Case law has clearly established that colleges and universities, just as other governmental agencies, have the right and responsibility to establish “time, place, and manner” restrictions for person or persons wishing to gather on university property. These restrictions must be reasonable and also protect the rights to freedom of assembly and expression, rights to which Western is deeply committed.
Western Washington University defines time, place and manner as “Reasonable limitations on the exercise of expressive rights that are neutral as to the content of expression and leave open alternative channels of expression.” See WAC 516-35-001 for a complete list of definitions that apply to the use of university property for freedom of expression and assembly.
For ALL PEOPLE, public freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are protected by both the US and Washington State Constitutions. However, people cannot interfere with the regular operations of educational institutions. Based on time, place, and manner of the event, people may need to accommodate the nature or space in which they assemble, including exterior space, that has been reserved for an event or programmatic purposes. If, for instance, an assembly is overly loud, blocks passage across campus, or threatens the physical safety of others, then the institution may need to change the location or more directly address the disruptive aspects of the assembly.