As an institution of higher education, the university respects and fully supports the rights granted to individuals under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution regarding free speech. As a public entity that welcomes thousands of non-students to campus annually for a wide variety of events, the College must also safeguard the rights and safety of visitors and participants in these events.
To accomplish this, SUNY Cortland has designated specific areas to serve as forums for public speech by campus visitors and guests.
In adopting this policy, the university weighed its competing obligations and responsibilities: to meet its legal obligations as a public entity to provide a venue for free speech by third parties; to meet its audit and control obligations in managing New York state property under its jurisdiction; and to meet its obligations for the orderly and safe operation of its campus, while responsibly managing and allocating its resources in pursuit of its education mission for its students.
Two areas have been designated as public forum space for use by visitors during New York Jets Training Camp.
The College has identified an outdoor space by the College’s athletic fields due east of the Route 281 Parking lot on the grass area. This area is approximately 20' by 30', and will be marked during camp.
Should the college deem it necessary, an additional public forum will be used. This area would be due east of the Lankler Drive and Stratton Drive intersection. The area will also be approximately 20' by 30'.
To use the public forum space, visitors must first complete an application, available online here. The applicant should then file the application with the Campus Activities and Corey Office four business days before the date the applicant wishes to use the designated public forum. Forms may also be provided by College officials at the camp. The College will review and respond as quickly as possible, and no later than the close of business on the second business day following the receipt of the application.
If the application is not complete, the College will return the document to the applicant for completion. If the space is already reserved to its capacity for the date and time requested, the university shall inform the applicant and offer the applicant the next available date and time for the use of the space.
To protect the rights of training camp visitors who use the free-speech forum, the College shall not:
- Inquire as the nature or content of the free speech;
- Charge the applicant an application fee to reserve the designated public forum;
- Charge the applicant/third party for the use of the space;
- Impose insurance requirements on the applicant/third party; or
- Charge the applicant for any additional costs to the university that the university may incur due to the use of the space by the applicant/third party, such as security.
Visitors expressing themselves in the designated areas meanwhile, must adhere to the following:
1. Be responsible for any costs for parking on the campus as all students, faculty, staff and visitors are charged for parking.
2. Be responsible for picking up from the designated public forum any brochures, pamphlets, leaflets or other handouts or goods that the third party speaker brought with him/her to disseminate during his/her speech, and properly disposing of the same in public garbage receptacles or taking them with him/her. The university has a regulation against littering on the campus that applies to all students, faculty, staff and visitors. Failure to comply with this provision may result in future denial of use of the designated public forum; and
3. Not use megaphone equipment for the amplification of the speech without prior express permission. Determination of permission will be based on the potential disruption of football practice or other activities associated with Jets Training Camp.
SUNY Cortland reserves the right to terminate any use of the designated public forums in the event either the speaker or a member(s) of any audience engages in conduct that violates the SUNY Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order, adopted in accordance with Education Law Section 6430 and 8 NYCRR 535, in order to secure the orderly and operation of the campus for the safety of the entire campus community.
All applications must be reviewed and approved by the director of Campus Activities and Corey Union, or designee. For questions, please call the Campus Activities and Corey Union Office at 607-753-2322.
For more information on the College’s public forum or other policies, see the College Handbook.