SUNY Plattsburgh Campus Handbook


Use of Facilities by Third Parties for Free Speech

Approved by College Council on April 26, 2012

Policy Number Policy Owner
5012.1 Management Services

1.0    Purpose

The following constitutes the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh’s “time, place and manner” policy on the use of State University of New York College at Plattsburgh (“SUNY Plattsburgh” or “the college”) owned facilities by third parties (non college or sponsored by recognized student organizations) for free speech purposes as by the College Council pursuant to a delegation of authority by the SUNY Board of Trustees. (See SUNY Policy #5603 “Use of Facilities by Non-Commercial Organizations”) 

As an institution of higher education, SUNY Plattsburgh respects and fully supports the rights granted to individuals under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution regarding free speech.  Therefore, SUNY Plattsburgh is adopting a free speech policy for third parties, who are not sponsored by the college or a recognized student organization, but want to use the campus for free speech purposes.

As a public entity, partially funded by NYS tax dollars, SUNY Plattsburgh will provide a designated public forum to third parties outside of the campus community for their exercise of free speech rights.  To comply with existing law, the college recognizes that it will be dedicating its scarce resources to the third parties, including staff time for the management of the designated public forum, the cost associated/loss of revenue with the use of space itself, and possibly utilizing University Police and other administrative office staff, to provide for the public safety of participants.   

In drafting and adopting this Policy, SUNY Plattsburgh evaluated its competing obligations and responsibilities: to meet its legal obligations as a public entity to provide a designated public forum for free speech by third parties, to meet its audit and control obligations in managing NYS property under its jurisdiction, and to meet its obligations for the orderly and safe operation of its campus, while responsibly managing and allocating its scarce resources in pursuit of its education mission for its students.   

2.0    Revision History

Date Version Change Ref Section
4/26/2012 1.0 New Document  
10/3/2012 1.1 Minor Revisions  
8/26/2013 1.2 Minor Revisions  
4/30/2014 1.3 Minor Revisions  
10/13/2015 1.4 Minor Revisions  
1/4/2017 1.5 Minor Revisions  

3.0    Units and Persons Affected

This policy shall apply to all third parties, who are not sponsored by SUNY Plattsburgh and/or a student group, who want to use the college’s designated public forum for free speech purposes.  Because other reservation and use policies apply to campus community members, this policy does not apply to:

  • Students;
  • Speakers officially sponsored by recognized college groups; 
  • Faculty; and 
  • Staff.

4.0    Policy

SUNY Plattsburgh is providing a Designated Public Forum Location for use by third parties for free speech purposes. 

Reservation and Recordkeeping of the Use of Space

  1. Third parties who seek to use the Designated Public Forum Location must:
    1. Complete an Application for Use of the Designated Public Forum and receive formal approval; and,
    2. File the application with the Assistant to the V.P.  for Administration or designee no less than five (5) business days before the date the applicant wants to use the Designated Public Forum Location (applications received after 3 p.m. on a given business day shall be considered as having been received on the morning of the next business day).  
    3. The applicant assumes responsibility for proper delivery to the Management Services office in a timely manner.  The office is located in Room 710 of the Kehoe Administration Building and is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for holidays and certain college restricted dates as noted above.
  1. SUNY Plattsburgh shall review the application and respond to the applicant no later than two (2) business days after the application to use the Designated Public Forum Location was submitted.
    1. If the application is completed fully and signed by the applicant, and the date and time is available for use, the college shall inform the applicant of its approval to use the Designated Public Forum Location on the date and time so requested.  
    2. If the application is not complete and/or it is not signed, the college shall return the application to the applicant for completion.  The five (5) business days time period will begin running again once the completed and signed application is received by the Management Services office.
    3. If the space is already reserved to its capacity for the date and time requested, or if the date and time requested is during a “restricted date” as defined above, the college shall inform the applicant of the same and offer the applicant the next available date and time for the use of the space.

SUNY Plattsburgh shall not:

  1. Inquire as the nature or content of the free speech;
  2. Charge the applicant an application fee to reserve the designated public forum;
  3. Charge the applicant/third party for the use of the space;
  4. Impose insurance requirements on the applicant/third party; or
  5. Charge the applicant for any additional costs to SUNY Plattsburgh that the college may incur due to the use of the space by the applicant/third party, such as security.

The Third Party Applicant is:

  1. Responsible for following all parking regulations at SUNY Plattsburgh including obtaining a Visitor’s Parking Permit from University Police; 
  2. Responsible for removing any brochures, pamphlets, leaflets or other handouts or goods the third party speaker brought to disseminate at the Designated Public Forum Location, and properly disposing of the same in public garbage receptacles or taking them with him/her.  New York State prohibits littering.  Failure to comply with this law may result in future denial of use of the Designated Public Forum Location; and
  3. Prohibited from bringing any amplification equipment to the Designated Public Forum Location. SUNY Plattsburgh will provide a microphone and sound system (weather permitting), and there may be a charge for the use of the equipment. A written request must be made when the application is submitted.

SUNY Plattsburgh reserves the right to terminate any use of the Designated Public Forum Location in the event either the speaker or a member(s) of an audience engages in conduct that violates the: 

  1. SUNY Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order, adopted in accordance with Education Law Section 6430 and 8 NYCRR 535, in order to secure the orderly and operation of the campus for the safety of the entire campus community or
  2. City of Plattsburgh Noise Ordinance. 

All applications must be reviewed and approved by the Assistant to the V.P. for Administration or designee. Completed applications to use the Designated Public Forum Location must be sent or hand delivered to:

Sean Brian Dermody
Assistant to the V.P. for Administration
SUNY Plattsburgh
710 Kehoe Administration Building
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901

5.0    Definitions

Restricted Dates:  SUNY Plattsburgh has restricted certain dates on its calendar wherein the use of the campus and its facilities, including outdoor spaces are reserved exclusively for campus-related activities that are at the very core of its primary educational mission.  During these blackout periods, no third party shall be allowed to use the designated public forum for free speech purposes.   SUNY Plattsburgh defines the restricted dates to include the following:

  1. Opening Weekend activities for the beginning of fall and spring semesters;
  2. Examination periods as set forth on the academic calendar;
  3. Graduation-related activities and events, including winter and spring commencements;
  4. Open House events throughout the year
  5. Major fall or spring campus wide celebrations, such as Family Weekend, Homecoming, and Alumni Reunion; and
  6. During Liberal Leave periods throughout the years as defined by the College when many of the offices are typically closed and the campus staff is reduced. 

Designated Public Forum Location: SUNY Plattsburgh identifies the following outdoor space as its Designated Public Forum Location: the southern portion of Amite Plaza, from the northern side of the Amite Sculpture, bounded to the west by the Angell College Center, to the east by the Myers Fine Arts Building and south to the sidewalk along Rugar Street.  A map outlining the Designated Public Forum Location is attached to this policy. 

This location is the most highly pedestrian trafficked area on the main campus by students, faculty, staff and visitors.  The Angell College Center houses several food venues, a convenience store, the Student Association offices, as well as several other student service offices and frequently used meeting rooms for the campus community.  The use of the Designated Public Forum Location is also not likely to interfere with classroom instruction or dormitory residences.   

The President shall have the authority to change, either permanently or temporarily, the site of the Designated Public Forum Location to another area of the campus to address concerns for the health, safety and welfare of the campus community.

Time Restriction/Noise Ordinance:  Third Party Applicants will be allowed to use the Designated Public Forum Location during the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily and must comply with the City of Plattsburgh Noise Ordinance.

Third Party Applicant: A person(s) or group of individuals who want to use the Designated Public Forum Location for free speech purposes and the person(s) is not a student, faculty or staff member at SUNY Plattsburgh, and the person(s) is not officially sponsored by either the college and/or a recognized student group to speak at the college.

6.0    Responsibilities

7.0    Procedures 


Contact Information

For questions about the Campus Handbook, please contact:

Management Services Office
Office: Kehoe 710-11
Phone: (518) 564-2538
Fax: (518) 564-2540
Email: [email protected]