Code of Practice on Meetings on University Premises and on the Premises of the Loughborough Students' Union
In pursuance of its duties as laid down in Section 43 of the Education (No 2) Act 1986, the Council of the University hereby approves the following Code with a view to taking the steps which are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the University and for visiting speakers.
- So far as is reasonably practicable, no premises of the University or of Loughborough Students' Union shall be denied to any individual or body of persons on any grounds connected with:
- the beliefs or views of that individual or of that body; or
- the policy or objectives of that body.
- The University will also take account of other legal obligations which may require it to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that what is said on University premises or on the premises of Loughborough Students' Union is within the law.
- The University and Loughborough Students' Union attach great importance to the provision of a right of reply in a situation in which controversial views are being expressed.
- By the authority of the Council of the University the following procedures must in future be followed by members, students and employees of the University in respect of:
- meetings or any other activities which are to be held on premises of the University or of the Loughborough Students' Union falling within the class of meetings specified in paragraph 3 below; and
- the conduct required of all persons in connection with any such specified meetings or activities; and
- any other related or ancillary matters which the Council of the University from time to time declares to fall within this Code. (See also paragraphs 4(v) and 5 below.)
- Infringements of, or departures from, these procedures in whatever respect will render those responsible subject to disciplinary proceedings. In the case of students of the University these will be in accordance with the Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations for the time being in force; in the case of employees any proceedings will be in accordance with the employee's terms and conditions of appointment.
- Additionally, if any such actions involve breaches of the law the university authorities will be ready to assist the prosecuting authorities to implement the processes of law and, if charges are preferred, will stay disciplinary proceedings pending the outcome of any such proceedings.
- The Council of the University, in laying down the following, authorises the Registrar to act on its behalf to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable that all members, students and employees of the University and visiting speakers comply with the provisions of this Code.
3. Meetings or other activities to which this Code applies
Any meetings or other activities where there is a real likelihood that the speaker may not be able to enter or leave the building safely and/or deliver his or her speech will be deemed to fall within the requirements of this Code.
4. Preparation for and conduct of meetings on university premises and on the premises of the Loughborough Students' Union
- This section applies to any meetings or activities falling within the meaning of paragraph 3 above.
- The organisers of any such event shall ensure that a single person is appointed as principal organiser of the event.
- The principal organiser of such an event shall secure that at least four weeks before the date proposed for the event notice of the proposal is given to the Registrar. Such notice shall contain a written statement of the name of the speaker, the subject of the address and the precise timing of arrival and departure of the speaker. In the case of a meeting covered by paragraph 3 above proposed to be held on the premises of Loughborough Students' Union such notice shall also be given to the President of Loughborough Students' Union.
- Within seven days of receiving such notice the Registrar, after such consultation as he considers appropriate, shall issue a statement which shall either grant or withhold permission for the use of University premises or the premises of the Loughborough Students' Union as proposed for the conduct of the event. In the case of such meetings proposed to be held on the premises of Loughborough Students' Union, before issuing his statement the Registrar shall consult the President of the Loughborough Students' Union or, in his/her absence, another member of the Executive.
- Permission so granted may be granted subject to such conditions as the Registrar considers reasonably necessary to secure fulfilment of the University's statutory responsibilities concerning the protection of freedom of speech within the law (see paragraph 5 below).
- The principal organiser and every other person concerned with the organisation of an event for which permission has been granted shall be required to comply with any and every condition laid down by the Registrar under the provisions of this Code. Such conditions may include a requirement that tickets must be issued for public meetings and that an adequate number of stewards should be available, as to whose suitability the Registrar must be satisfied, in addition to any security staff that the Registrar may feel should be present to maintain order. (See paragraph 5 below.)
- Organisers have a duty to see that nothing in the preparations for or conduct of a meeting or activity infringes the law for example by conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace or incitement to illegal acts.
- The chairman of the meeting has a duty so far as is reasonably practicable to secure that both the audience and the speaker act in accordance with the law during the meeting. In case of conduct in breach of this Code the chairman is required to give appropriate warnings and, in case of such conduct continuing, to require the withdrawal or removal of persons concerned by the stewards or security staff.
- No article or objects may be taken inside the building where the meeting is taking place, or taken or used elsewhere on university premises or the premises of the Loughborough Students' Union in circumstances likely to lead to injury or damage.
- Premises used for meetings or activities must be left in clean and tidy condition in default of which the organisers may be charged for any additional cleaning and repairs that are subsequently required. Payment in advance or evidence of ability to pay towards these costs may be required by the Registrar.
- The conditions prescribed by the Registrar under subsection (v) above and paragraph 5 below may include conditions concerning admission or exclusion of press, television or broadcasting personnel.
- The costs arising from any special security measures required to protect freedom of speech shall be apportioned in such manner as the Registrar shall determine, having regard to all the circumstances.
- In addition to the conditions set out in paragraph 4 above the Registrar has discretion to lay down further conditions, if appropriate, after consultation with the police. Thus he/she may, for example, require the designated meeting or activity to be declared public (which would permit a police presence); he/she may arrange for university staff to be responsible for all security arrangements connected with the meeting or activity and appoint a member of staff as "controlling officer" for the occasion. If not satisfied that adequate arrangements can be made to maintain good order he/she may refuse or withdraw permission for the meeting or activity. Such a step would normally only be taken on the advice of the police.
- An appeal against the rulings of the Registrar may be made to the Vice-Chancellor. Such an appeal must be lodged with the Vice-Chancellor within seven days of receipt of the statement by the Registrar referred to in paragraph 4 iv above. The decision of the Vice-Chancellor shall be final.
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