Peaceful Assembly Guidelines
Peaceful assembly at Augusta State University is an acknowledged right. This information has been produced to help educate university and community members about specific university guidelines on the procedures for peaceful assembly, rallies, demonstrations, and gatherings.
The University acknowledges the right of students and others to assemble in groups for peaceful purposes anywhere on campus. At such gatherings, the University expects the rights and privileges of all persons to be respected and that there will be no endangerments to health or safety. Such gatherings must in no way disrupt the normal conduct of University affairs or endanger University property.
The Board of Regents stipulates that any student, faculty member, administrator, or employee, acting individually or in concert with others, who clearly obstructs or disrupts, or attempts to obstruct or disrupt any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary, or public service activity, or any other activity authorized to be discharged or held on any campus of the University System of Georgia is considered by the Board to have committed an act of gross irresponsibility and shall be subject to disciplinary procedures, possibly resulting in dismissal, or termination of employment.
The University may, consistent with Board of Regents policy, establish reasonable regulations regarding the time, place and manner in which persons exercise their peaceful assembly rights to the extent necessary to prevent disruption of the normal conduct of University affairs or endangerment of health and safety of persons or damage to property. Students and others have a right to spontaneous peaceful assemblies, rallies, demonstrations, and gatherings at any time on campus but should coordinate an amplified sound request as soon as possible.
Any act by demonstrators or groups which interferes with the rights of others, disrupts the normal functioning of the University, damages property, or endangers health or safety is grounds for suspension or dismissal from the University and / or removal from the university property. Finally, such actions may also be the basis for criminal charges by law enforcement authorities. Demonstrations are prohibited in any special use facility, classrooms, or in any instance which interferes with educational functions or violates BOR policy. Demonstrators refusing to vacate university property upon request are subject to immediate temporary suspension and arrest under applicable state and local laws.
Signs of paper or cardboard are encouraged. Chalking (sidewalk chalk) is allowed on concrete ground surfaces (not on paving stones or walls) and must be at least 10 feet away from any entrance. For public safety concerns, the following objects are not allowed: wire, rope, sticks, chains, and / or any object that might injure oneself or others.
Amplified sound is permitted in the area to the west of the south entrance of Washington Hall, in the area to the north of the Science building and east of Allgood Hall, and in the area around the University flagpole. Sound levels are not to exceed 80 decibels at any point. Due to the proximity of classrooms, laboratories, offices and the library, the University will closely monitor the sound level. Amplified sound must in no way disrupt the normal conduct of University business. Amplified sound is permitted between the hours of 8 am and 10 pm in order to comply with local ordinances. Accordingly, persons planning such assemblies on the University campus must coordinate their activities and plans in advance through the office of the dean of students or the director of public safety. This coordination is requested to prevent the disruption of normal University educational activities and avoid endangering the health or safety of persons or damage to property. The sponsoring individual or group must assume responsibility for compliance with all state and local laws and University policies. Assistance from staff is available to help plan such events, and the assistance of the University police may be required to help with traffic or crowds.
Event planning is the responsibility of the sponsoring individual or organization and should be coordinated in advance when possible. Individuals or organizations which fail to follow these guidelines may be asked to reschedule the event based on the University's availability to safely support the event.
Office of the Public Safety Director call 706-737-1401
Office of University Facilities Project Coordinator call 706-737-1593
Office of the Dean of Students call 706-737-1411
Guidelines for Public Speakers at ASU
The University recognizes the rights of freedom of assembly and speech. At the same time, it recognizes its responsibility for operating and maintaining an orderly educational environment. As a speaker, you have the responsibility not to disrupt the educational process and to refrain from slander and the use of inflammatory remarks or "fighting words." Individuals who fail to notify University officials of their presence, disrupt the educational process, or slander others will be escorted off the campus.
These excerpts from the Official Code of Georgia, Annotated (O.C.G.A), define certain forms of expression which have been ruled NOT protected under First Amendment guarantees:
Language, which is "prone to ill-treat by coarse, insulting words" or words, which are "injurious, hurtful, offensive, reproachful."
16-11-40 (GCA 26-2804) CRIMINAL DEFAMATION
A person commits the offense of Criminal Defamation when, without privilege to do so and with the intent to defame another, living or dead, or which exposes one who is alive to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, and which tends to provoke a breach of the peace.
Specifically, if abusive language of a defamatory nature is directed at an INDIVIDUAL, it is prohibited. "Blanket" statements such as "Yankees are bad people," would be permitted, whereas, "John Smith is evil because he is a Yankee," would not be allowed. Speakers exercising their First Amendment rights are reminded that singling out persons for ridicule or condemning individuals for their personal traits does not constitute abusive language and is proscribed.