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 and Banners on campus and other Brown property by student organizations, departments, and centers.
2.0 To Whom the Policy Applies
This Policy applies to Posters and Banners displayed 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 displaying Posters and Banners. Non-University individuals, organizations, and groups are prohibited from displaying Posters and Banners on Brown property unless sponsored by a Brown student organization or center or academic or administrative unit and approved by University Event and Conference Services.
This Policy does not apply to Posters and Banners displayed by Facilities Management, the Office of the President, the Office of the Corporation of Brown University, University Communications, or University Event and Conference Services.
This Policy also does not apply to Posters and Banners displayed on the interior of Residence Halls. Such Posters and Banners must comply with Residential Life policies and rules.
3.0 Policy Statement
Posters and Banners 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) 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 Posters and Banners must not detract from the aesthetics and character of the Brown campus.
Posters and Banners may be displayed 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 may be more robust and varied allowing for more participants.
Facilities Management and the Student Activities Office are authorized to remove Posters and Banners that violate this Policy immediately and without notice. Generally, Facilities Management removes all Posters on a regular basis at the start of the week. Additionally, Facilities Management will generally remove all Posters and Banners at the end of the fall and spring semesters and summer session, during spring recess, and following commencement.
If advertising an event, exhibit, or activity, the Poster or Banner 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.
Posters and Banners for student government elections must comply with all rules established by the Student Activities Office, may remain for the length of the election, and must be removed by the individual or group displaying the Poster or Banner within 24 hours after the election results are announced.
3.2.1 Exterior Posting Locations – Permitted
- The Arch at the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center (Posters must be dropped off at the front desk)
- The Corner of Brown and George Street
- Wayland Arch
- Upper Wriston Quad by Wayland Arch
- Lower Wriston Quad across from the Sharpe Refectory
- Upper and Lower Keeney Quad
- New Pembroke #4
- Grad Center, Thayer Street Entrance
- College Green, Quiet Green, and other green spaces
3.2.2 Exterior Posting Locations – Limited
Administrative, Athletic, Academic, Dining, and other buildings are under the direction of a building manager who has the decision-making authority to approve the placement of Posters and Banners permitted under this Policy.
3.2.3 Exterior Posting Locations – Prohibited
- Trees and other landscape features
- Walls, gates, fences, lamp posts, columns, steps, benches, and flag poles
- 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
- Common Walls
- Entryway Doors (excludes office doors)
- 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 provided they do not block ingress and egress to buildings, streets, paths, or sidewalks.
3.3.1 Community Standards
Student organizations and academic and administrative units are encouraged to consider the impact that their Posters and Banners may have on the quality of the Brown climate, and all Posters and Banners 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 Poster or Banner is required on the Poster or Banner 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 Posters and Banners that are sponsored by a Brown student organization or academic or administrative unit and approved by University Event and Conference Services must include the name and contact information of the student organization or academic or administrative unit sponsoring the Poster or Banner. Part of the responsibility that comes with displays is the willingness to dialogue with individuals who may have different perspectives and views. Posters and Banners are prohibited that display fighting words, true threats, obscenity, false advertising, defamation, invasion of privacy, unlawful harassment, or that violate Brown’s policies, rules, or codes of conduct.
3.3.2 Size Dimensions
- 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 Posters that comply with this Policy. The mounting of Posters must not cover permanent campus signage or wayfinding and must not damage the surface. Glue, poles, stakes, ropes, cable, or permanent fixture are prohibited. Student organizations and academic and administrative units must pay for any damage to surfaces caused by their Posters. All Banners must be mounted by 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 University Name Use Policy.
3.3.5 Trademark, Copyright and Image Use
The content of Posters and Banners 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 Posters and Banners must have all rights to the editorial and creative content contained on the Posters or Banners. 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
Posters and Banners are prohibited for partisan political activity and commercial advertising (as compared to University sponsorship). 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 not affiliated with the University, including advertising, marketing, or endorsement of or for such businesses or enterprises.
For the purpose of this Policy, the terms below have the following definitions:
A large, flexible sheet or sandwich board bearing text, usually illustrated, that is publicly displayed to advertise or promote an event, exhibit, or activity.
A temporary form of exterior display to promote an event, exhibit, or activity.
All individuals to whom this Policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this Policy. University supervisors are responsible for promoting the understanding of this Policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure 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 Poster or Banner, or the removal of a Poster or Banner.
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.
7.1 Related Policies:
7.2 Related Procedures
7.3 Related Forms:
7.4 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
7.5 Other Related Information: