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Outdoor Sound Amplification

Outdoor Sound Amplification Policy

Santa Clara University encourages recognized student organizations and all other university entities to bring life to the campus through programming, gatherings, and other means. Event reservations and planning takes into consideration the day of the week, time of day, location, impact upon adjacencies, the academic, administrative, and liturgical processes and upon the local neighborhood. 

To ensure said events run successfully without the disturbance of other campus activities, the university designates outdoor campus zones that each have their unique ability to host noise related events given the considerations described above. Each zone is designated by specific decibel levels determined based on a respectful distance from adjacent buildings and the activities taking place in those buildings (i.e. classrooms, services, etc.). 

Events need to be formally requested and approved via the regular business practices of scheduling venues, in a timely manner for all advising and processes to be reviewed. The process for student organizations is by the Center for Student Involvement; non-student entities by the University Event Planning Office; and residence halls by the Office of Residence Life.  The procedural details can be found on their respective websites.

Events that have the potential to have noise carry beyond the university boundaries require approved City of Santa Clara outside noise permit(s). Amplified PA systems exceeding two (2) “DJ” speakers, as well as concerts, are examples of events requiring a permit.

The general hours available for outdoor amplification of sound are:

  • Friday from 4:30 to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Outdoor amplification is not permitted Monday through Thursday. No outdoor amplification is allowed during the undergraduate and graduate final exam periods and law school reading period, final exam periods, and commencement. Amplification of music or speech is not permitted in outside areas immediately adjacent to classroom buildings while classes are in session.


Noise levels are enforceable by Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) and Campus Safety Services (CSS). SCPD and/or CSS reserve the right to request that the sound be turned down or turned off, or to cancel the event at any time. 

City of Santa Clara Sound Amplification Permit Link