Printed on: 03/17/2018. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.


Distribution of Information through Publications, Banners or Chalking

Responsible University Officer(s):

  • Vice President for University Services

Policy Owner(s):

  • Vice President for University Services

Policy contact(s):

Date Revised:

October 2012

Effective Date:

March 2000


Freedom of Speech Statement

Under the U.S. Constitution, freedom of speech is a guaranteed right. Accordingly, 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 the responsible organization or individual to address their objections.

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).

Publication distribution

Within University academic facilities, handout distribution is allowed only in lobby or foyer areas. Handout distribution is prohibited in nonacademic University facilities (athletic facilities, student unions, Ted Mann Concert Hall, Northrop Memorial Auditorium, etc.) including all University parking areas, parking ramps, and surface lots, except with permission from Facilities/Plant Management or unit director. Facility managers may establish distribution-free zones within the facility.

Material may not be distributed within 25 feet of exterior facility entrances.

Publications may be distributed from bins or racks only in designated areas. The Real Estate Office or designated System Campus office will initiate a lease governing the use of the distribution bin/rack as described in procedure: Distributing Publications.

Inside University facilities, publications may be posted on bulletin boards expressly provided for public use. On campus grounds, distribution by posting is prohibited except at designated kiosks (see Appendices for campus maps and Distributing Publications).


Units planning to display banners at a University facility must follow the procedure: Installing Banners. The banner(s) must promote an event sponsored by the University, University department or a registered student group and must bear the event name, date, time and name and be signed by the sponsoring agency. When the need arises, the Signage Committee will be convened to review requests for signage and/or banners that are not specifically addressed in the University Wide Signage and Graphic Standards.


Only registered, recognized student organizations, faculty, staff, or University departments may chalk on University properties. See procedure: Chalking.

Signage Standards

Signs must comply with the University signage standards. Signage Standards are the minimum requirements and are in addition to applicable building codes and requirements.

EXCLUSION: Regulatory agencies prohibit installation of banners and distribution of publications in Intercollegiate Athletic event venues and in areas adjacent to event venues.

Facility managers will remove materials that violate law, regulation or University policy. Individuals or groups responsible for these materials may be charged the cost of removal and any associated repairs to the sponsoring organization.


To implement Board of Regents Policies: Property and Facility Use, Historic Preservation, Use and Lease of Real Estate, and Diversity Services. 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.

The underlying purposes of limiting distribution is to ensure safety, safeguard ingress and egress from University facilities, minimize disruption of the educational mission and learning, and minimize litter on University properties and campuses.






Primary Contact(s)
UM Crookston
Andrew Svec
UM Duluth
Corbin Smyth
UM Morris
Dave Swenson
UM Rochester
Sarah Olsund
UM Twin Cities
Scott Saunders
UM Twin Cities Student Unions & Activities
Denny Olsen


Written or printed stationary matter with a visual impact and a size equal to or greater than 14 x 22 inches.
Refers to the use of sidewalk chalk used to advertise for events on pavement or cement side walks.
Posters, flyers, signs, electronic messaging, QR Codes and other written or printed stationary 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.


Campus Signage Committee
Serve in an advisory capacity to the campus leadership and local Facilities Management/Plant Services. Committee includes representatives from appropriate campus and system wide offices. The Campus Signage Committee will:
  • Review signs that are not specifically addressed by the standards for uniform building and room identification
  • Review banners, posters and signs that are not in conformance with University standards for banners and signs
  • Determine conditions under which non-standard signs will be permitted
  • Provide design guidance (size, placement, lettering style, color, lighting) for non-standard signs
  • Establish criteria for evaluating and permitting non-standard signs
  • Review signs and banners for compliance with building code and disability services guidelines and regulations
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.
Real Estate Office
Initiate lease governing use of bin/rack for distribution of materials on University property. (See also Procedure: Distributing Publications).
University Property/Facility/District Manager
Establish distribution free zones. Monitor building for compliance with policy. Report policy violation Facility Management/ Plant Services on campus and/or rectify compliance.
University Sign Shops
Provide consultation, site survey, design, project management, fabrication, installation, and maintenance of University signage. Maintain the University’s Signage and Graphic Standards.


Board of Regents Policies

Administrative Policies


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
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