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Temporary Use of University Space (Guideline)

Temporary Use of University Space (Guideline)

Topic:
Approval Authority: Vice-President Finance and Administration
Approval Date: June 28, 2022
Effective Date: July 4 2022
  1. Introduction and Purpose
    1. Subject to the terms of the Temporary Use of University Space Regulation (the “TUUS Regulation”), York University will, in its discretion, make temporary use of University space accessible to members of the University community where the use of space is consistent with the principles reflected in the University’s purpose, mission, and values.
    2. The purpose of this Guideline is to outline the principles applicable to the University’s exercise of discretion under the TUUS Regulation, providing clarity, consistency and intelligibility for all members of the York University community and public at large.
    3. As set out in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and various University policies, including the Statement of Policy on Free Speech, the University reaffirms its commitment to free enquiry and expression and uphold the right of all University Community Members and guests to express their views within the law and without fear of intimidation or harassment. In all use of University space, while the University encourages and expects the respectful exchange of ideas, it is understood that free expression and safety are complementary.
    4. By providing space, York University does not necessarily subscribe to or support the philosophy, views, beliefs, or action of any user staging an Event or activity under this Policy.
  2. Definitions
    1. In this Guideline, capitalized terms have the meaning provided to them in the TUUS Regulation.
  3. Community and Spaces of Higher Learning
    1. At all times, the University seeks to exercise its powers, administrative, proprietary and beyond, in keeping with its fundamental objects as an institution of higher learning. The University serves the advancement of learning and the dissemination of knowledge.
    2. As it relates to the use of University space, the objects of higher learning demand that the University foster a community committed to the same ends. University Community Members require both an open exchange of ideas and personal security on University property. Expression and safety are not concepts in opposition, but complimentary notions. Each finds strength in the other.
    3. The University is vested with and may exercise all powers necessary to attain the objects of higher learning on its properties. The University seeks to afford University Community Members both the ability to freely express their ideas and the safety to do so.
    4. The TUUS Regulation is an important piece of this framework of the University as a community and physical space of higher learning.
    5. As a private property owner and occupier, the University has both the power and obligation to ensure that spaces remain safe to the extent required by law.
  4. Free Expression on Campus
    1. Free expression is at the core of both democratic society at large and the project of higher learning. Free enquiry in cannot exist without free expression.
    2. Free expression means more than free speech, includes the myriad ways an individual might express their identity, and is closely connected with other norms including association with ideas, groups and personal characteristics.
    3. Open debate and deliberation on University property and in University spaces means that University Community Members may be exposed to ideas and opinions that they find unwelcome, disagreeable or offensive.
    4. The University does not suppress expression on its property simply because some or even most people find expression unwelcome, disagreeable or offensive.
    5. Free expression is not limitless. The University may impose limits where necessary to ensure the attainment of its objectives as an institution of higher learning, and that expression on University property conforms with applicable law.
    6. As it relates to expression, the TUUS Regulation aims to use a risk-based analysis that preserves expression where possible, ensures all University Community Members coexist respectfully and safely, and respects applicable law.
  5. Protests, Demonstrations and Rallies on Campus
    1. Protests, demonstrations and rallies are forms of free expression, and the University respects the right of University Community Members to peacefully express their agreement or disagreement on University property.
    2. The University’s respect for peaceful expression does not extend to violent and unlawful conduct. The TUUS Regulation’s risk-based analysis at all times seeks to identify and prevent violence and unlawful conduct on University property and in University spaces.
    3. The University’s respect for peaceful expression does not extend to activity that aims to remove the ability for others to express. The TUUS Regulation’s risk-based analysis may identify and mitigate the suppressive effect of protests, demonstrations and rallies on University property and in University spaces. This is necessary so that a plurality of expression may flourish.
  6. Event Related Communications and Postering
    1. Communications published to advertise, promote, encourage, coordinate or develop an Event may be used by the TUUS Office and related bodies in the process of assessing risk and determining whether a TUUS Permit will be issued or maintained under the TUUS Regulation.
    2. In assessing the risk posed by an Event, the source of communications may be considered (i.e., an official flyer vs. a flyer that is unsanctioned by the organizing entity), but the central concern is whether a risk arises that cannot be mitigated through the TUUS Assessment process outlined in the TUUS Regulation. The TUUS Assessment will weigh the risk that is posed to the safety of University Community Members and the public irrespective of the source of the communication.
    3. The ideological or other expressive content of the communication is not the subject of the TUUS Regulation, per se, but may be the subject of another University regulation, policy, procedure or guideline, as applicable.
  7. External Speakers and Guests at Events on Campus
    1. External speakers and Guests are generally permitted to attend Events on University property for which a TUUS Permit has been issued. The University aims to promote the free exchange of ideas and the advancement of knowledge within the University community and in the public at large.
    2. The ideological or other expressive content of external speakers’ anticipated expressions is not the subject of the TUUS Regulation, per se, but the TUUS Assessment process outlined in the TUUS Regulation may consider whether a risk arises that cannot be mitigated through the process outlined in the TUUS Regulation. The TUUS Assessment will weigh the risk that is posed to the safety of University Community Members and the public.
    3. The ideological or other expressive content of an external speaker or Guest is not the subject of the TUUS Regulation, per se, but may be the subject of another University regulation, policy, procedure or guideline, as applicable.
  8. Review
    1. This guideline will be reviewed from time to time, as applicable. During the review, the guideline will remain in effect.
Legislative History: Approved by: Vice-President Finance and Administration, June 28, 2022
Date of Next Review: This guideline will be reviewed from time to time, as applicable. During the review, the guideline will remain in effect.
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines:
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