[Minor revision–posted 10/26/23 (replaces 10/20/22 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 61.02: Use of University Grounds, Facilities, and Amplification Equipment
DATE: October 26, 2023
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish the approval process for the use of university grounds, facilities, and amplification equipment for faculty, staff, academic, and administrative departments. Texas Tech University System (TTUS) Regulation 07.04 governs expressive activities of all persons in outdoor common areas, and the Student Handbook governs use of space, facilities, and amplification equipment by students and student organizations.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in July of each year by the Associate Vice President for Operations, the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP), and the Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer (SVPAF/CFO).
1. General Policy
With the exception of expressive activities controlled by TTUS Regulation 07.04, or as otherwise outlined herein, the following policies shall apply to the use of university grounds and facilities.
Texas Tech University space and facilities are available according to the following priorities:
(1) Regular institutional programs;
(2) Programs sponsored and conducted by the TTU System and/or a component institution's academic and administrative departments or organizations that are affiliated with such departments; and
(3) Activities that have as their purpose service or benefit to the TTU System community and that are sponsored by registered student organizations, or individual faculty, students, and employees.
b. Non-registered Student Groups or Off-Campus Groups or Organizations
Except as specifically provided herein, Texas Tech University space and facilities are not available for use by non-registered student groups or off-campus groups or organizations.
a. Attendance by Off-Campus Groups at Sponsored Events
Off-campus persons may attend public functions on Texas Tech University property that are sponsored by or affiliated with a Texas Tech University department or registered student organization. There may be a charge for attendance at some functions.
b. Off-Campus Group Guidelines
A department or registered student organization may not gain permission to use space or facilities on campus and then permit the space or facilities to be utilized by any other person, organization, or off-campus group. The penalty for violation of this provision may include forfeiture of the privilege of using Texas Tech University space or facilities for a period not to exceed one year.
c. Non-Profit Organizations
Office space and other assistance including, but not limited to, utilities, telephone service, custodial service, maintenance, and use of Texas Tech services may be provided to non-profit organizations that exist for the purpose of supporting the educational undertaking of Texas Tech, and thereby serve a public purpose, and where the provision of this assistance is not otherwise prohibited by law. Organizations authorized for this support include, but may not be limited to:
(1) Museum of Texas Tech University Association;
(2) Ranching Heritage Association;
(3) Texas Tech Alumni Association;
(4) Texas Tech Parents Association;
(5) Texas Tech Foundation, Inc.;
(6) Texas Tech Research Park, Inc.;
(7) Texas Tech University Federal Credit Union; and
(8) Texas Tech Physicians Association.
d. Department of Athletics Facilities
Jones AT&T Stadium, Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park, R. P. Fuller Track, John Walker Soccer Complex, McLeod Tennis Center, Rocky Johnson Field, and other facilities under the control of the Department of Athletics are available for the following uses, but may not be limited to:
(1) Department of Athletics events;
(2) TTU band and spirit activities;
(3) High School Band Day;
(4) Texas high school all-star football games;
(5) High school playoff games; and
(6) Intramural playoffs between leagues.
e. Expenses Incurred for Use of Athletics Facilities
Responsibility for expenses incurred for cleaning, provision for security officers, and any other expenses will be mutually determined by the Director of Athletics and the activity proposing to use the facility.
f. Approved Use of Athletics Facilities
The Director of Athletics is responsible for determining whether use of the athletics facilities falls within the scope of the above policy.
3. Reservation Requirements
With the exception of expressive activities controlled by TTUS Regulation 07.04, or as otherwise outlined herein, reservations must be made for the use of certain space and facilities under the control of the university. This requirement applies to all land, buildings, facilities, and other property in the possession of or owned, used, or controlled by the university (including adjacent streets and sidewalks). Requests for reservations will be granted according to the priorities of the designated area.
Requests to use university academic buildings should be made through Events and Instructional Space Management (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/odpa/spi/eism). Requestors who wish to use facilities under the direction of the SVPAF/CFO (e.g., Student Union, residence halls, Recreation Center, United Supermarkets Arena, International Cultural Center, etc.) should apply directly to the facility director/manager.
Requests to use university grounds (any university property outside of the buildings) should be submitted on the proper forms to the Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee via Student Union Room 304 or at www.groundsuse.ttu.edu. See Attachment A for the request form.
University departments and/or registered student organizations co-sponsoring activities and events with an outside agency/group must schedule a meeting with the Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee and all co-sponsors prior to approval. The application must be submitted online or to Student Union Room 304.
The university reserves the right to refuse to honor contracts or agreements signed or pledged by departments, organizations, groups, or individuals for the use of university properties if the correct procedures for reserving such properties have not been followed, including the review and approval requirements for services of alcohol on campus (OP 72.05, Expenditures for Official Functions, Business Meetings, and Entertainment). Contracts must be reviewed and approved by the TTU Contract Management Office and must include required contract language. Without written permission from the Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee, departments, organizations, groups, or individuals may not contractually agree to rent, lease, or make available space inside any university facility if the planned event also takes place on university grounds.
If a special event will be taking place in any facility or on university grounds and food not prepared and provided by the university will be served, Environmental Health & Safety must be contacted to apply for a temporary food permit. There are guidelines and requirements one must follow in order to receive this permit. Contact Environmental Health & Safety at 806.742.3876 with any questions.
Requests for grounds use will be reviewed by the Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee, which is comprised of representatives from Events and Instructional Space Management; Texas Tech Police; Grounds Maintenance; Athletics; Recreational Sports; Transportation & Parking Services; Student Union & Activities; Contract Management Office; Environmental Health & Safety; TTUS Office of Risk Management; Hospitality Services; University Student Housing; Texas Tech Alumni Association; and any other department deemed appropriate by the PSVP, SVPAF/CFO, and/or the Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee.
The task of the Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee is to research requests, determine if the use of the facilities is in accordance with university policy, and coordinate campus resources required for the requested activity. The Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee will use whatever resources are necessary to ensure that the use of the space is consistent with the mission of the university. All requests must be submitted on a Grounds Use/Solicitation Request form, which can be found online at www.groundsuse.ttu.edu. The applicant must sign all requests. Registered student organizations' applications must be signed by the applicant and by their faculty/staff advisor or department head.
Student Union & Activities, Events and Instructional Space Management, and the facilities manager/director of a specific building reserve the right to approve administratively, deny, or cancel grounds use requests for their respective areas of responsibility through consultation with various university departments or offices.
4. Procedures and Priorities for Designated Facilities
a. Student Union
Priority for use of space in the Student Union is given to programs and activities that are conducted by the various departments within the Office of the SVPAF/CFO. Secondary priority is given to registered student organizations and university departments. Reservations for the use of the Student Union space must be made in the Student Union & Activities Office Room 203. The Student Union shall establish a procedure for use of the Student Union by off-campus groups. A standard contract will be utilized and must be reviewed by the Contract Management Office.
b. Academic Buildings
Space in academic facilities must be reserved through the Office of Events and Instructional Space Management (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/odpa/spi/eism/). See OP 61.41, Use of University Classrooms and Facilities for Events.
c. Residence Halls
Regularly enrolled students who live in the residence halls and participate in the residence hall governments have first priority for all residence hall facilities. Facilities also may be provided for individuals or groups whose activities are sponsored by or affiliated with a university organization. University departments or registered student organizations may use residence hall facilities during the summer for workshops, institutes, short courses, and conferences. Requests for the use of residence hall space must be made to the Senior Managing Director of University Student Housing.
d. Intercollegiate Athletic Facilities
Jones AT&T Stadium, Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park, R. P. Fuller Track, John Walker Tennis Complex, McLeod Tennis Center, Rocky Johnson Field, the Sports Performance Complex, and athletic practice fields are owned and maintained by the university for the primary use and benefit of the intercollegiate athletic programs of the university, of allied non-university athletic activities consistent with such programs, and of official academic events of the university. The use of these facilities shall be limited to these purposes unless otherwise authorized by the Intercollegiate Athletics Office. Requests for use of any of these intercollegiate athletic facilities must be made to the Intercollegiate Athletics Office.
e. United Supermarkets Arena
Space in the United Supermarkets Arena is reserved through the United Supermarkets Arena. Facilities available for lease within the United Supermarkets Arena include the four meeting rooms in the City Bank Conference Center, the east side club, the arena concourse, the arena floor, and the arena bowl area. Registered student organizations receive a rental discount for use of the City Bank Conference Center meeting rooms. Texas Tech University commencement, Health Sciences Center commencement, Texas Tech University convocation, Texas Tech basketball and volleyball games, and major arena events such as concerts have priority in booking the United Supermarkets Arena.
f. Museum and National Ranching Heritage Center
Grounds and facilities of the National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) may be used only for university and public educational, research, and entertainment purposes. No personal uses of facilities, equipment, or grounds are permitted. This restriction shall apply to all requests regardless of sponsorship (see OP 61.01, Use of University Facilities, Equipment, Vehicles, Supplies, and Services for Private Purposes Prohibited, section 2).
Reservations for space and services may be made by university and civic groups, support groups, and other non-profit organizations, as they qualify under university, Museum, and NRHC policies. Specific rooms and areas of the Museum and the NRHC are designated for special events, meetings, catered meals, lectures, symposia, etc. The Museum and the NRHC may not appear to endorse any political party or cause, religious faith, or commercial product (see OP 61.01, Use of University Facilities, Equipment, Vehicles, Supplies, and Services for Private Purposes Prohibited).
Groups that reserve Museum or NRHC space will be responsible for the care of that space during the event and for cleanup afterward. Reparations for damage to the facility through negligence or abuse will be assessed to the responsible group. Caterers must comply with the rules and regulations established by the Museum, NRHC, and Texas Tech University. Caterers disregarding instructions given by authorized Museum, NRHC, or university personnel may be denied future access and may be debarred from doing further business with the university.
Specific areas of the Museum and NRHC grounds have been designated for outdoor activities. The Pitchfork Pavilion at the NRHC and the picnic areas at the Lubbock Lake Landmark Historical Park are designated for meals. Priority use of the Pitchfork Pavilion at the NRHC will be given to schoolchildren on prearranged tours during lunchtime. Cleanup is the responsibility of the school group using the facility. Reenactments (with or without costumes or other paraphernalia), games, and athletic activities are not permitted on Museum and NRHC grounds, except during Museum- and NRHC-approved, institutionally sanctioned special events.
All activities at the Museum and the NRHC require the presence of security personnel. No substitutions may be made for security staff, nor may staff members volunteer their services to serve in a security role (see OP 76.03, Texas Tech Police).
Vehicular traffic on the grounds of the Museum or the NRHC, other than on surfaced, public-access streets, is limited to sanctioned university activities unless otherwise approved by the directors. Public parking is permitted in designated lots. Faculty, staff, and students must register their vehicles and obtain an ePermit from Transportation & Parking Services (see OP 78.01, Traffic and Parking Rules and Regulations, and OP 61.18, Traffic and Parking Control Devices). Smoking and the other uses of tobacco products are not permitted in the Museum buildings, on the grounds of the NRHC, or within the fence of the Goodman Cotton Gin (see OP 60.15, Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Environment).
Live human-controlled animals, other than laboratory animals or service and security dogs, are not authorized in Museum buildings or on the grounds (see OP 61.38, Animals in Texas Tech Buildings). Laboratory animals may not be kept in the building beyond the immediate needs of research. Open flames, including pit fires, chimney or stove fires, flares, fireworks, kerosene heaters and lamps, candles, matches, etc., are prohibited on the grounds and in the Museum buildings unless approved by the President.
All events within or on the grounds of the Museum and the NRHC will require the use of a standard contract that must be reviewed by the Contract Management Office.
g. Recreation Facilities
The Robert H. Ewalt Recreation Center and all areas within, Aquatic Center, Leisure Pool, amphitheater, sand volleyball, recreation fields, and recreational tennis courts are intended primarily for the student recreational and instructional use on an organized group and individual basis. Requests for the use of recreation facilities must be made to University Recreation.
h. International Cultural Center
The International Cultural Center (ICC) grounds and facilities may be used for university and public educational, research, and entertainment purposes. No personal uses of facilities, equipment, or grounds are permitted. This restriction shall apply to all requests, regardless of sponsorship (see OP 61.01, Use of University Facilities, Equipment, Vehicles, Supplies, and Services for Private Purposes Prohibited, section 2).
University and civic groups, support groups, and other non-profit organizations may make reservations for space and services, as they qualify under university and ICC policies. The ICC may not appear to endorse any political party or cause, religious faith, or commercial product (see OP 61.01, Use of University Facilities, Equipment, Vehicles, Supplies, and Services for Private Purposes Prohibited).
Specific rooms and areas of the ICC are designated for special events, meetings, catered meals, lectures, symposia, etc. The events coordinator will act as the point of contact for all spaces and service reservations for the ICC. That office will maintain a list of available designated areas, make reservations for these events, keep records, and coordinate facility preparation activities. Resource encumbrance charges will be assessed to reserving groups to help defray costs for security personnel, equipment depreciation, and facility maintenance and preparation.
All before- and after-hour activities at the ICC will require the presence of security personnel or a member of the ICC staff. If an event has been approved for serving alcoholic beverages, ICC security must be present.
Groups that reserve the ICC space will be responsible for the care of that space during the event and for cleanup afterward. Reparations for damage to the facility through negligence or abuse will be assessed to the responsible group. Caterers must comply with the rules and regulations established by the ICC and OP 72.05, Expenditures for Official Functions, Business Meetings, and Entertainment. Caterers disregarding instructions given by authorized ICC or university personnel may be denied future access.
Live human-controlled animals, other than laboratory animals or service and security dogs, are not authorized to be housed in the ICC or on the grounds. Open flames, including pit fires, chimney or stove fire, flares, fireworks, kerosene heaters and lamps, candles, matches etc., are prohibited on the grounds and in the ICC.
All events within the ICC will require the use of a standard contract that must be reviewed by the Contract Management Office.
i. Visitors Center (West Hall)
The Visitors Center and its facilities may be used for university and public educational, research, and entertainment purposes. No personal uses of the facility are permitted. This restriction shall apply to all requests regardless of sponsorship (see OP 61.01, Use of University Facilities, Equipment, Vehicles, Supplies, and Services for Private Purposes Prohibited).
University and civic groups, support groups, and other non-profit organizations may make reservations, as they qualify under university policies. The Visitors Center may not appear to endorse any political party or cause, religious faith, or commercial product (see OP 61.01, Use of University Facilities, Equipment, Vehicles, Supplies, and Services for Private Purposes Prohibited).
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will act as the point of contact for reservations. Offices, organizations, or groups wishing to host an event in the Visitors Center must submit a written request through the Visitors Center 15 days before the date of the proposed event. The rental fee for the Visitors Center is $200. Additional charges may apply for events that are held before or after regular business hours. Host organizations must utilize TTU's Hospitality Services for food and beverage service. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions must approve any additional decorations for events. Groups that reserve the Visitors Center are responsible for providing any audio-visual equipment needed for their event. Events that occur before or after regular business hours or on weekends or holidays will require security through the Texas Tech Police Department. Special parking arrangements must be made through Transportation & Parking Services. The host organization is responsible for making all parking arrangements by completing the event registration form at https://www.depts.ttu.edu/parking/Events/SubmitEvent.php. Transportation & Parking Services may be reached by phone at 806.742.7275.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions offers the Presentation Room (Room 101) on the first floor of West Hall for use by campus and other groups and organizations. The Presentation Room will only be available for use during normal business hours Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Presentation Room seats 31–35 people theatre-style and has audio-visual equipment. Use of the Presentation Room does not require a fee, but a written request must be submitted to the Visitors Center 5 days before the proposed date.
5. University Grounds Use
With the exception of expressive activities controlled by TTUS Regulation 07.04, or as otherwise outlined herein, university grounds are available for use only in accordance with the following policies and procedures:
a. Selected grounds areas (other than those described above) are available for activities that are sponsored and approved by university departments, registered student organizations, or individual faculty, students, and employees. Academic use by departments and colleges has priority, and assignments may be changed or canceled if conflicts with regular academic programs develop.
b. Individuals, registered student organizations, or departments desiring to use university grounds must apply for grounds use through the Student Union Room 304 or at www.groundsuse.ttu.edu.The Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee must approve each use. As a general policy, recurring use assignments shall not be permitted.
c. Registration for use of a university grounds area must be made at least 10 university working days before the intended use and up to a semester in advance.
d. Student Government Services and Instructional Space Management will coordinate all grounds use/solicitation request applications and shall grant only grounds use/solicitation requests that are consistent with applicable university and TTUS regulations and local, state, and federal law.
e. A permit granting grounds use shall specify the boundaries of the area to be used, the date for which the use is approved, the time at which the proposed activity may begin, the time at which the reservation for the use expires, and any special provisions concerning the use of the space. No request will be approved for activities occurring during individual study days and/or final examination period.
f. Individuals, departments, or registered student organizations using a designated area are subject to the following requirements:
(1) Use of amplification equipment must comply with section 8 of these regulations;
(2) A structure may not be erected on campus grounds without prior written approval, which will include arrangements for cleaning up after the activity; and
(3) If any expenses will be incurred in the course of an event, the sponsor or co-sponsor will be required to supply a university financial account number before the activity can be approved by the Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee.
g. Firearms, explosive weapons, and illegal knives are prohibited on university property unless pursuant to OP 10.22, Concealed Carry of Handguns on Campus, or other written regulation or written authorization. The use of ammunition is prohibited at all times. Any request for authorization to bring a weapon onto university property must be coordinated through the Texas Tech Police in conjunction with Student Union & Activities and/or Events and Instructional Space Management. The President or a designated representative shall grant final approval.
h. Individuals, departments, and registered student organizations desiring grounds use may be required to provide evidence of appropriate liability insurance in accordance with recommendations from the TTUS Office of Risk Management, TTU Procurement Services, other university departments, or others, as necessary, prior to approval from the Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee.
i. Events in which any alcohol is served must comply with all requirements of OP 72.05, Expenditures for Official Functions, Business Meetings, and Entertainment, including the requirement for an approved contract, liability insurance, liquor licenses, security guards, and proper approvals.
j. Participants in and/or sponsors for events may be required to sign a “Hold Harmless” release. The sponsors shall be required to maintain the release documentation for a period of three years or the prior required by Texas retention laws.
k. No animals other than laboratory animals or service and security dogs are authorized on university grounds unless approved by the Outdoor Events Coordinating Committee.
l. The sponsor should contact Environmental Health & Safety to make necessary arrangements for any event that includes concessions or a mobile concession stand. In order for any person, vendor, or organization to operate a temporary food service or mobile food service unit on Texas Tech property, the Environmental Health & Safety Department must issue a valid Temporary Food Service Permit, as outlined in OP 60.18, Temporary Food Service Permit System.
m. No pyrotechnic displays will be allowed on Texas Tech University properties unless it is an approved Texas Tech University sanctioned event. Approvals will be granted through the Texas Tech Fire Marshal's Office in conjunction with other appropriate university departments. Random use of any fireworks or pyrotechnic special effects on Texas Tech University properties is strictly prohibited.
6. Appeals of Grounds Use/Solicitation Request Denials
Faculty, staff, academic, and administrative departments whose requests for the use of campus grounds or non-academic facilities are denied may appeal in writing to the PSVP. Students and registered student organizations whose requests are denied may appeal to the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life, in accordance with the Student Handbook.
7. Freedom of Expression Activities
Texas Tech recognizes freedom of speech and expression as a fundamental right and seeks to ensure free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberation by students enrolled at Texas Tech as well as other persons. Expressive activities on the Texas Tech campus are governed by TTUS Regulation 07.04. In the event of any conflict between Regulation 07.04 and this OP, the provision of Regulation 07.04 shall prevail.
8. Academic Use of Amplified Sound
a. The appropriate use of loudspeakers for official university activities inside academic buildings, or on the campus as a part of the academic instructional program, is determined and approved by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.
b. Permission for use of the victory bells or carillon bells in the towers of the Administration Building must be requested through the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President at least one university working day before the time of intended use. Use of the bells must not interfere with the normal functions and programs of the university. See OP 30.21, Ringing Bells on Campus.
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