St. Cloud State University Policies & Procedures

Display and Distribution of Information Link☍

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Current Status: Approved

Policy Type: All University

Effective Date: 06/14/2018

Last Updated: 02/04/2022

Applies To: Students, Faculty, Staff, Visitors, Contractors, Vendors

Responsible University Officer: Campus Facility Planning & Space Utilization Manager

Policy Owner: Campus Facility Planning & Space Utilization Manager

Policy Contact: Interim Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management


St. Cloud State University recognizes the importance of providing information about events and opportunities that support the University’s mission and are of value to the University’s students, faculty, staff, visitors, and guests.  This policy is intended to provide direction for groups or individuals who wish to display or distribute information in University facilities or on campus grounds.


Informative materials may only be posted or distributed in and on property owned or controlled by SCSU if they conform to this policy. For the purposes of this policy and procedure, “informative materials” will include: posters, easels, exhibits, digital monitors, flyers, handouts, bulletins, notices, sandwich boards, or any other type of sign or display format used for the purpose of advertising, announcing, sharing or marketing information.

Informative materials shall not:

  • Be posted, displayed, carried or distributed in a manner that impedes access to University buildings or grounds or causes obstruction, blockage, or interference with the regular flow of motor vehicle or pedestrian traffic.
  • Be posted, displayed, carried or distributed in a manner that causes obstruction to programs, interferes with accessibility, blocks access to fire extinguishers or other safety equipment, or presents a safety hazard.
  • Be posted on trees, sculptures, historical markers, vehicle windshields, stairwells (except evacuation information), railings, building entry/exit doors (except for emergency notices, security, or building hour notices), or any other locations not outlined for promotional purposes per this policy and procedure.
  • Be posted, displayed, carried, or distributed in a manner that results in excessive litter or interferes with campus beautification or grounds maintenance efforts. This includes flyers placed under windshield wipers, strewn about the grounds, left behind in stacks on university property, or deposited in locations not intended for such use.
  • Be posted or removed in such a manner as to cause damage to the display location.
  • Be distributed in a manner that is harassing to passersby. Proffered materials can be refused at any time.
  • Be posted, displayed, carried or distributed by employees via broadcast email or other broad distribution methods for personal profit or non-university fundraising. This does not prohibit employees from posting on public use bulletin boards or from limited personal use of University resources in communicating about such opportunities with smaller groups of personal contacts.
  • Be distributed in a manner that disrupts work, class, or University operations. Non-disruptive distribution with the approval of a dean or supervisor managing the space or faculty member managing their reserved or assigned classroom is permissible.
  • Be posted, displayed, carried or distributed if the message promotes or advertises alcohol, other drugs, controlled substances and drug paraphernalia in violation of Board Policy 5.18 or SCSU’s alcohol and other drug compliance program.
  • Be posted by covering up or otherwise interfering with already posted materials.

St. Cloud State University reserves the right to remove and dispose of informative materials if they do not meet the criteria in this policy and procedure, are expired or outdated, are damaged, or are placed in areas inconsistent with the intended use of that space. Items may also be temporarily removed or promotional space reservations changed by SCSU staff to accommodate posting or distribution of information about specific needs or issues related to the campus community.

Certain departments, such as Residential Life, University Library, Atwood Memorial Center, or Kiehle Hall Art Department, may have approved exceptions or additional guidelines related to posting, solicitation, or distribution of materials due to the unique aspects or mission of that department.

SCSU is not responsible for content errors, false information, or copyright/trademark infringement on informative materials created or published by non-SCSU entities.

SCSU does not permit commercial advertising messages except for those managed through a written agreement with the University, displayed at a reserved or rented kiosk or promotional space, restricted to a free speech zone, or posted on bulletin boards designated for use by the general public. Companies, persons, or other entities are prohibited from attempting to sell to, or offer employment to, our staff, faculty, or students by going door to door in office or classroom settings.  Employment or internship opportunities for students should be managed through the SCSU Career Center (see supporting URLs). Commercial advertising may be further restricted by contracts the University has with exclusive vendors, or other university or Minnesota State policies. Fundraisers and membership drives that support University activities are not commercial.  

Informative materials must not be posted, displayed, carried or distributed in violation of state or federal law, local ordinance, or Minnesota State or SCSU policy, procedure, or codes of conduct. Violations of this policy and procedure may result in removal of posted materials, loss of posting or distribution privileges, or other action.


A variety of locations are available for display and distribution of informative materials. Some locations are restricted to specific users and some require a reservation and/or payment of a fee prior to use. Some may have size or time restrictions, while others may not. Due to these variations, close attention should be paid to the specific procedures relevant to each type of informative material and display location.

For reservable spaces and/or display equipment that are not restricted to specific users or purposes, priority on reservation requests goes first to registered student organizations, then to University departments, and lastly to non-university organizations and businesses, as policy regarding time, place and manner permit.

All materials physically distributed on campus such as handouts or flyers, or materials posted in reserved spaces such as display cases, easels, or non-public bulletin boards must clearly identify and provide contact information (at minimum a name and email or phone) for the department, program, student organization, company or other entity responsible for the content being distributed or displayed. Contact information should be for a department, program, registered organization, or other office, rather than an individual. Prior to displaying or distributing informative materials, all registered student organizations must consult with and seek advice from their advisor(s) about the intended informative materials.

Unless otherwise outlined in this procedure, materials should not be posted any sooner than three weeks before tickets go on sale or the start date of the event. Materials should be removed the first-class day after completion of the program or event by persons who originally posted the information. Repeated failure to remove informative materials by the persons who originally posted may result in loss of posting privileges. If materials are not removed and they become outdated or expired, the materials may be removed and disposed by SCSU staff or any person needing use of the space. Informative materials that do not have date specific information may be removed, as needed, for materials promoting current events.


The only walkway where posting is permitted is the Atwood/Centennial walkway. Posters for the walkway space must be professionally computer generated and be 72" x 42" in dimension. Atwood’s Copies Plus can produce posters that meet these specifications. Posters must be dropped off at Atwood’s information desk prior to, or on the day of, the first date of the reserved period and will be hung by Atwood staff.  Removed posters will be held 1 week for pick up before being discarded/recycled.

There are 6 windows within the walkway permitted for use.  Two spaces are designated for SCSU student government, two for University programming board, and two for general use by SCSU registered student organizations or University departments to promote an event, program, or service. These window spaces are scheduled via the on-campus event management system (EMS) for a maximum of two weeks.  If the general use spaces are unavailable, student organizations or University departments may seek approval to use the student government designated window spaces. This approval must be in either a written or electronic correspondence from the student government president or vice president and must be dropped off at Atwood’s information desk prior to, or on the day of, the first date of the reserved period.

Exterior Walls and Structures

With the exception of the coexist banner on the exterior of the Atwood Memorial Center, banners or large signs designed for exterior walls are generally temporary in nature, designated for a University event or promotional purpose, and approved by a vice president.  These banners will be displayed prior to and during the University event or promotion, be professionally made with no hand lettering, be of durable quality, follow SCSU and Minnesota State policy, and be no larger than 200 square feet.  Exterior wall hangings may contain no commercial advertising outside of a sponsorship or partnership with the University. Exterior banners and/or signs shall be hung by University facilities management staff in a manner that is safe and does not obstruct visibility. Individuals interested in requesting exterior signage or requesting an exception should contact facilities management.

Interior Walls/Railings

Postings are not permitted on interior walls, doors, windows, railings or other building structures.  All postings must be on bulletin boards, sandwich boards, and other permitted posting areas as outlined in this procedure. Exceptions are made for emergency, security, or building hour notices.  Departments and student organizations may request exceptions for posting on permanent fixtures by contacting facilities management.

Lawn Signs

Lawn signs include any sign or post that must be pushed or driven into the ground to stand on its own, including flags and yard sale style signs. Lawn signs are highly discouraged in order to prevent damage to underground utilities, including sprinkler systems and control wires. Organizations are encouraged to use free-standing signs as outlined under “sandwich boards” elsewhere in this policy. When used, lawn signs are restricted to predesignated areas which are outlined on the lawn sign map (see supporting documents). Yard signs must have posts of less than ¼” diameter, and may not be placed any closer than 2 feet from a sidewalk. Departments may request exceptions by contacting facilities management.

Bulletin Boards, Tack Strips, and Towers

Informative materials posted on bulletin boards, tack strips or towers shall adhere to the regulations posted on the board. If a board does not have a regulations placard or is not otherwise labeled, then the default shall be that the board is available for use by the general public and informative materials may not exceed 14 x 22 inches. Materials must be mounted with thumb tacks or push pins. Only one announcement per program or event may be affixed to each site. Some boards may be designated for a specific purpose, or for use by a specific department, group, or program. These boards will be labeled accordingly or will include such details on the regulations placard. For questions about posting, contact the owner listed on the regulations placard. If no placard can be found on the board, contact facilities management.

Interior Doors and Windows

Offices, departments, and programs that have been assigned space within University buildings are expected to maintain an attractive, safe, and uncluttered appearance. Posting on doors and windows is not open to the public. Posting on interior doors and windows by departments and programs in their assigned areas should be very limited. Stickers, strong adhesives, or other materials that cause damage to surfaces are prohibited. Information on postings must pertain to St. Cloud State University programs, activities, partnerships, courses, opportunities or services. The department director, department office manager, or office incumbent is responsible to see that this policy is followed or that a bulletin board or tack strip is requested if needed. 

Display Cases

St. Cloud State University has multiple display cases in a variety of campus locations. Weapons may be displayed in these cases in accordance with the violence and weapons policy and procedure. Some cases, such as the Born of Hunger (1995 Hunger Strike) display case in Atwood have a designated purpose and are not available for reservation and use. Display cases that are available to the public or campus community members will have a regulations placard with instructions about what is permitted and who to contact for inquiries.

Brochure Racks

St. Cloud State University has multiple brochure racks in a variety of campus locations. Most of these racks have a designated purpose and are not available for public use.  Brochure racks that are available to the public or campus community members will have a regulations placard with instructions about what is permitted and who to contact for inquiries.


Easels are available for the bottom of each side of the main level staircase and/or the entrance to the theater lounge in Atwood to promote events taking place in those areas and only for the day(s) of the event. Posting clips near each meeting room entrance may reduce the need for easels. Atwood Memorial Center easels may not be removed from the building. Other easels may be owned by various departments, organizations, or centers on campus. Reservation of these easels is at the discretion of the owners.

Sandwich Boards

When using sandwich boards to display informative materials, the posting party must monitor them and occasionally set back up if affected by windy or adverse weather conditions.  They may not be posted where they restrict or obstruct people, or hide signage or other displays. They may not be used in streets or skyways. If not secured they must be removed each night. They may be secured to prevent theft or being blown by the wind, but should not be affixed to handrails, door handles, other building exterior apparatus, artwork, historical markers, or in any manner prohibited by this policy. Contact facilities management for the proper way to secure sandwich boards to light posts and other real property assets. Repair of damage to real property assets will be charged back to the department responsible for the sandwich board. Sandwich boards must be removed upon completion of the event and must also be removed prior to snowfall to prevent damage to or from snow removal equipment. Sandwich boards are owned by various departments and may be used by others at the discretion of the office that purchased the sandwich board.

Table Tents

Table tents may be placed on food service area tables for a maximum of two weeks by SCSU registered student organizations and campus departments. Non-university table tents are not permitted. Table tents must promote events on campus, be open to all students and be made of sturdy recyclable or recycled paper. Only one table tent per event is permitted on each table. Table tents for most food service tables must be approved by the Atwood Administration Office room 110 prior to placement. Garvey table tents require approval by Residential Life. For guidelines about placing table tents in Miller Center, including in the coffee shop, refer to their guidelines for displays and exhibits (see supporting URLs).

Table tents may be placed by various offices, departments, or centers in the spaces they occupy or manage. Use of these spaces by others is at the discretion of the office, department, or center occupying or managing the space. Individuals or groups wishing to place table tents in non-food service areas or in areas they do not occupy or manage must contact the appropriate administrative office that manages the area for approval prior to placing any materials.

Tables, Kiosks, Gripper Strips, Wire Clips, and Reserved Spaces

Information about tables, kiosks, poster grip strips/wire clips, and promotional spaces can be found on the Atwood reservations/promotional space websites. For information about table and other reservations in Miller Center, refer to guidelines for displays and exhibits in the Miller Center (see supporting URLs).


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. The policy places restrictions on messaging. Doesn’t the first amendment to the U.S. constitution prohibit limitations on messages?
  2. At a public university restrictions on “time, place and manner,” are permissible to achieve the mission of the university so long as they do not censor some viewpoints and not others. For example, SCSU can assign control of display cases to the departments that sponsor and maintain them. Examples include the cases in Wick science building. Likewise, the Atwood memorial center can restrict the use of display cases, bulletin boards, table tents and posters to registered student organizations and University departments, or permit a collective bargaining unit to have a bulletin board for its exclusive use.   


  1. What happens if a student organization consults with the organization’s adviser who objects to the planned message of the student organization?
  2. The procedure requires the student organization to consult with its adviser but does not require the approval of the adviser. There may be many reasons an adviser may want to discuss a messaging plan with students. The adviser’s role is to provide information and advice to the student organization not to control the decisions of the members.


  1. Can SCSU prohibit and remove speech that is unwelcoming to members on the basis of race, religion, or political opinion?
  2. SCSU is committed to welcoming and supporting all students, faculty, staff and community members and to maintaining an inclusive educational environment. SCSU delivers on this commitment in many ways but restricting speech based on racial bias, religious distrust or political viewpoint is not one of them. Hateful speech remains constitutionally protected. SCSU can have ‘time, place and manner,’ restrictions but may not restrict viewpoints even if they are at odds with our commitment to inclusion. Time, place, and manner restrictions may assure the University can fulfil its purpose by imposing content-neutral restrictions.  One example is allowing outdoor speech and prohibiting it in classroom buildings. Another may be to prohibit the use of sound amplification near residence halls after 10:00 p.m. The constitution requires speech that challenges ideas that are wrong or distasteful by engaging them not by suppressing them.


  1. Doesn’t the Board of Trustees policy that prohibits discrimination and harassment, the 1B.1 Policy, prohibit hate speech?
  2. The Board policy prohibits harassment and discrimination directed at an individual based on the individual’s protected status. Harassment means verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to have the purpose or effect of creating a hostile work or educational environment. Messages that express negative views of a group of people are not prohibited by this policy. 


  1. If a speech or event has been scheduled to occur on campus and people who disagree with the message try to disrupt the event can SCSU ask them to stop the disruptive speech activity and remove them if they do not stop?
  2. Yes, SCSU has the ability to schedule events or permit speech activity in reserved campus spaces and prevent disruptions. This does not prohibit a group with an opposing viewpoint from reserving a different non-conflicting free speech area or utilizing other expression opportunities, as long as they are not disruptive.


  1. Sometimes the viewpoints of others can be very hurtful, unwelcoming, or disturbing.  Since the University is bound by the first amendment to allow this type of speech, is there some place to go to get help with all these negative feelings?
  2. It is true that sometimes the free speech rights of others can cause emotional responses. We will continue to do everything we can to foster an environment of diversity and inclusiveness through education and living out our mission and fulfilling our Husky Compact. We will also provide resources where students can go to get assistance. Following are some of those services:

Counseling and Psychological Services

Women’s Center

Multicultural Student Services

Student Life and Development

LGBT Resource Center

Veterans Resource Center


Q. It seems like people can say just about anything and it is protected by the first amendment.  Is there any speech that is not protected?

A. The first amendment to the United States Constitution does not protect speech or expression that threatens the health, safety or welfare of persons in the University community. Any speech that has the effect or is designed to inflict harm or cause a breach of the peace; incite an individual or individuals to commit a crime; threats to do harm; or speech that causes a panic is not considered protected speech. While the interpretation of these factors may be subjective, the University and its representatives must err on the side of caution in order to reasonably protect the University community members and property. 


freedom of speech, freedom of expression, first amendment, putting up posters, advertising, soliciting, selling, giveaways, give aways, handing out

Supporting Documents (Forms, Instructions)

Jun 13 2018 8:50AM
Sep 26 2018 9:32AM
Sep 26 2018 9:32AM

Related St. Cloud State University Policies

Supporting URLs

Websites, Related External Documents, Statutes


Responsible University Officer
   Bartlow, Kelly M.
   Campus Facility Planning & Space Utilization Manager
   Bartlow, Kelly M.
   Campus Facility Planning & Space Utilization Manager
   Hedlund, Mark J.
   Interim Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management

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