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. As such and for example, if the assembly is overly loud, blocking passage across campus, or threatening the physical safety of others, then there may need to be a request to change the location or address the disruptive aspects of the assembly.
Click here to learn more about Time, Place and Manner.
Public freedom of speech and assembly are rights allowed under our US Constitution; however, having a space reservation provides you with first priority to the use of the requested area and is particularly encouraged if the assembly is expected to have a large attendance. Furthermore, a reservation may provide you access to University resources that help ensure that you have a safe and successful gathering. These resources may include assistance from University staff for event related needs (e.g. event guidance, setup needs, risk management review), access to rental of tables and other equipment needs that might be requested, and institutional approval to post information that promotes and publicizes the gathering.
Student groups: Space requests are managed by Viking Union's Reservations Office. Click here for more information.
Non-Student Campus groups: Space requests are made through the Viking Union Reservations Office. Click here for more information. Dependent on the size and scope of the request, the request may be managed by Extended Education/Conference Services.
Pursuant to WAC 516-36-001, any person or organization who is not affiliated with the university and who desires to use university facilities on a temporary basis for purposes other than assigned university activities shall submit a request for use of university facilities to the president or his designee. See WAC 516-36 for additional information regarding the scheduling of university facilities.
There are some instances where the regular operations of the institution have been impacted and an individual or group of people will be asked to assemble in another location. University Police will respond to such circumstances and will work to resolve the matter in a professional manner. If an individual and/or group continues to ignore the requests of law enforcement officers the individual and/or group "shall be subject, as appropriate, to disciplinary proceedings trespass, or arrest and prosecution". (WAC 516-24-130)
If an interruption or disruption has resulted in concerns regarding physical safety, the assembly may be dispersed to protect the general public and campus property.
Per Bellingham Muncipal Code 10.32, a "parade permit" is required for any gathering in the city that involves "a large group of persons with or without animals or vehicles moving in a public procession or march in or upon any street, sidewalk, park, or other public place. A large group of persons means a group of more than 15 persons."
An application form for a parade permit is available from the City Finance Department, which is then filed with the Department of Public Works. Information required for the application form can be found under Bellingham Municipal Code 10.32.030. Please note the filing period referenced in this section of the Municipal Code: "An application for a parade permit shall be filed with the Department of Public Works not less than three days nor more than 30 days before the date on which it is proposed to conduce the parade."
Section 2 of the contract between Western Washington University and the United Faculty of WWU (UFWW) states the following in regards to academic freedom and responsibility:
2.1 The University and the Union agree that academic freedom is essential to the mission of the university and that providing an environment of free and honest inquiry is essential to its functioning.
2.2 Academic freedom as it pertains to this contract is defined as the freedom to discuss all relevant matters in the classroom, to explore all avenues of scholarship, research and creative expression, and to speak or write as a public citizen without institutional discipline or restraint on matters of public concern, as well as on issues related to professional duties and the functioning of the University. All efforts should be made to be accurate and to show respect for the opinions of others and to make clear they are not speaking on behalf of the institution unless specifically designated to do so. Academic responsibility implies the faithful performance of academic duties and obligations and the recognition of the demands of the scholarly enterprise.
Western employees are subject to state laws regarding ethics in public service. Click here for more information regarding the Ethics in Public Service Act or visit the Human Resources website for information and online courses that can further your understanding of the laws and policies governing ethics in the workplace.
Click here for more information regarding employee conduct. This information, provided by Western's Human Resources Office, is organized by employee group.
We recognize that there are times that even when a person is exercising their rights to free speech and assembly that this may be personally upsetting to you. Students are encouraged in such instances to reach out to a trusted person to talk, to seek support from staff in the Counseling Center, and/or to report the incident to the Equal Opportunity Office if you believe it to be a hate crime or incident of bias.
If the circumstance is one that takes place in a classroom, students are encouraged to first speak with their instructor about it. If additional follow-up is required, the next steps would be to contact the faculty chair of the department and then the Dean of the college in which the department is housed.