Outdoor Events on Campus

Many outdoor areas and a few buildings on campus are, in a general sense and during normal business hours, "open to the public." However, the entire campus and all University-owned buildings are private property. The University thus restricts access to some buildings and outdoor areas during business hours, and restricts access to all buildings and some outdoor areas during non-business hours. In addition, from time to time, the University exercises its right to deny individuals access to all or some University property, normally after an individualized determination has been made that a person(s) has engaged in criminal activity, suspicious activity, or behavior that is or is likely to be threatening, violent or disruptive to University operations and activities.

All events and activities planned to take place out-of-doors on campus must be approved in advance by the Office of the Student Centers (773-834-0858) A University Department and/or Recognized Student Organization (RSO) must sponsor all outdoor events. Requests must be submitted at least forty-eight hours before the start of the event so that appropriate offices can be informed. The person in charge of the event(s) should submit a written request to reserve the quadrangle space, including the date, time, location, number of people expected to attend; whether food, alcohol, and/or non-alcoholic beverages will be served; and the playing of music, or other amplified sound, and set-up arrangements. (If alcohol will be served at an event, additional policies and approvals apply. See the University Alcohol Policy.) Additional information may be requested from the sponsor about the proposed event. Event organizers must be present for the duration of the event. All banners, tables, signs and other paraphernalia used, as well as all trash generated by the event, must be removed when the event concludes.

Alcohol is not allowed at events that have not received the appropriate alcohol approval (See the alcohol policy). University officials or agents of the University have the authority to prohibit attendees from bringing alcoholic beverages to any University event and require appropriate identification for dispensing alcohol at events that have received approval. Unauthorized beverages may be confiscated by the official or agent.

Any event produced in conjunction with an outside organization or firm (whether paid or not) may require special contractual and/or insurance arrangements. The sponsor of any such event should inform the Office of the Student Centers and the sponsor must make the necessary advance arrangements with the Office of Risk Management.

To minimize the disruption of academic and administrative activities, music, amplified sound, or other loud noise is permitted generally only between noon and 1:00 p.m. and after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. Even during approved hours, all noise should be kept at a reasonable level and University officials may require event organizers to change the volume to a specific lower level, or turn off the amplifiers altogether if the activity is taking place at or near Medical Center buildings. The City of Chicago does not permit the use of amplified sound on private property between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Student organizations should make timely and appropriate arrangements with their Center of Leadership and Involvement advisor. Protestors and demonstrators however, may not use amplified sound indoors. Their organizers may also need to obtain a permit from the City of Chicago and should consult the Office of the Student Centers. Banners and/or signs are to be erected only by University Departments or RSOs and the schedule of their display must be approved by the Director of the Student Centers (or designee).

The erection or construction of any structure (such as a tent, stage, signs, or other markers) requires the approval of the Director of the Student Centers (or designee) and consultation with the Environmental Health and Safety Office and Facilities Services.

For the University’s policy on unmanned aircraft systems (drones), visit the Department of Safety and Security website, https://safety-security.uchicago.edu/policies_procedures/.

Any outdoor event or display which involves special circumstances, such as the duration over an extended period of time, student sleep-overs, large attendance, possibility of demonstration, or late-night/early morning events will require special permission of the Director of the Student Centers (or designee) in advance of the event.

For events where a large crowd is expected or where there is a potential for the attendance of persons with views that differ from the views held by event organizers, in advance of the event, student organizations should provide the contact information of their Center for Leadership and Involvement advisor and departments should provide the contact information of an appropriate full-time staff member in their department; that staff member may be required to attend. Contact information should be provided to the Office of the Student Centers.