Iowa State University nameplate

Inside Iowa State
Gold bar
October 26, 2001

Proposal: Broader public access to ISU facilities

by Diana Pounds
A proposed new policy would allow broader public use of university grounds and facilities with less red tape.

President Gregory Geoffroy is seeking review and comments on the proposed policy, which would allow most campus grounds and facilities to be used by the public (for non-commercial purposes) without permission. The current policy requires university approval for activities held anywhere on campus except public forum areas.

"We wish to make university grounds and facilities open to public access," Geoffroy said. "It is part of our commitment to being a place that cherishes the free exchange of ideas and differing points of view."

The proposed policy is online at The Memorial Union and Research Park are run by private corporations and are not part of this policy. Comments should be sent by Nov. 1 to

Following is a comparison of the current and proposed policies:
  • Access to campus and facilities. Current policy deals only with large events and requires approval everywhere on campus except public forum areas. Proposed policy reserves priority for teaching, research and service activities, but generally opens grounds and facilities for public use. It specifies specialized areas (such as inter-collegiate athletic facilities, research labs, farms and utility facilities) that require permission to enter.
  • Outdoor events. Current policy requires approval everywhere except public forum areas. Proposed policy provides a number of options that require no approval. Large events (more than 50 expected) require filing of a notice or university approval, depending on the activity.
  • Indoor events. Current policy requires approval at all events. Proposed policy allows small groups (15 or fewer people) to use indoor atriums and similar areas for organized activities without permission. Both the current and proposed policies state that the use of indoor areas must be compatible with the facility's purpose. Those who wish to use academic or residence hall facilities for meetings or conferences should contact appropriate offices to determine availability and fees.
  • Bulletin boards. Current policy allows only university departments and recognized organizations to post on general university bulletin boards. Proposed policy allows the public to post items on general bulletin boards, with restrictions on the size of the postings.

... Becoming the Best
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
Copyright © 1995-2001, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.