University Policies
Policy Contact
Vice President for Facilities Management Email 401-863-1297
Senior Associate Dean and Director of Student Activities Email 401-863-2342

University Posting Policy

Policy No. Issue Date Effective Date

1.0 Policy Purpose

Brown University encourages free expression and protects academic freedom, which are central principles to the mission of higher education. Brown community members express their views and opinions in multiple mediums. This policy sets forth the criteria and responsibilities for the temporary display of posters, fliers, chalking, banners and any other form of display on campus and other Brown property by student organizations, departments, and centers.

2.0 To Whom the Policy Applies

This policy applies to any form of Posting on campus and on Brown-owned or Brown-leased property by recognized student organizations, as well as all academic and administrative units, including all centers, institutes, and programs of Brown University (collectively, “student organizations and academic and administrative units”). Individual students, faculty, and staff are prohibited from Posting on campus. Non-University individuals, organizations, and groups are prohibited from Posting on campus unless sponsored by a Brown student organization or academic or administrative unit and approved by Event Strategy and Management, per the Policy on Use of Campus Space by External Third-Parties.

This policy does not apply to postings from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) or Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) regarding health or safety issues or items of concern to the University community.

This policy also does not apply to Postings displayed on the interior or exterior of residence halls. Such Postings must comply with Residential Life Policies and Rules.

3.0 Policy Statement

Postings are displayed on campus for multiple reasons ranging from promoting an on-campus event to expressing an opinion. Brown expects that all students, faculty, and staff will conduct their discourse in alignment with Brown Community Standards (See Section 3.3.1 below) and the Brown University Code of Conduct. Furthermore, Brown establishes time, place, and manner parameters to ensure that student organizations and academic and administrative units may promote their events, exhibits, and activities and express their views. The display of Postings must not detract from the aesthetics and character of the Brown campus.

3.1 Time

If advertising an event, exhibit, or activity, the Posting must be removed by the student organization or center or academic or administrative unit within 24 hours after the conclusion of the event, exhibit, or activity.

Postings must be displayed only temporarily in order to provide opportunity for student organizations and academic and administrative units to promote events, exhibits, and activities and express their views. By providing for time limitations, community dialogue has the capacity to be more robust and varied, allowing for more participants.

Postings for student government elections must comply with all rules established by the Student Government Association as approved by the Student Activities Office, may remain for the duration of the election, and must be removed by the individual or group displaying the Posting within 24 hours after the election results are announced.

3.2 Placement

3.2.1 Exterior Posting Locations – Permitted

  • The Arch at the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center 
    • Postings must be dropped off at the front desk and not hung independently.
    • Banners are permitted only with SAO approval and are limited to publicity for events that are open to the full campus. 
  • Exterior bulletin boards

3.2.2 Exterior Posting Locations – Limited

Administrative, athletic, academic, dining, residence halls and other buildings are under the direction of a building manager who has the decision-making authority to approve the placement of Postings permitted under this policy.

3.2.3 Exterior Posting Locations – Prohibited

Includes, but is not limited to:

  • Trees and other landscape features
  • Rooftops
  • Walls, gates, fences, lamp posts, columns, steps, benches, and flag poles
  • Statues
  • Exterior building doors and entrances
  • Art installations
  • Fire hydrants, blue light phones, and other safety and security equipment 

3.2.4 Interior Posting Locations – Permitted

  • Bulletin boards

3.2.5 Interior Posting Locations – Prohibited

  • Corridors
  • Common walls
  • Entryway doors (excludes office doors)
  • Windows
  • Stairwells
  • Other common areas, unless specifically designated with a bulletin board

3.2.6 Sandwich Boards

In addition to the places permitted in this Section 3, sandwich boards are generally permitted for two days prior to and for the day of an event, provided they do not block ingress and egress to buildings, streets, paths, or sidewalks.

3.2.7 Chalking

Chalking is defined as the use of a water-soluble substance, or a substance washable by water or rain, to write or draw on sidewalks or plaza areas that are exposed to the weather. Within the guidelines below, chalking is a permissible way to promote programs and events, make announcements, share messages, and express ideas. Only washable chalk may be used, or it will be removed.

  • All chalking must include the name of the student organizations and academic and administrative units doing the chalking.
  • Chalking on any surface that is not exposed to the elements is prohibited, including but not limited to the interior of buildings and under archways;
  • Chalking on vertical outdoor surfaces of any kind, including, but not limited to, buildings, walls, planters, doors, trash receptacles, steps, bridges, fountains, benches, tables, signs, poles, columns, bus stops, light posts, trees, glass, windows, pilings, painted surfaces, traffic signs, emergency call phones, fixtures, newsstands, advertisement dispensers, and utility boxes is prohibited.
  • Chalking that violates federal, state or local law is prohibited. 
  • Chalking that violates Brown University policies and procedures, including the University Code of Conduct, is prohibited.
  • Facilities Management can remove chalk for advertising after an event if not washed away the day after the event.

Chalking is not allowed in any of the following areas:

  • Within 25 feet of an entrance to any building
  • Within 25 feet of the Van Wickle Gates

3.3 Manner

3.3.1 Community Standards

Student organizations and academic and administrative units are encouraged to consider the impact that their Postings may have on the quality of the Brown climate, and all Postings must comply with the Brown University Code of Conduct. The name and contact information for the student organization or academic or administrative unit displaying the Posting is required on the Posting to provide a means for dialogue in the event that members of the Brown community desire to express their views, concerns, opposition, or support.

Third-party Postings for events or activities that are sponsored by a Brown student organization or academic or administrative unit and approved by Event Strategy and Management must include the name and contact information of the student organization or academic or administrative unit sponsoring the Posting. Part of the responsibility that comes with displays is the willingness to engage in dialogue with individuals who may have different perspectives and views.

Postings that display threats, obscenity, false advertising, defamation, invasion of privacy, unlawful harassment, or that violate Brown’s policies, rules, or codes of conduct are prohibited.

3.3.2 Size Dimensions

  • No larger than 8.5” by 11” for fliers
  • No larger than 11’’ by 17’’ for posters
  • No larger than 18’’ by 24’’ for sandwich boards
  • No larger than 24’ by 24’ for banners

3.3.3 Mounting and Posting

Student organizations and academic and administrative units may hang or otherwise display Postings that comply with this policy. The Postings must not cover permanent campus signage or wayfinding and must not damage the surface. Glue, poles, stakes, ropes, cable, and permanent fixtures are prohibited. Student organizations and academic and administrative units must pay for any damage to surfaces caused by their Postings. All banners must be mounted by Brown’s Division of Facilities Management.

3.3.4 Use of the Brown Name, Logo and Marks

Brown’s logo is trademarked and is permitted for use by members of the Brown community for communications and marketing purposes. Affiliates or affinity groups must secure official permission from the University for use of Brown’s trademarked name, logo, iconic images and affiliated marks representing the University. All uses of the Brown name, logo and other aspects of visual identity must conform to the Brown University Visual Identity Policy and Brown Name Use, Trademark and Licensing Policy.

3.3.5 Trademark, Copyright and Image Use

The content of Postings must not violate laws or statutes related to trademark, copyright, or other laws or statutes protecting creative or intellectual property. The creator and University disseminator of Postings must have all rights to the editorial and creative content contained on the Posting. In addition, marketing and publicity materials must conform to the University’s Image Use Policy; permission must be secured in writing for the marketing use of any images of individuals that would be protected by privacy laws.

3.3.6 Political Advocacy and Commercial Advertising

Postings are prohibited for partisan political activity and commercial advertising. As a non-profit, private institution of higher education whose activities are regulated in part by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the University is prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity or permitting its resources to be used for support of such activities. Events or programs that include candidates for public office or their designees must adhere to the Brown University Political Activity Policy. The Political Activity Policy specifies criteria for non-campaign appearances, such as an educational or informational talk to the University community, and appearances, such as political debates or visits from individual candidates.

University resources also cannot be used for the purposes of commercial or business enterprises that are not University-contracted vendors or sponsors, including advertising, sponsoring, marketing, or endorsement of or for such businesses or enterprises.

3.4 Removal of Postings

It is not appropriate or permissible to remove or deface Postings that are allowed under this policy, even if some people find such material offensive. Individuals offended by a Posting are encouraged to convey that to the group identified on the poster. See Section 3.5 for information on raising concerns about a Posting.

Facilities Management is authorized to remove Postings that violate this policy immediately and without notice. Generally, Facilities Management removes all Postings on a regular basis at the start of the work week. Additionally, Facilities Management will generally remove all Postings at the end of the fall and spring semesters and summer session, during spring recess, and following Commencement.

In regards to chalking, University facility and maintenance personnel are allowed to clean and wash sidewalks, plazas, and other outdoor areas at any time in the course of their usual and ordinary campus maintenance activities.

Building managers are permitted to remove any Postings advertising events or activities on a specific date if the date of the event has passed. 

3.5 Raising Concerns

Concerns that a Posting does not comply with this policy should be brought to the attention of Facilities Management by calling 401-863-7800.

Concerns about the content or viewpoint expressed in a Posting can be reported through the Bias, Discrimination and Harassment Incident Reporting Form or Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline (see Section 7.0).

4.0 Definitions

For the purpose of this Policy, the terms below have the following definitions:


Any size flier, flag, poster, banner, sandwich board, chalking, or any other display. 

5.0 Responsibilities

All individuals to whom this policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy. University supervisors and employees with student oversight duties are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure and enforce compliance with it.

6.0 Consequences for Violating this Policy

Failure to comply with this and related policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension without pay, or termination of employment or association with the University, in accordance with applicable disciplinary procedures (e.g., relevant to staff, faculty, student, student organizations).

Additional consequences include, but are not limited to, denial of permission to display a Posting, or the removal of a Posting. Postings that do not comply with this policy are subject to immediate removal and may result in payment for any costs to repair damaged property or disciplinary action against the individual or group responsible for the non-compliant Posting.

7.0 Related Information

Brown University is a community in which employees are encouraged to share workplace concerns with University leadership. Additionally, Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline allows anonymous and confidential reporting on matters of concern online or by phone (877-318-9184).

The following information complements and supplements this document. The information is intended to help explain this Policy and is not an all-inclusive list of policies, procedures, laws and requirements.

7.2 Related Procedures

7.3 Related Forms:


7.4 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):


7.5 Other Related Information:


Policy Owner and Contact(s)

Policy Owner: Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration and Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services

Policy Approved by: President

Contact Information:

Vice President for Facilities Management Email 401-863-1297
Senior Associate Dean and Director of Student Activities Email 401-863-2342

Policy History

Policy Issue Date:

Policy Effective Date:

Policy Update/Review Summary: