Visiting Our Campuses
Washington University in St. Louis has eight campuses — Danforth, Medical, West, North, South, 560 Music Center, Lewis Center and Tyson Research Center — all of which welcome visitors under varying hours and circumstances. News media are welcome in all public areas of the Danforth Campus and may attend all non-ticketed events open to the public without prior permission.
For members of the news media planning a campus visit, we suggest checking with the Office of Public Affairs in advance so that your trip here will be productive. We will work with news media to arrange interviews, provide access and parking, locate information and research helpful data.
Washington University supports the free and open expression of ideas and opinions by our faculty, students, and other members of the University community, and we encourage members of our community to agree to interviews and to participate as expert resources in news stories. Faculty, staff and students have the right to speak with news media without the presence or permission of University officials.
Commercial Filming and Photography — For permission to use the campuses and University buildings as backdrops or sets to stage advertising, movie, TV or other commercial or promotional programming, please refer to our guidelines.
Media Visit Guidelines
Washington University in St. Louis welcomes the news media and the public to our campuses. However, neither the public nor the media have a right to indiscriminate access to grounds, buildings, activities or restricted areas. To assist the news media with visits to the campuses and obtaining permission to enter buildings and facilities, the Office of Public Affairs is available at all times to make arrangements for a successful visit.
Washington University supports the free and open expression of ideas and opinions by its faculty, students and other members of the University community, and its media-access policies do not intend to interfere with those freedoms.
Access to buildings, areas and events may be denied during an emergency, crisis or unusual contingency.
All commercial, freelance, non-news photography or videotaping on both campuses must be approved in advance by the Office of Public Affairs, as described in the Commercial Filming and Photography guidelines.
Campus Visit and Visitor Policies
The Danforth and Medical Public Affairs Offices will help make arrangements for news media visits to the campuses.
For Danforth Campus visits, please call (314) 935-5230.
For Medical Campus visits, please call (314) 286-0100.
The following policies apply to campus visits:
- News media are required to seek permission through Public Affairs if they want to enter classrooms, medical facilities, laboratories or similar facilities for the purpose of reporting on any of the University's campuses. Such permission generally will be granted, as long as those in charge of these areas agree and if the reporting activities do not disrupt University activities; do not interfere with the privacy of students, patients, faculty, and staff; and do not pose any risk to the safety of members of the University community, visitors or facilities.
- When news media make requests to interview medical patients or patients' family members in the Medical Center, they must work with the Office of Medical Public Affairs, which will contact the patient and family through the appropriate physician's office. If patients agree to be interviewed and photographed or videotaped, they must first sign an official University or hospital release form. (All news media visiting the Medical Campus buildings and facilities must be accompanied at all times by a staff member from the Office of Medical Public Affairs or the office's designee.)
- Video and sound crews on Danforth Campus property usually are accompanied by a member of the Office of Public Affairs or the Office's designee. When requests are made to conduct on-camera intercept interviews with students, faculty or any other members of the University community, the accompanying Public Affairs Office staff member will ask the proposed interviewee for her or his permission to proceed. The staff member will identify the reporter, describe the request for an on-camera interview and explain that the University sees the decision to be interviewed as each individual's choice. When the requested source makes a decision to be interviewed, she or he may ask that a Public Affairs representative remain throughout that interview. Otherwise, the Public Affairs representative will absent himself or herself from Danforth Campus interviews. (Because of federal laws protecting patient privacy, all Medical Campus interviews will be conducted with a member of the Public Affairs Office present.)
- Events to which the Office of Public Affairs or its designee has extended an invitation or announcement to the public and to the news media do not require special approvals — although arrangements for camera locations, microphones, lighting, etc., may require assistance from Public Affairs. These include news conferences, athletic events, theatrical and musical performances, public lectures and the like.
- If news media receive invitations to visit the campuses from sources other than the Office of Public Affairs, we ask that the news media call Public Affairs and check to see if the activity or event is indeed open. The Office of Public Affairs should be informed of interviews by video or sound crews that are prearranged with students, faculty or other members of the University community so that an escort can be provided. In those cases the Public Affairs escort will remain throughout the interview at the request of the University source. Otherwise, the Public Affairs representative will absent himself or herself from Danforth Campus interviews. (Because of federal laws protecting patient privacy, all Medical Campus interviews will be conducted with a member of the Public Affairs Office present.)
(Revised September 2015)