MD Anderson is committed to recognizing and supporting the rights of its employees and the public to peaceably conduct or participate in expressive activities in identified common outdoor areas of its campus, as set forth in Texas Senate Bill 18.
No prior notice is required for people or groups to conduct expressive activities in MD Anderson's identified common outdoor areas. However, reserving an identified common outdoor area is strongly recommended to ensure that adequate support and notice is given to all who participate in and may be impacted by an expressive activity. Additionally, those who reserve an identified common outdoor area will be given priority over those who do not.
Please note that anyone who conducts or participates in an expressive activity in MD Anderson's identified common outdoor areas must adhere to the time, place and manner expectations set forth in MD Anderson's Expressive Activities in MD Anderson's Common Outdoor Areas Policy. See the frequently asked questions below for details.
Email ExpressiveActivities@mdanderson.org with questions or concerns about participating in or conducting expressive activities on MD Anderson's campus.
Frequently asked questions
What are expressive activities?
Expressive activities are any speech or expressive conduct that's protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or by Section 8, Article I, of the Texas Constitution.
Expressive activities include:
- Protests and demonstrations
- Distributing non-commercial written materials
- Carrying signs
- Circulating petitions
Expressive activities do not include:
- Any activity prohibited by MD Anderson institutional policies
- Commercial speech
- Commercial solicitation
It's important to note that:
- Expressive activities must be conducted in a manner that is peaceful and complies with all MD Anderson institutional policies, as well as state and federal law.
- Expressive activities at MD Anderson may occur only in identified common outdoor areas.
Where may expressive activities occur?
Expressive activities may occur only in identified common outdoor areas on MD Anderson's campus.
On the Texas Medical Center Campus:
- North Campus
- The Prairie (open area of land on the southeast corner of Holcombe Boulevard and Fannin Street)
- Mendelsohn Faculty Center - Front Elevation, 1400 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX (open area of land to the north of the facility entrance)
- Wortham Fountain (water feature on the southwest corner of Holcombe Boulevard and Bertner Avenue)
- South Campus
- Holly Hall Blood Bank - Front Elevation, 2555 Holly Hall St., Houston, TX (lawn area to the south of the facility entrance)
- South Campus Conference Center - Front Elevation, 7455 Fannin St., Houston, TX (fountain area to the west of the facility entrance)
At our Houston-area locations:
- The Woodlands - Front Elevation, 100 Fellowship Drive, Conroe, TX (lawn area to the north of the facility)
- West Houston - Front Elevation, 13900 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX (lawn area to the north of the facility)
Any expressive activities that occur in an area other than those identified above, including inside MD Anderson facilities, violate MD Anderson institutional policy and state law.
When may expressive activities occur?
MD Anderson's campus is a unique clinical, research and academic environment spanning dozens of locations. On our Texas Medical Center North Campus, we provide round-the-clock patient care as well as extended hours outpatient services. And our Houston-area locations provide patient care to local populations.
Out of respect for our patients and their visitors, MD Anderson maintains day and time restrictions for certain common outdoor areas.
Email ExpressiveActivities@mdanderson.org with questions about day and time restrictions.
How large may an expressive activity be?
The size of an expressive activity depends on the specific outdoor common area requested or used, and the duration and nature of the expressive activity.
Email ExpressiveActivities@mdanderson.org with questions about size restrictions.
Do expressive activities require security?
Depending on the expected attendance, duration and nature of an expressive activity, MD Anderson may require that UT Police - Houston officers provide security services for the expressive activity.
If MD Anderson determines that security services are required, the organizers of the expressive activity must pay in advance for the services.
Email ExpressiveActivities@mdanderson.org for questions about security charges.
Are accommodations available for expressive activities?
MD Anderson neither provides nor offers accommodations such as power and sanitation facilities (e.g., portable toilets, hand sanitizing kiosks) for expressive activities. Further, at no time may those participating in expressive activities use MD Anderson's indoor facilities.
Expressive activity organizers are responsible for providing any necessary accommodations as required by the City of Houston based on the expected attendance, duration and nature of the expressive activity.
Should an expressive activity not comply with City of Houston requirements, MD Anderson may require the expressive activity to leave campus.
Are there rules for conduct for expressive activities?
At no time may expressive activities:
- Block exits and entrances to MD Anderson facilities.
- Block foot traffic or vehicular traffic from its path of travel (sidewalks, drives, streets).
- Block safety measures put in place to protect MD Anderson's patients, visitors and employees.
- Use tables, kiosks or other structures.
Additionally, those participating in expressive activities may not:
- Participate in or conduct an expressive activity within 20 feet of exits or entrances to MD Anderson facilities or events.
- Wear masks, facial coverings or disguises that conceal the identity of the wearer (note that protective masks or face coverings are allowed for public health reasons and/or compliance with orders issued by city, county, state or federal health officials).
- Possess, use or display firearms, "toy guns," ammunitions, explosives or other items that could be used as weapons such as sticks, poles, clubs, shields, swords and glass objects.
- Openly carry firearms, or carry firearms in a concealed manner regardless of whether someone has a License to Carry.
- Wear body armor or makeshift body armor, helmets and other garments that alone or in combination could be taken for weapons or body armor.
- Have or use an open flame, unless prior permission is obtained.
- Smoke or use tobacco products; see MD Anderson's Tobacco Free Policy.
- Drink, distribute or possess alcohol; see MD Anderson's Alcoholic Beverages Policy.
- Record with photos, video or audio anyone not participating in the expressive activity, or post such to any social media site; see MD Anderson's Social Media Policy.
- Record with photos, video or audio anyone participating in the expressive activity without their consent, or post such to any social media site without their consent; see MD Anderson's Social Media Policy.
- Place or display signs that violate MD Anderson's Displays and Signage for Areas Open to Patients and the Public Policy.
- Use speech, signs or behavior that:
- Damages, defaces, marks, discolors or alters any property, whether of MD Anderson or of an individual.
- Is obscene, libelous, or designed to incite or produce imminent lawless actions.
- Materially or substantially disrupts or interferes with MD Anderson operations, whether clinical, research, academic or administrative.
See MD Anderson's Expressive Activities in MD Anderson's Common Outdoor Areas Policy for all the rules that guide expressive activities in MD Anderson's common outdoor areas.