In compliance with State law, and due to the compact nature of the University campus, with its central core of major classroom buildings surrounded by the library, open areas for recreation, residences, and local businesses, a general policy of sound control is necessary to ensure that the University’s primary mission of teaching, research, and service is maintained. This policy is drafted to (1) protect academic programs from the intrusion of amplified sound, and (2) provide the opportunity for the approved and lawful use of amplification.
State law requires that : “No person shall emit beyond the boundaries of his property any noise that unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or with any lawful business or activity, so as to violate any regulation or standard adopted by the Board under this act.” (415 ILCS 5/24) “Person” is defined in the Act (415 ILCS 5/3.315) as any individual, partnership, co-partnership, firm, company, limited liability company, corporation, association , joint stock company, trust, estate, political subdivision , state agency, or any other legal entity, or their legal representative, agent, or assigns.
For purposes of this policy “sound amplification” shall mean any noise that unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or with any lawful business or activity including, but not limited to, the use of electronically operated or assisted devices for the amplification of sound, public address system (s), bullhorn(s), music or voice amplifier(s), megaphone(s), and any combination thereof.
General Policy Provisions
It shall be the general policy of the University that academic programs be given maximum protection from intrusion of amplified sound. Therefore, amplification of any sound that interferes with classroom instruction or normal University operations will not be allowed or approved. This restriction will apply to amplified sound used outside or inside in all locations.
It is expected that amplified sound may be a part of some classroom activities. Should the use of amplified sound in an academic setting cause interference with other academic interests, faculty members are urged to work with other faculty or between academic units, via school directors or chairpersons, to resolve the conflict. If the conflict cannot be resolved, the Dean(s) fo the respective College(s) should be contacted to resolve the conflict.
Amplification of sound for any event/activities by any group including, but not limited to, student organizations, university departments/schools, or external use of University space must be approved in writing in advance of the event as outlined in this policy. If amplification of sound is approved, the following conditions will apply:
- The following areas have been established for the possible use of amplified sound:
- the Student Center-Library plaza;
- the athletic facilities and areas adjacent to athletic facilities;
- the areas outside and immediately around the residence halls;
- the University Quad;
- the Redbird Plaza; and
- the Bone Student Center Entry Plaza.
- Amplified sound is prohibited when it disrupts University educational activities and/or University business. If amplified sound disrupts University educational activities and/or University business, campus officials (including advisors, employees, event organizers and Illinois State University Police Department) may require the sound level to be lowered at any time, regardless of whether the application has been approved and/or requirements are being met.
- Outdoor amplification of sound may not start before 8:00 a.m. on any day and must conclude by 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, midnight on Friday and/or Saturday evenings.
- Sound amplification approval is not required for classes held in their regularly scheduled classroom, indoor performance venues (such as the Center for the Performing Arts, Westhoff Theatre, Allen Theatre, and Braden Auditorium), or regularly scheduled athletic events. However, these events will still be subject to the other requirements/guidelines of this policy and any other applicable University policy and procedures.
- The organization sponsoring the event is responsible for ensuring that all University policies and procedures are followed.
- No sound amplification will be allowed in outdoor areas after midnight.
- Any use of a sound device that produces sound that can be heard greater than 100 feet from the device requires approval within the procedures given below.
Failure to obtain approval and/or abide by this policy, state or federal law, or University policy may result in disciplinary measures and/or sanctions to the organization/sponsor/contact person including, but not limited to, cancellation of the event in progress, cancellation of other reservations and/or loss of future use of amplification devices/reservation of rights.
Procedure for Approval of Sound Amplification Requests
- All requests for the use of amplified sound at events must be submitted to and approved by the University Event Review Committee (UERC) using the space reservation request form for the designated space available at https://illinoisstate.edu/about/facility-space-use/
- The request must be completed and submitted for approval at least two (2) weeks prior to the event or it may be denied. Each sponsoring organization must request sound amplification approval on the space reservation request form for the designated space and provide sufficient details for the UERC to assess the request.
- Even if the requester is not reserving space, the space reservation form must be used, but only the sound amplification approval section will be completed.
- Approval or denial of a sound amplification request will be made on a content-neutral basis. However, if any state or federal laws or University policies are violated, necessary actions will be taken by the University, including possible termination of the event.
- The type of sound requested, the time of the event, and the proximity of the location to classrooms, residence halls, and other events will be taken into consideration when reviewing a request.
- Any appeal of a sound amplification request denial will be heard by the appropriate Vice President or designee over the area where the event is to be held. Specific instructions for appeal will also be contained in the denial letter.
- The sponsoring organization will keep the approved sound amplification notification with the designated contact at the event or activity. The contact person for the event will be responsible for monitoring the level of activity or event.
Amplified Sound/Noise Complaints
Violations of this policy or noise complaints should be reported to the Illinois State University Police Department (ISUPD). ISUPD will investigate the concern and, when appropriate, contact the designated person to advise that person of the complaint(s).
The contact person will take immediate steps to reduce the noise level (even if below the stated guidelines) of the event. ISUPD will make every effort, in cooperation with the sponsor, to correct the noise problem without terminating the event. However, failure of the sponsor to reduce the sound level may result in ISUPD turning off the sound amplification and/or terminating the event.
In the case of noise complaints within academic areas, competing academic interests will be taken into consideration when determining if the noise level can/should be reduced.
Exceptions may be granted to the place and/or time restrictions of this policy in certain cases. Typical exceptions to this sound amplification policy have included Springfest, Festival ISU, Passages and other "welcoming" activities, and Homecoming activities. However, any organizations sponsoring these events must follow the approval process outlined above.