Use of University Facilities

These policies and guidelines are intended to ensure that extracurricular use of the physical facilities of the University is responsible and consistent with the mission of the University.

I. General Policies

The following policies apply to all extracurricular uses of all University property, unless a specific exception is noted. Facilities normally closed to extracurricular activities because of their function as well as locked buildings, classrooms or other facilities are excepted from these policies. The University Scheduling Committee is authorized to administer and interpret these general policies. Its decisions may be appealed to the President who may designate another person to consider the appeal on a case by case basis.
  1. Definitions
    1. "The University Scheduling Committee" means the Presidential committee of that name, appointed by the President.
    2. "University groups" includes the University and all of its departments, service units, student organizations, affiliated or related organizations and foundations.
    3. "University individuals" includes faculty members, staff members, students and groups of students.
    4. "Student Organizations" are those organizations which are Contracted Independent Organizations (CIO's) or special status student organizations.
    5. "Student" is a person registered in the resident schools or College of the University at Charlottesville for the academic semester in progress at the time University property is to be used.
  2. Who May Use University Space
    1. University space may be used by all University individuals and groups.
    2. University space may be used by a non-University group in accordance with these policies and guidelines as long as the group is sponsored by a University group and executes a use of space agreement. The space agreement (Reservation of Space for Extra-curricular Event) contains both an indemnification provision holding harmless the University and its officers and employees and restrictions for use of space consistent with University policies. University individuals may not act as sponsors of non-University groups for the purpose of using University space.
    3. University facilities may be used -- subject to these procedures and guidelines and other space restrictions -- for religious purposes by University students, groups of students, student organizations, faculty members or staff members. This provision does not apply to University Hall or the Chapel, where special rules apply.
    4. Unless otherwise notified, guests of students and other visitors to the University are welcome on the Grounds but are not entitled to use those facilities or to attend those events which are limited to students by reason of their payment of tuition or fees or which are limited to faculty and staff members by reason of employment.
  3. Permitted Uses
    1. University space must be used in a manner which is in keeping with the goals of the University and does not violate University policies and procedures.
    2. No use of University property will be permitted that:
      1. is unlawful;
      2. discriminates on the basis of age, citizenship, color, handicap, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era (although attendance at an event can be limited, such as "members only", "students only" or "faculty and students only," it cannot be limited specifically by age, citizenship, color, handicap, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era.
      3. disrupts academic activities, scheduled events, University functions or other normal pursuits that take place in the area.
    3. Admission may be charged for events sponsored by University groups. Admission may not be charged for events sponsored by University individuals, nor may admission fees be collected for events held at the Rotunda. For purposes of the extracurricular use of University property, the proceeds from collections made at events held in University facilities are considered to be admission charges.
      Any income-generating use of University space that is in competition with private enterprise or is not directly related to the University's mission is not permitted unless the University's Services and Activities procedures have been followed.
    4. Building supervisors may develop use guidelines for their assigned facilities in order to maintain safety and to insure the normal operation of the facility. A person or group may seek clarification and/or interpretation of such use guidelines from the facility supervisor designated for the building.


II. General Guidelines on Conduct During Permitted Use

The following instructions and procedures governing conduct shall apply to the extracurricular use of all University property. The University Scheduling Committee may adopt and issue supplementary provisions when necessary.
  1. Persons who have reserved space or who are responsible for an event on University property are responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure the safety of University property and persons attending the events.
  2. In order to ensure that the rights of all parties are protected, the Dean of Students, in cooperation with students who have reserved University space, may develop and make available in advance specific provisions to govern conduct at a given event. For example, special rules may be devised to prevent disorder or other interference with the activity; precautions may be taken to avoid physical harm to persons or to property; and attendance may be limited according to space requirements or the desires of those who have reserved the space, so long as they do not conflict with the provisions herein. An appeal of these special rules may be made to the University Scheduling Committee; and then, if not resolved, to the President or his designee.
  3. When University space has been reserved or is in use, persons who wish to communicate to those in attendance (for example, by the distribution of leaflets or carrying of signs) will be permitted to do so in a manner that does not disrupt the activity in progress, that does not interfere with or harass those who are entitled to attend and that complies with any special rules developed pursuant to paragraph B of this Section. Actions that interfere with the opportunity of the audience to hear and observe the proceedings, that physically interfere with the proceedings or that create disruptive noises which penetrate the area of the proceedings are prohibited.
  4. All persons on University property are subject to these provisions and to the provisions of local, state and federal law. Appropriate action may be instituted against any person who does not comply therewith.
  5. Persons designated by the President are authorized to ask persons who are using or occupying University space in a manner inconsistent with these policies or guidelines to leave. A person who has reserved space or who is in charge of the event is also authorized to ask any person who engages in conduct inconsistent with these provisions to leave the event.
  6. Students who do not comply with a request to leave should be warned that disciplinary action may be taken which could result in suspension or expulsion from the University. If the violation continues, University disciplinary procedures may be initiated.
    Any person who does not comply with a request to leave should be warned that action may be taken which could result in arrest for violation of the law. If the violation continues, appropriate action may be instituted.


III. General Guidelines for Scheduling

The University Scheduling Committee is responsible for establishing general reservations procedures and scheduling guidelines for University buildings, grounds and playing fields. This does not preclude Building Supervisors, or those responsible, from developing specific reservation procedures and scheduling guidelines for particular buildings or fields. Such specific rules shall be considered a part of the general reservation procedures and scheduling guidelines when accepted by the Scheduling Committee or the President or his designee.
  1. University space can and should be reserved in order to assure its availability at the time desired. Information concerning the University spaces that can be reserved, the purposes for which they can be reserved, the pertinent rental costs, charges or restrictions and whether conflicting reservations have already been made can be obtained from the Facilities Coordinator's Office on the third floor of Newcomb Hall. Available space can be reserved through the Facilities Coordinator's Office or, where appropriate, through individual Building Supervisors, by complying with the procedures which are on file in the Facilities Coordinator's Office.
  2. The Facilities Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the schedule of non-academic activities in University facilities. (The term "non-academic activities" covers all extracurricular and co-curricular functions as well as special occasions for professional groups or public or private organizations.) The Facilities Coordinator is further charged with:
    1. maintaining a Master Calendar of University Events;
    2. releasing for publication the Calendar of University Events;
    3. approving, except where scheduling is under the control of individual building supervisors or authority is otherwise vested, the use of University facilities for non-academic activities;
    4. coordinating the use of University facilities with the user, the facility supervisor, the Activities Coordinating Committee and other pertinent University personnel;
    5. familiarizing user groups with the provisions governing the reservation and use of facilities, including lounge spaces within the houses and the adjacent Grounds;
    6. assisting prospective user groups in locating appropriate space;
    7. familiarizing the facility supervisors with the official provisions governing the scheduling of facilities for extracurricular activities; and
    8. assisting with logistical requirements in connection with the use of facilities.
  3. In order to achieve a fair distribution among interested parties of certain facilities in high demand and to insure that the use of space is appropriate to its character, the Facilities Coordinator and Building Supervisors or other persons charged with responsibility for University space not under the sole control of the Facilities Coordinator may establish restrictions and priorities for the use of University facilities. The principles of first applied-first granted will in most instances guide decisions on assignment of space except that academic (curricular) uses have priority over academic space. If the space requested for reservation is for a routine departmental, faculty or student meeting in space normally used and is not in conflict with other requests, assignment and confirmation are automatic.
  4. In scheduling extracurricular events, the Facilities Coordinator, Building Supervisor or person charged with the responsibility for University space not under the sole control of the Facilities Coordinator will act as instructed by the President or his designee.
  5. In cases of major scheduling or space conflicts of potential harm to a University group, the Scheduling Committee will, upon request, consult with those concerned and will make a decision on the applicable status. A decision by the Scheduling Committee may be appealed to the President or his designee.


Use of the Lawn

The Lawn is the geographical and spiritual heart of the University. The entire University Community -- students, faculty, administrators -- are its trustees, as well as the beneficiaries of its beauty and usefulness. The Lawn has extremely diverse uses and characteristics, among which are the following:
  1. It is a national and international historic treasure.
  2. It is a center of highly varied day-to-day academic activities.
  3. It is used occasionally as a setting for University activities, such as official convocations.
  4. It is a residential precinct for students and faculty.
  5. It is an area for limited active and passive outdoor recreational activities.
  6. It is a site for a steady stream of visitors and tourists from all over the world.

The University community has developed a proud tradition of mutual accommodations of all these diverse uses. The Lawn must perforce be open and accessible under reasonable rules and regulations.

The Lawn is replete with fragile, delicate structures and landscape content. Preservation is a constant concern and a burgeoning curatorial responsibility. That responsibility has been entrusted to the University as part of its fiduciary obligations to future generations. The danger that misuse of the Lawn presents to the historic edifices, and to their dependencies and surroundings, are real, not theoretical. Differing rules and regulations may apply to different parts of the Lawn -- e.g., the lower terrace may be governed by different safety precautions and regulations from those that apply to the upper three terraces. Moreover, space limitations and the number of requests for facilities dictate orderly administrative rules, always providing that these rules be content neutral.

Based on the foregoing considerations, the operative policy for the use of the Lawn area consists of the following:

  1. That the gardens of the Pavilions are public areas. Those garden areas adjacent to the Pavilions are not required to be open to the public at all times. They are to be open when not in personal use, and they must be open on certain occasions, e.g., Garden Week. To temporarily close these adjacent gardens for personal use by the Pavilion residents, an appropriate sign may be placed upon the gates notifying the public. Where the garden is divided into two portions by the intervening wall, the remote section may be open to the public at all times. The use of the gardens for social gatherings of University organizations is to be permitted where consistent with the occupancy of the Pavilion as home by the resident.
  2. That for the upper terraces of the Lawn (those between the Rotunda and the crosswalk at the northern limit of the "Homer Terrace" at the South) no structure shall be permitted on the Lawn except for those needed in connection with official University functions. (The term "structure" includes props and displays, such as coffins, crates, crosses, theaters, cages, and statues; furniture, and furnishings, such as desks, tables except those temporarily used by participants in the ceremonies or by University officials for the conduct of the ceremonies), books, and cabinets; shelters, such as tents, boxes, shanties and other enclosures; and other similar physical structures. The term "structure" does not include chairs, signs held by hand, bicycles, baby carriages, and baby strollers temporarily placed in, or being moved across the Lawn; and wheelchairs and other devices for the handicapped when used by handicapped persons.) The same rule shall be in effect for the lower ("Homer") terrace, except that for that area of the Lawn officially recognized student groups, academic or administrative departments, or University-related organizations or foundations may be granted use by the Office of the Dean of Students. That office will consider use in accordance with dictates affecting time, place, and manner. Among them are the following:
    1. The use of the designated space ("Homer Terrace") by any one group at any time shall not exceed three consecutive days.
    2. Disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary procedure, or other University activities, or of other authorized activities on University property is forbidden.


Use of the Rotunda

Reservations may be made by contacting the Rotunda Administrator (924-1019 or 924-7969). Reservations will be made in accordance with the guidelines set forth below and in accordance with University regulations.

Rotunda facilities may be reserved for dignified occasions, within the guidelines, by University departments, groups primarily controlled by faculty, staff, the Alumni Association, Student Council recognized student groups, or University contracted independent organizations. Assignment of spaces shall be content neutral. Because of the heavy demand, it will be the responsibility of the Rotunda Administrator to make the facilities available to as many requesters as possible, avoiding overuse of any group. The Rotunda will not be used for private parties (e.g., wedding receptions) nor will it be used for events requiring the collection of admission fees at the Rotunda.

The Dome Room is the most fragile of the Rotunda facilities. Of special concern is the heart pine floor, which is fragile and irreplaceable. Special care must be taken in the use of this room. Such affairs as seated dinners, lectures, and musical events would be appropriate uses; however, cocktail parties and dances are not permitted. Refreshments may be served only at seated meals. Smoking is prohibited.

Events that do not conflict with inside users may be held on North or South Porticos of the Rotunda provided that they are dignified occasions and are in compliance with Lawn Use regulations. Alcoholic beverages may not be served on the Porticos while the University is in session. Reservations may be made by the Rotunda Administrator.

The Dome Room and other Rotunda facilities may be used after the normal closing hour for the Rotunda (4:45 p.m.) only if official Rotunda personnel are present. Users will be billed for the cost of these employees on an hourly basis. A modest use fee will also be assessed. The use of candles in the Rotunda is restricted to oilless candles in the Dome Room during catered dinners. Candles are to be placed in holders on dinner tables. Candles are not to be carried when lit. Because of very limited fire escape routes, there is an absolute limit on the capacity of the Dome Room which was set by the University Safety Officer. The maximum capacity for banquets is 105 persons; for lectures and similar functions the maximum capacity is 140 persons. For additional room capacities, please see University Policy XV.I.1. In addition, all events are to end and all guests must vacate the premises by 10:30 p.m. This curfew will be strictly enforced.

University Catering Service must provide and serve food and beverages for all Rotunda events. Visitors may not bring food or beverages into the Rotunda. No food or beverages may be transported between floors.

No furnishings, antiques, tables, chairs and heavy equipment may be moved in any of the rooms without the permission of the Rotunda Administrator. Furniture, antiques and furnishings will be moved only by qualified Rotunda or University employees. Heavy equipment such as pianos are not to be taken to the Dome Room.

A $50 security deposit is required at the time of reservation for a dinner. Deposits for other evening events will be determined on an individual basis by Rotunda Administration. The deposit will be deducted from the itemized bill sent to the sponsor following the event. No refunds will be issued for events cancelled less than 30 days prior to the event. Users are required to agree in advance to pay for damage done to the Rotunda as a consequence of their event.

During the time the Rotunda is open to the public (usually 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.) Dome Room events will not normally be closed to the public. The oval rooms, if reserved, may be used for lectures, seminars, and meetings to which the public is not invited. The public is not invited into the Rotunda after the normal closing hours.

Students are encouraged to use the alcoves in the Dome Room for study whenever the room is available during normal open hours, subject to normal regulation by the Rotunda Administrator.

Except for official University-wide functions, the Dome Room will not be used for luncheons or receptions; these events may be scheduled in the Lower West Oval Room.

The Dome Room may be used for dinners no more than three times each week, and on annual average no more often than ten times each month.

An elevator to the upper floors is available for those visitors to the Rotunda with mobility limitations. These persons will be taken on the elevator by Rotunda personnel upon request. Others should use the stairways. In case of fire, the elevator will not be used.

Due to an elaborate humidity control system in place at the Rotunda, all windows and doors are to be kept tightly closed at all times. The glass doors overlooking the South Portico are to remain closed at all times except for official University-wide functions.