Executive Council

Authorizes Release:

Vice Provost for Student Development

Responsible Area:

Student Development

Review Cycle:

Annually or as required

Last Review:

June 2024

As a Catholic and Marianist university, St. Mary’s is committed to the search for truth through meaningful and respectful dialogue that values humanity and promotes the common good. Members of the St. Mary’s community are expected to treat everyone with dignity and respect and create an environment where everyone feels welcome, listens to others, and engages in civil discourse.  

This policy governs any event or activity whose purpose is public expression organized by students and includes but is not limited to protests, demonstrations, or marches.

Student-organized expressions are permitted so long as they comply with this policy and are law-abiding, peaceful, nondisruptive, and respectful of the University’s Catholic and Marianist mission and the rights of other students and employees. Accordingly, during such events, no action may endanger the safety or security of the University community, infringe upon the rights of members of the community, obstruct access to University-sponsored events, University facilities or spaces, damage property, disrupt normal University operations, or otherwise violate applicable laws or University policies. 

St. Mary’s does not tolerate speech or activities that constitute harassment, defamation, obscenity or threats of violence. 

In keeping with the University’s right to govern the use of its services, facilities, and grounds, the University reserves the right to designate the time, manner, and appropriate areas for such student-organized expressions of opinion on University property. Student-organized expressions of opinion are limited to the Pecan Grove or Chaminade Field between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Participation in student-organized expression is restricted to members of the University community — current students, faculty and staff. Individuals who are not members of the University community participating in such a gathering will not be permitted continued presence on the University campus.  

Event Approval Process: Registered Student Organizations (RSO) organizing or sponsoring an expression of opinion activity or event on University property or at a University-sponsored event must get permission by completing and submitting the required forms to the Office of Student Life at least five business days before the proposed event.

Note: Registered Student Organizations (RSO) will need to complete the process to reserve an event space and will be subject to fees for campus security, University services and equipment needs.  

Submissions will receive a response within three business days of providing the following required information for seeking permission. If approved, the Office of Student Life will issue a St. Mary’s permit, which must be displayed throughout the duration of the event. Permits will include the following information.

  • Primary student organizer’s name and contact information
  • Name of the RSO and its advisor, if applicable
  • Event name and description 
  • Proposed date and time of the event 
  • Requested location (or proposed route, if a march) 
  • Anticipated attendance 

Submissions will be reviewed by the Office of the Dean of Students in consultation with University administration, including the University Police Department, to determine if the event poses a threat to safety, intentionally harasses an individual or group, incites unlawful action, engages in obscenity, disrupts University operations or advances positions or perspectives inconsistent with the University’s Catholic and Marianist identity. 

Unauthorized Activities: RSOs, students or student groups holding unauthorized student-organized expressions of opinion are subject to University disciplinary action and legal action. They are also responsible for the cost of any resulting damages.  

Also, individuals participating in an unauthorized student-organized expression of opinion may be subject to University disciplinary and legal action, and held responsible for the cost of any resulting damages. 

External persons and groups are prohibited from holding or using University property for such gatherings.

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