Center for Student Involvement is the department responsible for the symbolic structure policy.

Source Document:  PPM 400-01 Freedom of Expression

Freedom of speech is important at UC Davis. The University is a marketplace of ideas where the discussion of a wide variety of issues is both desirable and encouraged. UC Davis students have chosen symbolic structures as a powerful means of communicating their ideas. Therefore, as a campus we have determined that it is appropriate to permanently designate a site as a “symbolic speech” area where such structures might be placed. This policy shall govern such structures.

A symbolic structure may be placed within the designated site by any registered student organization, campus interest group, or full-time student, staff, or faculty member upon completion of a reservation through Conference and Event Services (CES). Student sponsors (including student organizations) are encouraged to meet with the staff of the Center for Student Involvement to work out details of the proposed structure, prior to approaching CES for the reservation itself. Faculty and staff must work out details of the reservation directly with the staff of CES.

An area on the decomposed granite just off the northeast corner of the Quad is designated as an area for the placement of symbolic structures. This area is bounded on its east perimeter by East Quad Avenue; on the west by the Quad itself; on the north by the sidewalk running east and west just south of Memorial Union; and on the south by an imaginary line running perpendicular to the Quad and East Quad Avenue at a distance of about 65 feet from the north boundary of the site. Within this site, structures must be set back at least three feet from East Quad Avenue and at least six feet from the grassy edge of the Quad.

Reservations of the site will normally be limited to an area sufficient to adequately accommodate the symbolic structure placed on the site. Structures themselves will be limited in size to covering an area in the shape of a square, not greater than 12 feet on a side. Limits on height will be determined by CES consistent with issues of safety, construction, materials and taking into account the natural canopy of the trees. Any exceptions to these limitations must be worked out in advance with CES/Center for Student Involvement and in no event can structures exceed the setbacks and physical limits of the site itself.

Structures may be of a combination of materials, but they must be constructed so they do not cause a safety hazard to passersby. No structure can be of such construction so as to constitute a fire or safety hazard and in no event will fire or flame be permitted as a part of a symbolic structure.

Reservations may be made for one month from their inception. Extensions of one month up to the end of the academic quarter may be granted upon application to CES. To assure diverse points of view, extensions will not be granted if there are other sponsors with different structures or different points of view waiting for an available space in the symbolic structure area; or if the sponsor has been negligent in respect to these guidelines. The responsibility for timely removal of the structure rests with the sponsoring organization or individual. Symbolic structures not removed prior to the expiration of the reservation will be removed by the campus and the sponsoring organization or individual may be billed for the costs of removal. Use of the symbolic structure area normally will be suspended by CES for the duration of major annual events which have traditionally used this area.

The sponsor shall be responsible for any messages conveyed through its symbolic structure. The University shall not abridge a sponsor’s right to control the content of its message so long as the content is constitutionally protected expression. Use of this area must comply with all applicable University rules and regulations. As an example, commercial advertising is not permitted within the symbolic speech area.