Guidelines Regarding Protest and Dissent
A. Commitment and Responsibilities of the University.
New York University is committed to maintaining an environment where open, vigorous debate and speech can occur. This commitment entails encouraging and assisting University organizations that want to sponsor speakers as well as informing members of the University community who seek guidance concerning forms of protest against speakers. It may also involve paying for extraordinary security measures in connection with a controversial speaker. Consistent with these obligations, the University promulgates these Guidelines, which are intended to be applied without regard to the content of any proposed speaker’s speech.
B. Application of Guidelines. These Guidelines apply to all meetings held at the University which are not part of academic courses of instruction or regular University or school or department administration to which speakers are invited.
C. Meetings to Be Designated as Open or Closed
1. The sponsoring organization may designate a meeting to which a speaker is
invited as “open” or “closed.” In either case, incidental University facilities such
as room and utilities may be used.
2. If a University organization or group uses University funds for other than
incidentals, the meeting must be designated and treated as open. Use of room and utilities is considered “incidental” and therefore available for a closed meeting; all expenses of substance (e.g., a speaker’s travel expenses or provisions of more than de minimus refreshments) are not considered “incidental,” and may only be paid from University funds if the meeting is open. This requirement does not apply to meetings for which University funds have been authorized to finance a training event carried on by an organization designated by the Dean or appropriate administrator as a University training organization (e.g., University clinical organization or University journal).
3. Closed Meetings
a. A meeting at which the sponsoring organization limits the attendance to membership in the organization or to invited or designated individuals or groups (including members of the press), and from which members of the University community not related to the sponsoring organization or to the meeting are excluded, shall be deemed closed. The meeting may not be closed on the basis of any category that is, or is a pretext for, discrimination in violation of the University’s published antidiscrimination policies.
b. To the extent that a closed meeting is advertised to those who are not invited to attend, there must be clear disclosure that the meeting is closed.
4. Open Meetings
a. A meeting is considered open even though the sponsoring organization limits the audience to members of the University community or to portions thereof (e.g., first-year graduate students) other than as provided in paragraph 3a.
b. At an open meeting, the sponsoring organization must provide that at least a majority of the seats be available to the University community or portion thereof, as the case may be.
c. The sponsoring organization must provide adequate and timely notice for an open meeting.
1. The sponsoring organization or University administration may require attendees to produce identification, so long as
a. Advance notice is given as to what specific types of ID will be required.
b. Identification procedures are enforced consistently and uniformly.
2. When required in an open meeting, identification and, when appropriate, press credentials should be checked by an official perceived to be neutral (e.g., an administrator or designated general student monitor), not by a member of the sponsoring organization or by any person perceived as partisan.