Publicity Policy

Basic information

  • Owner(s):
  • Applies to:
    • Full-time faculty
    • Staff
    • Current Students
    • Part-Time/Adjunct
    • Instructor
  • Approved by:
    • Campus Involvement & Leadership Office
  • Issued: November 2, 2016
  • Last updated: October 5, 2017

Calvin's official policy regarding the submission and approval, placement, size and duration of event posters and other various publicity items on various campus bulletin boards.

Submit a request

Student Life encourages creative and effective promotion of campus sponsored events. We also recognize that the campus is a shared space and want to respect the community space as a shared space. These policies attempt to clarify many of the frequent situations that groups encounter. It is also not possible to have a policy for every situation. When in doubt please stop by the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office for clarity on procedures.


General Policies

  • Only members of officially recognized Calvin University student organizations, Calvin University departments, and university offices are allowed to publicize events, services, and initiatives using campus bulletin boards and other approved methods.  Events must be directly related to the organization or department and have that group’s involvement and/or sponsorship.  Outside events that have no direct connection are not eligible—campus groups cannot publicize on behalf of outside groups. 
  • While events and related publicity on campus must fit within the educational mission and community standards of the university, which includes Calvin’s freedom of expression guidelines, the approval of publicity (and the events themselves) should not imply university endorsement.  
  • All posters, flyers, leaflets, chalking, and other postings must clearly state the name(s) of the sponsoring organization(s). 
  • All advertising must comply with Calvin University standards and procedures for publicity, as outlined in this policy document. 
  • All postings from Calvin University organizations, departments, and offices must be approved by the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office prior to posting publicity 
  • Exceptions to this policy may be approved by the Assoc. Dean of Campus Involvement & Leadership upon request, but only for extenuating circumstances or situations not clearly defined in this policy, for which a policy clarification or exception is warranted.  
  • Violators of the publicity policy may be fined and have their publicity privileges suspended. 

Types of Publicity Permitted 

Posters and Flyers/Handouts 

  • Posters may range in size but should not be larger than 11"x17".  
    Variations in poster design is allowed, but max quantity for event is as follows: 8.5”x11” (or smaller): 40 poster limit   OR   11”x17” inches: 20 poster limit 
  • Posters may be displayed on bulletin boards throughout campus for 14 days from the "desired start date" on your submission form. If you want your posters up through the date of your event, please note that in your submission form if you are sending them for approval earlier than 14 days. 
  • Facilities staff and other designated faculty and staff will enforce the time limit policies.  Students may not remove others’ publicity without permission from the Campus Involvement and Leadership office. 
  • Flyers may be handed out to students personally, but may not be placed on parked cars or left in piles around campus, unless permission is given for the latter by specific offices or Residence Life (for residence hall and apartment areas).  
  • Flyers must not be larger than 8.5"x11" in total area and at least one must be stamped after approval. You should keep the stamped flyer on-hand when handing out. 
  • You must get approval from Residence Life before inserting flyers in student mailboxes. 

Dining Hall Table Toppers 

  • Size for table toppers/tents are standard 4"x 6". 
  • Quantity is limited to 50 maximum, distributed between both dining halls. 
  • All dining hall table toppers must be approved by the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office. 
  • One will be stamped and given to Creative Dining staff as notification of approval. 
  • Table toppers/tents will only be approved for one week, lasting from Monday-Sunday and only 2 table toppers will be approved at the same time. 

Chalking 

  • Chalking is allowed only on designated sidewalks and is limited to specific event or community announcements only. 
  • Chalk may not be applied to: 
  • Building walls or vertical surfaces 
  • Interior of any building 
  • Under overhangs of any buildings (or any place rain does not directly hit, as a good rule of thumb) 
  • Any other university property (offsite or private residence) 
  • All chalk used must be washable "sidewalk" chalk. 
  • You must register your words via the form. 
  • Chalking is approved for no more than 5 days 
  • Unapproved messages will be removed.  Responsible individuals or organizations will be accountable for cleaning costs and policy violations. 

Banners, External Signs and A-frames 

  • All forms of large-scale signs must be approved by the Associate Dean of CIL and be consistent with university publicity policies 
  • A-Frames signs may only be used for up to 48 hours (checked out from the CIL Office) 
  • Banners may not be hung from the exterior or draped from a window or doorway of any residential building 
  • Locations for large scale signs must be approved by the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office. Under certain circumstances approval from Facilities staff or other offices may be required 
  • Unapproved signate of this type will be discarded, and responsible individuals or organizations will be accountable for any removal costs and policy violation. 
  • If banners are not removed 24 hours after the event organizations may be charged for removal. University staff is not responsible for saving any banner 

Student Organization Tabling and Visual Displays 

  • Only officially chartered student organizations may utilize a table or visual display, and organizations may not sponsor tables for outside or unofficial groups or organizations. 
  • Requests must first be made through the Student Org. Tabling Request, those requests will be reviewed.  Then use the Event Services Reservation form to reserve approved locations for this type of event.  Faculty or Staff Advisor knowledge and approval will be required. 
  • Requests must be made two weeks prior to the event and include the specific information that will be displayed at the table or display.  Requests must exhibit thought and preparation, including evidence of how the table or display will contribute to civil public discourse, avoid negative community and personal impact, be grounded in the university’s freedom of expression principles, and be compatible with the educational mission of the university.  The reality of the table or display must match the request form description. 
  • Tabling or displays are limited to one day (between 8 am and 5 pm).  Flag displays will be limited to the lawn on the west side of the Common’s Annex. 
  • Sharing of information or solicitation of support or opinions must be done in a respectful and unobtrusive way.  That is, any table or display must preserve the right of any community member to not engage with the table or visual display.   

Process for Approval 

  1. Sponsoring organizations should submit their requests via the online Publicity Request Form with an attached copy of the publication they intend to advertise. This includes posters, flyers, banners, and external signs.  For sidewalk chalk, words need to be recorded in the text box on the form. 
  2. Requests will be reviewed by the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office. An approval or a denial will be emailed within 2 business days of the request. 
  3. All publicity (except sidewalk chalk) must display an approval stamp.  You can request a virtual stamp or you will need to bring your publications to the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office (Commons Annex 121) along with your approval letter. Once you show you’ve been approved you will stamp your own posters at the Front Desk and you may begin hanging them on the designated bulletin boards across campus. 

Submit a request


Additional Notes on Bulletin Boards: 

Public Bulletin Boards 

Posters concerning events that are not sponsored by Calvin departments or organizations can only be posted on the two “public” bulletin boards located in the entrance to Johnny’s Café and immediately outside the Campus Store. 

Residence Hall Bulletin Boards 

Limited spaces for student organization or departmental posters exist in the lobby/entrances to each residence hall and several KE apartments.  These boards are subject to the same policies as all other general bulletin boards on campus.  Large bulletin boards near each residence hall front desk are reserved for Residence Life purposes and are not available for other organization or department use unless approved by Residence Life staff specifically.  Interior floor, basement, and apartment hallway bulletin boards and wall spaces are strictly reserved for Residence Life and hall/apartment community events.   

Departmental Bulletin Boards 

University employees may post articles and announcements outside of their offices or on their office doors. These articles/announcements do not need to be stamped. Academic departments may set their own policies for specific bulletin boards within or adjacent to their department spaces. 


BUILDING MAINTENANCE, FACULTY, AND OTHER STAFF MEMBERS WILL ENFORCE THE POLICIES REGARDING PLACEMENT OF ALL POSTERS REGARDLESS OF THE ORGANIZATION OR COMMITTEE ORIGIN.

Approved by Campus Involvement and Leadership Office: October 2016

Effective Date: November 14, 2016

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