Use of Amplified Sound in Outdoor Spaces

I. Scope

This policy applies to all George Mason University faculty, staff, students, university contractors, and outside organizations that use outdoor space on property owned, leased or controlled by the University at all campuses.

This policy governs the use of amplified sound in outdoor spaces at the University.  It does not apply to naturally occurring sounds or to unamplified sounds such as cheering fans or construction noise.  This policy does not specifically address OSHA occupational noise exposure standards, which are administered through the Environmental Health & Safety Office and the Hearing Conservation Program.

II. Policy Statement

A. The use of amplified sound is generally prohibited in outdoor spaces located adjacent to classrooms, libraries or residence halls, and shall be permitted only where it does not interfere with the academic and strategic goals of the University.

B. Amplified sound is permitted only during the following time periods:

Sunday to Thursday:                  7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday to Saturday:                     7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

C. During relevant events, decibel levels for amplified sound shall not exceed 65 dB at the closest property boundary.  University staff will measure the sound level during relevant events to ensure compliance with this policy.

D. Exceptions to these guidelines in cases of special circumstances, tradition or benefit to the University community will be considered. See “Policy 1128 Procedures” for the process to request an exemption. Amplified sound that is in violation of this policy, and that has not been granted an exemption, is strictly prohibited.

E. Certain factors inherent to intercollegiate athletic competition and recreation activities (including but not limited to weather delays, injuries and situations involving overtime or extra innings) will make it impossible for the Athletics and Recreation Departments to fully comply with this policy.  Nonetheless, those departments shall make every effort to schedule games, matches and other events within the time frames set forth above, and to use the guidelines set forth herein to minimize the effects of amplified sound on the neighboring community wherever possible.

F. Complaints related to a potential amplified sound policy violation should be directed to University Police, or the Office of Community and Local Government Relations.

III. Definitions

 Amplified sound: any sound created or enhanced by the use of sound-amplifying equipment.

Sound-amplifying equipment: any machine or device that can be used for the amplification of the human voice, music or any other sound.

IV. Compliance

Each University office, unit or department that has authority to operate or approve outdoor events at the University shall develop and administer internal procedures to govern the use of amplified sound consistent with this policy and its procedures, including but not limited to: (1) Event Services; (2) University Events; (3) University Life; (4) Athletics; (5), Housing; and (6) Parking.

V. Forms


VI. Dates:

 A. Effective Date:

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.

B. Date of Most Recent Review:


 VII. Timetable for Review

This policy shall be reviewed by the Office of Community and Local Government Relations in consultation with University Events, every three years, or more frequently as needed.

VIII. Signatures


__/S_____________________            __January 24, 2013____
Associate Vice President/Controller

__/S_____________________            __January 17, 2013____


Revision Approved: 12/19/2016