D.6 Solicitations by Off-Campus Persons
I. General Regulation
This policy is issued to establish time, place and manner regulations for solicitors who substantially interfere with the regular and essential educational and other activities of the university.
Off-campus persons must have written permission from the SCheduling Office to conduct solicitation anywhere on campus.
1. “Off-campus persons” are defined to include all those who are not USC students, recognized student organizations, staff or faculty.
2. “Solicitation” is defined to include advertising, taking orders, sales not governed by another policy, distributing literature, distributing material including samples, asking for donations, campaigning (political or otherwise), collecting signatures, collecting email addresses or personal information. The university will apply this policy with full respect for all relevant constitutional and statutory rights.
3. Vendor sales of products on campus are governed by a more restrictive policy. See IX Vendors in the Sales and Fund-raising policy.
4. In exercising its responsibility to provide and maintain an atmosphere of free inquiry and expression, the university may establish reasonable time, place and manner restrictions for the purpose of avoiding disruption to or substantial interference with its regular and essential operations and activities. For all expression with federal or state constitutional protection, the university will not base decisions regarding time, place and manner upon the content of the message. Also see the policy on Reasonable Time, Place and Manner.
II. Considerations in Issuing Permits
1. The SCheduling Office will consider other demands on space and will not issue a permit if the space is otherwise programmed.
2. The activity will be limited to certain designated areas.
3. The only area currently available for soliciting by off-campus persons is the plaza at the north end of Trousdale Parkway.
4. The applicant must provide identification.
5. The application must state the number of participants. Excessive numbers of participants will not be approved to ensure no interference with the free passage of pedestrians.
6. Each participant will be issued an individual permit.
7. Permits are for one day at a time.
8. Decisions on permits will not be based upon the content of the message.
III. Displaying Permits
All off-campus persons who are participating in solicitation approved by the SCheduling Office must keep their written permission prominently displayed with them at all times on campus.
IV. Code of Conduct
It is important to foster and maintain a campus atmosphere of mutual respect. Aggressive solicitation is prohibited, including:
1. Obstructing or restricting free movement of persons on any part of the campus including free passage and the free entry to or exit from classrooms, offices or facilities.
2. Persisting in closely following or approaching a person, after the person solicited has informed the solicitor by words or conduct that such person does not want to be solicited.
3. Intentionally touching or causing physical contact with another person without that person’s consent in the course of soliciting.
4. Disrupting, obstructing or substantially interfering with the educational or other operations and activities of the university, including by making sustained or repeated noise.
5. Using violent or threatening gestures toward a person solicited either before, during or after soliciting; using profane or abusive language which is inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction, either before, during or after solicitation; uttering “fighting words” where the speech, considered objectively, is abusive and insulting rather than a communication of ideas and it is used in an abusive manner in a situation that presents an actual danger.
6. Physically intimidating or physically harassing, or using physical force or physical violence, or threatening physical force or physical violence.
7. Endangering the safety of any person on the university campus.
8. Damaging or destroying property.
9. Soliciting for immediate receipt of funds.
10. Remaining on campus at times when only USC persons and invited visitors may enter.
Students and others may register complaints about the activities of off-campus solicitors with the Division of Student Affairs.
Failure to obtain and display a permit, violation of the code of conduct, or violation of the conditions of a permit may result in cancellation of a permit, requirement to leave and not return, and denial of permits in the future. Violations of criminal law may result in arrest.
Revised August 2014