University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Distribution of Temporary Information through Publications, Banners or Chalking

Policy Statement

The University of Minnesota supports freedom of speech while providing guidance on the distribution of publications, banners, or chalking.  This policy aims to:

  • ensure safety,
  • safeguard entrances and exits to and from University facilities,
  • provide clear and consistent directional signage,
  • minimize disruption of the educational mission, and
  • minimize litter and reduce clutter on University properties and campuses.

Material may not be distributed within 25 feet of exterior facility entrances (excluding Rochester campus).

Freedom of Speech Statement

Freedom of speech is a guaranteed right under the U.S. Constitution and a core value of the University. To sustain an open exchange of ideas, the University community is asked to be tolerant of differing points of view and respect the rights of others to express themselves. Any member of the University community who finds posted or distributed materials to be offensive or disrespectful is encouraged to contact their campus resource (see Appendix.)

Persons or groups distributing information are prohibited from:

  • coercing of others by demands, threats, or other means to accept publications;
  • interfering with or impeding the normal flow of either vehicular or pedestrian traffic on campus; or
  • interfering with, disrupting, or otherwise advocating disruption or violation of any other lawful activity of any other person(s).


Facility managers (facilities management staff, department facility representatives) will remove materials that violate law, regulation, or University policy. Individuals, sponsoring organizations, or groups responsible for these materials may be charged the cost of removal and any associated repairs.

Campus-Specific Requirements

Each campus has varying guidelines and requirements for postings, chalking, publication distribution, banners, sign standards, and promotional signage.  See the campus-specific Appendix for a complete listing of requirements that must be followed.

Reason for Policy

To implement Board of Regents Policies: Property and Facility Use and Historic Preservation, and Administrative Policy:  Use and Lease of Real Estate. This policy provides for and defines orderly distribution of non-official University communications, and to define the allowable parameters and procedures for distributing publications, creating and/or installing banners and signs and chalking at the University.


Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Contact(s) Paige Rohman 612-624-7266 [email protected]
Crookston Andrew Svec     218-281-8438 [email protected]
Duluth Corbin Smyth 218-726-7165 [email protected]
Morris Dave Swenson 320-589-6080 [email protected]
Rochester         John Hachtel 507-258-8202 [email protected]
Twin Cities Scott Saunders 612-625-9317 [email protected]
Twin Cities Student Unions & Activities Denny Olsen 612-625-6295 [email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Interim Vice President University Services
  • Associate Vice President - Facilities Management
  • Paige Rohman
    Senior Assistant to the Vice President for University Services


Written or printed stationary matter with a visual impact and a size equal to or greater than 14 x 22 inches.
Use of sidewalk chalk used to advertise campus events on pavement or cement sidewalks.
Posters, flyers, signs, electronic messaging, QR codes, and other written or printed stationery material that is smaller than 14 X 22 inches.
For the purposes of this policy, refers to any printed matter (such as newspapers, posters, flyers, signs, and other written or printed matter) designed for sale, distribution, posting, or communication of information through print media; other than those resulting from the transaction of official University business and academic activity.
Used to inform, direct, identify, or regulate. The University signage system provides consistent size, graphic format, and configuration to assist the viewer in obtaining information quickly and in an orderly progression. The consistent use of common design elements help to identify the facility as being part of the University of Minnesota system. The sign standards have been developed to assist architects, engineers, other design professionals, contractors and U of M staff in understanding the preferences of the U of M in the development, maintenance and repair of facilities.


Distributor of Publications
Follow procedures for type of publication distribution. Ensure publication, as defined above, contains the name of the sponsoring organization. Remove outdated material.
Facilities Management or Plant Services
Assign space in buildings for distributing publications by bin or racks. Maintain list of staff responsible for managing for individual buildings/properties. Report violations of this policy to local system campus administration and the Office of the Vice President for University Services.
Facility Managers
Be familiar with their campus-specific requirements.  Remove materials that violate law, regulation, or University policy.
University Property/Facility/District Manager
Establish distribution free zones. Monitor building for compliance with policy. Report policy violation to Facility Management/ Plant Services on campus and/or rectify compliance.


June 2018 - Comprehensive Review. Minor Revisions. Policy title changed to add the word “Temporary”. Changes include the reorganization of materials from the procedures into campus-specific appendices. Adding new appendix for reporting disrespectful information. The content of the policy and its standards / requirements are unchanged except for minor formatting corrections and edits for clarity.
October 2012 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision. Added procedure to cover chalking and added contacts for all campuses.
September 2008 - Policy statement now addresses handout distribution. Freedom of Speech statement and Exclusions added to policy statement. Reason for Policy expanded. Contacts for questions pertaining to individual buildings added. Additional responsibilities definitions and frequently asked questions.
August 2003 - Added New Procedure: Installing Banners.
March 2000