Guidelines for Journalists

The University of Minnesota welcomes journalists to our campus. We encourage members of the media who plan to be on campus to notify University Public Relations so we can help facilitate your visit. Call 612-624-5551.

Visiting and Parking on Campus

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Twin Cities Campus Access

As a public institution, the University is an open and public place that provides journalists reasonable access to campus. However, the University may regulate journalists’ access so as not to:  

  • disrupt teaching or research
  • protect the health and safety of students and staff
  • protect the privacy of students and others who live on campus
  • comply with state and federal laws on student and personnel data.

These guidelines pertain to any individual or group on University of Minnesota owned or controlled property conducting interviews, making audio or video recordings, or taking photographs for dissemination to the public via commercial or non-commercial news and information outlets, including the Internet.

Please adhere to the following guidelines when visiting campus:

  • Journalist vehicles must be parked legally. See Media Parking for more information.
  • Equipment must not damage University property.
  • Equipment, vehicles and personnel must not restrict traffic or access to buildings and fire lanes.
  • Additional restrictions on the use of television cameras, still cameras, flash photography and other special lighting and audio equipment may be implemented on a case-by-case basis to minimize disruption or protect safety or security. If security is an issue, these items may be subject to inspection.

    Non-Restricted and Restricted Areas

    Journalists are generally permitted to film or otherwise have access to spaces on campus that are open to the public, subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. This includes access during regular operating hours to any building or portion of a building that is open to the public.

    • All campus outdoor sidewalks, green spaces, parking lots and ramps are open to journalists.
    • Campus events, such as lectures and forums, that are free and open to the public are open to journalists. Restrictions may be placed on cameras, lights, flash photography and other equipment to minimize disruption. Advance notice or credentials may be required.

    Coffman Union

    • Common areas within Coffman Union are open to journalists; individual offices in the Union are not. 
    • If a reporter or photojournalist wishes to enter a private office, he or she must get permission from the person who works in that office. 
    • Members of the media are encouraged to notify University Public Relations to facilitate the visit and to ensure that disruptions to activities, events and reserved spaces in the student union buildings are kept to a minimum.

    Classrooms, Offices, and Laboratories

    • Corridors and common areas within University laboratory and classroom buildings are open to journalists.
    • Faculty, staff or student offices or laboratories are not public. Permission to enter must be granted by the person or persons who work in that office or laboratory.
    • Classrooms are open to journalists if not occupied. If a class is in session, permission for media access must be granted by the person teaching the class.

    Permission and Escort Required

    Journalists are allowed in the following locations only with express permission from an administrative authority and only with an officially designated University escort:

    • Residential areas.
    • Any secured area or laboratory.
    • Intercollegiate athletics venues, including Huntington Bank Stadium, Williams Arena, Mariucci Arena, Ridder Arena, the Bierman Field Athletic Complex and practice fields, unless the individual is a paid ticket holder.
    • Recreational sports facilities, including the Recreational and Wellness Center and field house, unless the individual is a paid member or ticket holder.
    • The private offices or research laboratories of faculty, staff or student employees.
    • Inside libraries, museums or other areas where quiet study is enforced or where collections may be endangered by media activity or equipment.
    • Inside any venue charging admission, unless the individual is a paid ticket holder. In these cases, members of the media must abide by the policies applicable to all ticket holders.
    • Inside private functions that are not open to the public.
    • Inside any University facility that is not open to the public, including the Steam Plant, other utility operations, waste facilities, maintenance and repair facilities, and public safety facilities.
    • Any marked construction area, crime scene or hazardous or unsafe location.
    • Access to Fairview University Hospital and Clinics is the primary responsibility of Fairview Health Services. For more information, call 612-672-4164.

    Access to University Housing

    Permission is required for media to access University-owned housing, including campus residence halls, apartments, and off-campus student and family housing. Journalists must be escorted by Housing and Residential Life or University Public Relations staff or a resident at all times while in University housing facilities. Unescorted media will be asked to leave.

    To protect privacy, health and safety of residents, escorted media may only film in, or report from, housing common areas (lounges, dining areas, corridors) with approval of University officials.

    Journalists must have permission from all occupants of individual living quarters to enter, report from or film that space.

    Journalists may film or solicit interviews on the public sidewalks or common areas outside of University housing. In some special situations, media access to these areas may be limited to protect privacy, health or safety.

    To obtain permission to enter University housing facilities, contact University Public Relations at [email protected] or 612-624-5551 during business hours, Monday-Friday.

    Parking on Campus

    Parking rules are routinely enforced on campus because parking is in high demand and traffic is heavy. It is also important that traffic flow, sidewalks, driveways, fire lanes, disability access and the like are not blocked. Media vehicles must be parked legally. The University will not pay for parking tickets on media vehicles.

    Please follow these guidelines when parking on campus:

    • If possible, park in a public parking lot or ramp at your expense. Detailed parking information is available on the Parking and Transportation Services website.
    • When University Public Relations schedules a news conference, or expects heavy media traffic on campus, we will notify parking enforcement dispatch and include parking information in a media advisory.
    • Reporters with heavy equipment who need to park near a particular building for a limited amount of time must call University Public Relations to arrange parking in advance.
    • Media parking at intercollegiate athletics facilities generally requires a media parking tag and is available only on non-game days. No unpaid media parking is provided on game days. For more information on parking at athletics events or facilities, call athletics media relations at (612) 625-4090.

    Request Information

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    Release of Student Information

    Federal law, state law and University of Minnesota Board of Regents policy govern access to student records. Under these laws and policies, some information is considered public and some is considered private. However, it is possible for students to suppress some or all public information by requesting a non-disclosure.

    All requests for information from reporters and representatives of news organizations must be directed to University Public Relations through a Data Practices Act request.

    If there is not a non-disclosure request on file with the Registrar regarding a particular student's information, refer to the Board of Regents policy on student records.

    Public Records Request

    University Public Relations, in conjunction with the Office of Records and Information Management, handles requests by reporters and those affiliated with news organizations for information and/or documents under the Minnesota Data Practices Act. Requests should be submitted via the University's Data Request Center. Requests should be as specific as possible and also specify the news organization with which you are affiliated.

    For more information on the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, visit the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Visit the University Policy Library for the administrative policy on Public Access to University Information.

    Filming on Campus

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    Submit a Filming Request

    The University of Minnesota's large and unique urban campus makes it an ideal setting for filming daily events and activities. Visit Filming and Photography at the University for more information and to submit a filming request.

    Entry to campus buildings may be limited; see above for policies about Access to Campus.

    Questions for filming can be directed to: [email protected].