Reminder and Clarification of Policies on Expressive Activities on UCSF Property

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Reminder and Clarification of Policies on Expressive Activities on UCSF Property

A reminder of the “time, place, and manner” rules that support UCSF’s history of activism while ensuring our ability to provide a safe and welcoming environment.

Dear UCSF Community,

Throughout the past several months, we have seen expressive activities and protests on many university campuses, including our own. I write to provide a reminder of the “time, place, and manner” rules that have supported UCSF’s proud history of activism while ensuring our ability to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all of our patients, students, trainees, faculty, and staff.

As we support members of the UCSF community exercising their First Amendment/freedom of speech rights, UCSF, as an institution, has important responsibilities to uphold. First, we have a duty to maintain campus operations and safety while members of our community engage in expressive activities. These activities must be conducted in a manner that does not disrupt or interfere with the healing environment we promise to our patients or the environments in which the highest quality education, research, and work occurs. Second, we must protect the university property that supports our missions. Third, as a state constitutional entity, and an institution that receives federal funding, we must commit to taking a viewpoint-neutral approach to all expressive activities. 

University Campus Administrative Policy 600-27: Expressive Activities Held on UCSF Property provides the rules that all members of the UCSF community are expected to follow when participating in expressive activities. Other University policies as well as Federal Antidiscrimination policies also are relevant to the conduct of all gatherings on University grounds. University leadership has recently reviewed these policies and provides clarification of these guidelines to ensure consistent understanding among our community, including:

  1. Structures, Signs, Camping
    • Signs, banners, and placards must be smaller than 30 inches by 30 inches. For safety reasons, including prohibitions in the Fire Code, signs or banners cannot be attached to University property.
    • No structures or displays can be larger than two feet in dimension. This restriction applies to all structures, including tents, canopy structures, large stationary umbrellas or any structures used as barricades or fencing.
    • UCSF does not allow camping on University property.
  2. Access
    • Expressive activities may not block access to any entrance, walkway, or stairs, or restrict the free flow of pedestrian traffic.
    • Expressive activities must be at least 50 feet away from University building entrances and external stairways, with the exception of the designated area at the Kalmanovitz Library Forecourt.
    • Expressive activities must be open and accessible to University officials and all members of the University community where they have UCSF authorized access to that location.
  3. Identification
    • All employees and students must visibly wear their UCSF identification badge at all UCSF sites (Policy 150-17 Identification Cards).
    • ID must be shown upon request to a University official. 

Additionally, non-UCSF affiliates—individuals who are not UCSF students, trainees, faculty, or staff—must follow UC Regulations Governing Conduct of Non-Affiliates in the Buildings and on the Grounds of the University of California.

The past months have been challenging for many at UCSF. I recognize that there are strongly held convictions across a range of perspectives among us. I urge our community to find the right balance in how we express ourselves while carrying out our public mission. Following the University’s policies governing expressive activities will help ensure our collective ability to exercise our free speech rights while continuing to provide extraordinary patient care, educate the UCSF health professionals and researchers that our state and nation need, and engage in discovery to improve the health of our patients and communities.


Catherine R. Lucey, MD, MACP
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Questions about this article? Contact Office of the Chancellor