to: sidewalks, streets, paved areas, terraces, patios, lawns, and parks on campus.
Non-Public Forum: Areas that are not traditional public forums, designated public forums, or limited public forums. Examples include, but are not limited to, classrooms, residence hall rooms, faculty and staff offices, academic buildings, administration buildings or other areas on campus that can be reserved through the online event management system (EMS), medical treatment facilities, libraries, the Pine Valley Recreation Area, the William Livsey Drill Field, Colonel Ben Purcell Formation Plaza, Retreat Triangle, and Memorial Wall and other memorial areas. These forums will be restricted to use for their intended purpose and are not available for public Expressive Activity.
Members of the UNG community may use a variety of locations for Expressive Activity, although non-public spaces must be reserved through the UNG Event Management System. The university community includes any persons enrolled at or employed by the university including faculty, staff, administrators and employees, and recognized university affiliated entities including university foundations, recognized student organizations, university departments, and structured volunteers.
While most UNG events are planned in advance, spontaneous expression, such as discussion of recent news events, can also happen in the Free Expression areas between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. without reservations. Large groups planning to gather, though, should alert Campus Public Safety Department at 706-864-1500. Members of the UNG community may also gather spontaneously in groups of under 25 people in Traditional Public Forums, Designated Public Forums, and Limited Public Forums as long as doing so does not interfere with previous reservations or the operation of the university. As always, for more in-depth information about this, please see the Expressive Activities Policy in its entirety.
If your organization is not a part of the university community, you may access the Free Expression Areas between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Although it is not necessary to request a reservation for use of the Free Expression Area for the purposes of expression, the university encourages all parties to contact the relevant Dean of Students for scheduling to minimize conflicts and best accommodate all interested users. The Free Expression Areas are Designated Public Forums and provided on a content neutral basis and are designed for any non-university community members or groups to share an opinion or viewpoint with the university community. If your organization would like to reserve a different area of campus for an expressive activity, that may be possible if no university entity has reserved that area. You should request this via our Free Speech/Public Forum Request Form.
For all events, time, place, and manner restrictions may apply. Additionally, please review the provisions for care and keeping of UNG space by reading the Expressive Activities Policy in its entirety.