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University Policy 82

Facilities Use

Initially approved: January 14, 2002
Revised: September 11, 2006
Revised and Provisionally Posted: October 7, 2013
Approved as a permanent policy: November 18, 2013
Revised: June 6, 2023

Policy Topic: University Facilities and State Owned Property
Administering Office: Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance


Recognizing that its support derives in large part from public funds, Western Carolina University (the “University”) is committed to making its facilities available for use by groups and individuals, in a manner that is (i) consistent with its educational mission and related research, service, and outreach activities; and (ii) consistent with its responsibilities as a steward of the State’s resources.


This Policy applies to the use of facilities located on the University’s campus in Cullowhee and any other instructional sites or facilities under the University’s operational control.  It applies to both Affiliated Groups and Non-Affiliated Groups. 

The use of Facilities for summer programs, conferences, and events on campus must comply with this policy and  University Policy #110, “Conferences and Events”.

This Policy does not address solicitation, assemblies, and public addresses on campus, which are governed by University Policies 114 and 134.     


Affiliated Group” means a group or entity that is directly or indirectly controlled by, controlling or under common control with the University. It includes University Groups and Recognized Student Organizations.

  1. University Group” is an administrative or academic unit, department, or center within the University, staffed by University employees acting within the scope of their employment.  A University Group may also be a single University employee.
  2. Recognized Student Organization” means the Student Government Association and other student clubs and groups that have been officially recognized by the University.  

Non-Affiliated Group” is an individual or group that is a legally separate entity from the University, even though some of the members or participants may be University personnel, alumni, or students.  

University Activity” is any function, event or activity sponsored by the University.  For purposes of this Policy, an event is considered “sponsored” only if either of the following conditions is met:

  1. The Affiliated Group, and not merely a member of an Affiliated Group, determines to invite the Non-Affiliated Group to use University facilities, for purposes:
    1. Consistent with the mission of the University, and
    2. Consistent with the goals and objectives of the Affiliated Group.
  2. The Affiliated Group has substantial participation in and responsibility for planning and executing the planned activity, including financial responsibility, and is not merely lending its endorsement to the Non-Affiliated Group.

Non-University Activity” is any function, event or activity that is not a University Activity.

Facility Function” means the primary activity for which a particular facility is used.

University Facility” is any outdoor space, building or structure that is owned or leased by the University or otherwise operated under its control.

Classroom” is any space that is dedicated and/or routinely used for instruction.

Responsible Administrator” means a member of the Executive Council, dean, or other administrator with administrative responsibility and specific accountability for the use of the University facility, or their designee. 


Authority to schedule the use of a University Facility is vested in the Chancellor who may delegate the authority in writing to another Responsible Administrator. A Responsible Administrator may further delegate the authority in writing to other University administrators consistent with Policy 65. 

When more than one Responsible Administrator has delegated authority for a Facility Function or University Facility, they must agree on a procedure for scheduling the use of that facility and document the procedure.

Responsible Administrators may issue other rules for the use and scheduling of facilities under their administrative control.  Such rules must be consistent in all respects with this Policy, Policy 65, and applicable state and federal laws and regulations, and must be made available to prospective users on the University website.  All such rules are subject to approval by a member of the Executive Council. 


A. Priorities for Use and Scheduling

The use and scheduling of University Facilities will be prioritized consistent with the University's mission, and its instructional, student life, research, service, and outreach activities, with attention given to capital and operational funding sources and legislative authority.  Subject to the provisions of University Policy #65, “Space Management”, the following order of priority generally will govern the scheduling and use of University Facilities:

  1. University Groups and University Activities; 
  2. Recognized Student Organizations; and 
  3. Non-University Groups and Non-University Activities. 

B. General Requirements for the Use of University Facilities

  1. Academic classes, research, service, outreach activities, and the activities of faculty and staff groups are central to the educational mission of the University.  Use of University Facilities must not interfere with these activities.
  2. Use of University Facilities must comply with United States and North Carolina constitutional provisions regarding free speech and public assembly.  For public forums (areas consistently open to public speech and assembly by  past practice or by administrative approval), administrators may place reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on public speech and assembly if they are not based on the content of speech (except that unlawful speech is prohibited) or the viewpoint of participants.  For areas not traditionally open for public speech or assembly, administrators may also limit use to further the University’s educational mission and operations. For more information on public assemblies and addresses, see University Policies 114 and 134.  
  3. The University assumes no obligation or responsibility for Non-University Activities and grants no right of access greater than that provided by this Policy or the Standard Facility Use Agreement.
  4. Use of University Facilities does not imply that the University supports or sanctions the activities. 
  5. The University reserves the right to limit the use of the University's name and trademarks in connection with advertising or promoting Non-University Activities. 
  6. Use of University Facilities must comply in all respects with University Policies 114 and 134, which address, among other things, the use of facility interior and exterior surfaces, the use of bulletin and e-bulletin boards and kiosks, the use of open/common spaces, and the use of University Facilities for political events.
  7. Use of University Facilities must comply with applicable provisions of University Policy #110, “Conferences and Events,” the University’s policies regarding non-discrimination, and all applicable local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and ordinances.  
  8. Material applied to any University Facility exterior surface that results in a public safety concern or damage to the facility may be removed by Facilities Management personnel.
  9. No permanent or semi-permanent structure, including but not limited to tents with stakes driven into the ground or trailers, may be constructed or placed for any activity without the prior approval of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities or his/her designee. This requirement shall not apply to canopies and similar shelters used for football tailgating in approved areas in accordance with the
  10. No semi-permanent structure may be constructed or placed for any activity conducted on emergency access roads, accessible paths or rights of way.
  11. In accordance with North Carolina state fire code requirements, placement of any tent or membrane structure over 400 square feet or tents in excess of 700 square feet (without sides) must be approved by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities who is responsible for obtaining proper permits from the fire code official.
  12. Generally, the University does not allow camping on University grounds and/or facilities due to public safety concerns. “Camping” includes sleeping outdoors, the use of camping tents, or the parking/use of overnight camping vehicles, including but not limited to camping trailers, recreational vehicles or other vehicles.  In special circumstances, requests may be approved as exceptions by the Responsible Administrator most closely associated with the related event or activity (e.g., the Provost for Mountain Heritage Day, the Athletic Director for tailgating or the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for student requests).  Requests for exceptions must also be cleared prior to the event or activity by appropriate staff in Public Safety and Facilities Management.
  13. No individual may take up residence in any University Facility or space not specifically designated for that purpose.
  14. All groups and individuals are responsible for the cleanliness and order of University Facilities following their use. 
  15. Fires are not permitted except upon prior written approval from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities or his/her designee. 
  16. In accordance with North Carolina criminal statutes, fireworks are not permitted on campus except upon prior written approval from the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities or his/her designee, who is responsible for obtaining proper permits from the fire code official.
  17. Persons shall comply with the directions of a University official acting in the course and scope of his/ her University responsibilities. 


A Standard Facilities Use Agreement is required if the University Facility is to be used by a Non-University Group for a Non-University Activity; and  

  1. The proposed use/activity involves minor children; or
  2. The proposed use/activity involves summer programs, camps or conferences; or
  3. The proposed use is for more than one (1) business day; or 
  4. The proposed use/activity poses an increased risk of damage to property or personal injury.  

The University may require other forms of agreement or documents for uses not listed above.  The Standard Facilities Use Agreement should be used without change unless modifications have been approved by Legal Counsel’s Office.

Facility use charges may be assessed where permitted by state law and consistent with University policies and procedures, including University Policy #110, “Conferences and Events”.


A.    Affiliated groups, Students, faculty and staff may not reserve publicly available facilities on behalf of or for the use of a Non-Affiliated Group so that the Non-Affiliated Group can use a University facility at no charge or at a reduced rate.  This conduct constitutes “fronting” and is prohibited.  The University shall not be liable or responsible for financial or other damages incurred by a person or group whose permission to use a facility is denied, revoked or modified (including a rate change) pursuant to this Policy.


 It is the policy of the University to ensure that University facilities are reasonably secure.  Accordingly, building/facility coordinators shall conduct routine and periodic reviews of authorized access to their buildings and any secured outdoor facility to confirm that access is both necessary and appropriate for the conduct of University business during normal hours of operation for the building or facility.  For purposes of this Policy, the term “reviews of authorized access” shall include, at a minimum, reviews of building hours and control and accountability for keys.


This requirement is intended to minimize the occurrence of offensive odors, noise, excretion, fleas, biological agents, etc., on State property and in State buildings, where these or the animal itself may result in health hazards or other concerns to employees and the public or could interfere with the quality of service to the citizens of North Carolina. This requirement applies to all mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles.

Animals brought on the University’s campus must be within the control and supervision of their owners.  Owners are responsible for the proper disposal of animal waste, and owners are responsible for any injury or property damage caused by their animals.

Animals are not permitted in any University buildings except in the following cases:

  1. Service animals in accordance with federal law;
  2. Approved therapy animals associated with a reasonable accommodation per the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended;  
  3. Animals used in research and teaching and authorized by the director of the division; or
  4. Animals may be permitted in certain residential facilities for employees, subject to any facility specific policies.


This policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary every four (4) years.


UNC Policy Manual 1300.8, “Free Speech and Free Expression Within the University of North Carolina” 

University Policy #110, “Conferences and Events Policy” 

University Policy #114, “Solicitation, the Distribution of Materials, and Public Displays” 

University Policy #65, “Space Allocation and Management” 

University Policy #133, “Free Speech and Free Expression” 

University Policy #134, “Assemblies, Public Addresses, and Political Activities” 

Standard Facility Use Agreement

Standard Space Use Agreement

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