The responsible administrator for this section is the Office of Student Activities, Conferences and Special Events, the Amherst College Police Department, and the Office of the Registrar. The Office of President has approval authority.

Policy Statement

This document sets forth principles for the use of Amherst College facilities and grounds. The intent of this policy is to promote responsible use of the college’s facilities and grounds, enable the college to better know what events are occurring across campus, identify events that will necessitate logistical support (e.g., security planning, IT, etc.), and limit unauthorized uses by individuals who are not affiliated with the college.

Applicability

This policy applies to all uses of Amherst College facilities and grounds, with the exceptions of:

  1. Parties and any other social events that are covered by either:
    1. The Amherst College Party Policy (https://www.amherst.edu/campuslife/our-community/keefe/party-registration/partypolicy); or
    2. The Celebrating Commencement with On-Campus Parties policy (https://www.amherst.edu/news/specialevents/commencement/parties);
      and
  2. Use of the Emily Dickinson Museum or the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Definitions

For purposes of this policy, the terms below have the following meanings:

College Facilities — any building, room, structure, or space—whether located indoors or outdoors—that is located on property owned or otherwise controlled by Amherst College (with the exceptions of the Emily Dickinson Museum and the Folger Shakespeare Library), including college grounds. 

Third Party — anyone other than an Amherst College 1) student (including student organization members) or 2) faculty or staff member acting in their official capacity. “Third Parties” include, but are not limited to, Amherst faculty members or staff members conducting personal business; students, faculty, or staff at another one of the Five Colleges; local nonprofit organizations; alumni; parents of Amherst College students; and residents of the Town of Amherst and other local communities. 

Policy

College Facilities are primarily intended for the core instructional and administrative functions of the college, which take precedence over all other uses. All uses of College Facilities must be consistent with the college’s educational mission, at the college’s sole discretion. While the college does not currently have a centralized procedure for reviewing requests to use College Facilities, many such facilities are overseen by the Office of Student Activities or the Office of Conferences and Special Events (CASE). Oversight of other College Facilities currently varies by facility, based on customary practice.

Effective as of the approval date of this policy, anyone who authorizes use of a College Facility is expected to gather the following information prior to authorizing the use:

  1. The anticipated number of attendees;
  2. Whether amplified sound will be used;
  3. The Amherst College offices/departments from which logistical support will be requested to facilitate use of the College Facility;
  4. Whether the use is sponsored or co-sponsored by any Third Party;
  5. The name, current employer(s) (if any), and a one-paragraph biography of each speaker/presenter; and
  6. Whether the event poses any risk of damage to the College Facility.

In the event of Third Party use of a College Facility for anything other than a meeting of a local community organization, alumni, parents, or community members, the college may require the Third Party to meet certain insurance requirements and/or sign a written contractual agreement vetted by the college’s Office of General Counsel.

The college reserves the discretion to cancel, disallow, or terminate any use of College Facilities that does not comport with this policy (or any other college policy) and/or that the college determines is (or would be) interfering with the normal operation of the college. Furthermore, the college reserves the discretion to cancel, disallow, or terminate any use of College Facilities by a Third Party at any time and for any reason. 

Prohibited Uses:

Prohibited uses of College Facilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Activities that are prohibited by:
    a. federal or state law, or regulation;
    b. local ordinance; and/or
    c. other binding legal authority;
  2. Activities that violate any Amherst College policy;
  3. Activities by for-profit individuals or entities that constitute greater than de minimus use of a College Facility funded in whole or in part by tax-exempt bonds; and
  4. Activities conducted in a manner that creates an appearance that Amherst College endorses a candidate for political office. 

Actions Not Attributable to Amherst College:

Use of College Facilities by a particular individual or group does not constitute support by the college for that individual’s or group’s views or objectives. The college’s Office of Communications coordinates institutional responses to the media, including statements of the college’s official position (if any) on a particular matter.

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