The University Record, January 18, 1993

New policy on use of Diag, North Campus Common announced

By Jane R. Elgass

A Universitywide policy that clarifies regulations concerning the use of the Central Campus Diag and the North Campus Common has been implemented by Farris W. Womack, vice president and chief financial officer, and Maureen A. Hartford, vice president for student affairs. Preliminary work on the policy, which was effective Jan. 4, was done by a faculty/student/staff committee.

The purpose of the policy, as stated in its preamble, “is to assure that all facilities operated by the University are maintained in a safe and orderly manner that supports the basic University functions of teaching, research and service. The procedures and restrictions outlined in this policy are not intended to impinge on the rights of members of the University community to express their beliefs and voice their grievances. Rather, the procedures and restrictions outlined in this policy are intended to protect and advance the health, safety and total environment of the campus community.”

The “Policy for Scheduled Use of the University of Michigan Designated Outdoor Common Areas” succeeds an operational policy that has been administered by the Student Organization Development Center (SODC).

The policy applies only to the hard-surface section of the Diag in front of the Graduate Library and an area on the North Campus Common that from all sides is 75 feet from the adjacent buildings. If a group cannot be accommodated only on the hard surface, the event will be considered inappropriate for the location and would have to be scheduled elsewhere.

Frank J. Cianciola, associate dean of students-activities and programs, says the purpose of the policy “is to clarify for individuals and organizations who want to use the Diag or Common the steps to take to apply for use and the expectations of the University.”

Cianciola says that implementation of the policy means fewer steps for users in getting approval for use. “We want to move paper, not people,” he says.

Elements of the policy that are new or that differ from the SODC policy include:

—Events must be scheduled at least seven days in advance of use, but not more than four months in advance.

—The issuance of solicitation permits has been delegated to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, and will be administered by Cianciola.

—Certain days will not be available for scheduling. These include commencement, examination days, study days, Martin Luther King Day, residence hall moving days and the Ann Arbor Art Fairs period. “We want to focus on the academic calendar,” Cianciola says, “and prevent intrusion during exam and study times and the like.”

—Clear parameters for the construction and display of temporary structures are included.

The policy addresses five types of activities: information distribution; posting, banners and signs; solicitation of donations; events and programs; and temporary three-dimensional structures.

Eligible users of the two common areas are members of the University community, including Michigan Student Assembly-registered student organizations, faculty and staff organizations, organizations such as the Alumni Association and University Musical Society, and U-M units and departments.

Among the authorized activities are:

—Information distribution.

—Solicitation of donations.

—Events and programs.

—Temporary three-dimensional structures.

The policy prohibits use of the areas in any manner that would create health or safety hazards or damage University buildings and grounds. Such hazards include, but are not limited to:

—Trash, garbage or other decaying materials.

—Enclosures in which assailants or others might hide, displays that block or obstruct pedestrian or vehicle circulation routes and displays that interfere with proper maintenance of the campus.

Users are responsible for keeping the area free of litter and will be liable for any property damage.

When multiple users are scheduled to share the site, they must cooperate and not interfere with the proceedings of the other group(s).

Prohibited uses include:

—Threats to health, safety or environment, or unlawful activity.

—Sales and solicitations of sales.

—Operation of motorized vehicles, except service or emergency vehicles.

—Painting, posting, taping or defacing in any manner buildings, grounds, structures, walkways, walls or trees.

—Illegal use, possession or sale of drugs and alcohol.

—Permanent structures.

—Posting of signs or notices on street signs, building identification signs, sidewalks or walkways.

Copies of the policy and application forms are available from the SODC office, Room 2202, Michigan Union, 763-5900.