Advertising, Distribution, Solicitation and Facilities Usage Policy

Introduction

Advertising and solicitation are similar in that both promote a product, a service, or an event. Policies governing advertising and solicitations at the University are appropriate in order to ensure that advertising and solicitation activities serve the students, faculty, and staff as well as their organizations. Further, advertising and solicitation policies contribute to ensuring that the general appearance and condition of the University's facilities and environment are maintained at an appropriate level.

Advertising

Missouri State University recognizes the importance of campus advertising of sanctioned events and activities in fostering an active and involved University community. At the same time, the University recognizes that an attractive and well maintained physical campus environment is essential to the overall advancement of the University. Therefore, it is necessary that printed posters, signs, notices, and other materials disseminated on campus be posted in a manner that does not detract from the physical appearance of the campus or result in damage to building surfaces. Use of scotch tape or thumb tacks on walls are examples of posting methods that would damage a building. Use of designated bulletin boards, as indicated later in this policy, is appropriate. It is also important that electronic advertising not adversely impact the technological infrastructure of the University. Use of the mainframe computer, web pages, or electronic mail resources for paid consulting, for business purposes, or for political gain is prohibited. Electronic “mass mailings” or the sending of large files through the University’s network is not permitted. See the Missouri State University Computers and Networks Policies for more information. Use of Campus Mail service is restricted to official University business by University departments, offices, and recognized student organizations. The University reserves the right to prohibit or remove advertising and distribution from campus which violates this policy, is obscene, defamatory, consists of fighting words, threats of physical harm, incites imminent lawless action, vulgar to the extent not entitled to protection as expression, or promotes illegal use of alcohol or drugs. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Plaster Student Union (hereafter “Director”), 417-836-5886.

Advertising (and publicity) shall be defined as any method or device for disseminating commercial informational/promotional materials on the campus of Missouri State University. The University retains the exclusive right for promotion of University activities through advertisement and endorsement by commercial enterprises and products. Advertisement on campus or in University publications and activity programs does not imply official endorsement by Missouri State University.

Non-University businesses, agencies, and individuals may advertise their products or events on campus through paid advertisements on The Standard newsstands and in student publications such as The Standard, athletics brochures, the Missouri State University Directory, or similar publications. Such publications have established policies for advertising standards, and inquiries should be made directly with personnel responsible for those publications.

A. Bulletin boards

Designated bulletin boards are the primary means for displaying printed material on campus. Bulletin boards in University buildings are intended for notices and other materials related to the programs and goals of the University.  While there are numerous open bulletin boards across campus, there are also Departmental Bulletin Boards solely for the use of the designated department. With the exception of the Plaster Student Union, commercial advertisements and publicity may not be displayed on bulletin boards. Only University departments and recognized student, faculty and staff organizations are authorized to post materials on bulletin boards in University buildings other than the Plaster Student Union. General procedures and parameters for bulletin board posting include the following:

  • Posted materials are usually limited to a maximum size of eleven (11) inches by seventeen (17) inches (exceptions to this limitation must be specifically requested), and must include the name of the responsible party.
  • Outdated materials are to be removed by the sponsoring organization. Academic departments and administrative offices have the right to remove outdated material without contacting the sponsoring organization.
  • Individuals or organizations not affiliated with the University must bring posting materials to the Plaster Student Union Information Desk.
  • Posting of materials in residence halls must be posted by Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services. Those who wish to have items posted must take their posters to the administrative offices in Hammons House, 1001 E. Harrison for approval and posting or distribution by Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services Staff.
  • During Student Government (SGA) elections and Homecoming activities, posting may include posters on stakes and banners in designated locations.

Items posted in violation of this policy will be removed, and the sponsoring organization may be subject to disciplinary action and/or a monetary fine.

B. Sidewalk chalking policy

Chalk advertisements by members of the University community are permitted on concrete horizontal sidewalk surfaces only; in areas that can be naturally washed by rain; and are not permitted under building overhangs, on building surfaces, curbs, steps, brick surfaces, planters, benches, or similar locations. Only washable sidewalk chalk may be used and may not convey obscene or defamatory messages, threaten physical harm or include messages that otherwise are not entitled to the protection of free expression.

C. Banner policy

Events sponsored by a recognized University organization may be advertised with banners in advance of the event according to the terms of this provision. Consistent with the general policy that posting on campus be done in a manner that does not detract from the physical appearance of the campus or result in damage to building surfaces, such postings will be permitted in designated Missouri State University campus locations. Banners shall be no larger than four (4) feet by fourteen (14) feet (unless otherwise specified in this policy), and shall not obstruct traffic, create a hazard, or detract from the physical appearance of a facility. Signage should be professionally produced and fastened to the facility, fence, etc, in an approved fashion. Banner locations will be reserved on a first-come/first-serve basis, according to the procedures set forth in this policy. To ensure consideration is given to avoid visual obstructions and damage to adjacent structures, initial approval of banner locations is required from the Physical Plant Director.

Banners at the Plaster Student Union: Three (3) banner locations are located at the Plaster Student Union. Two (2) locations at the Plaster Student Union are available for registered student/university sponsored organization event banner postings. The first location, which may display multiple banners of different organizations, will be the stairwell between the first and second floors of the Plaster Student Union. Such signage should be according to size parameters provided by the Director, but shall be no larger than approximately three (3) feet by sixteen (16) feet, and attached to the fixtures provided at that location. All such signage will be affixed in a manner that does not limit the usefulness of the stairway or hand railings, and must be attached in a manner that does not risk falling or other injury or other inconvenience to users of the stairway. The second location is above the East entrance to the Plaster Student Union, attached to the fixtures provided at that location. Banners for this space will be installed by Plaster Student Union staff and are to be provided to the staff at least two (2) working days prior to the scheduled posting. Signage at these locations is generally limited to a maximum of one (1) week and must be maintained throughout the period at the chosen location. The one-week limit may be extended up to an additional two weeks, if other requests have not been received.

Additionally, one (1) banner space shall be provided on the north side exterior of the PSU (on the food court balustrade) for the expressed purpose of advertising university-wide events. This banner will be installed by PSU staff and is to be provided to staff at least two (2) working days prior to the scheduled posting. Signage at this location is generally limited to a maximum of two (2) weeks and must be maintained throughout the period. The two-week limit may be extended up to an additional two (2) weeks, if other requests have not been received.

Banners at Academic and Administrative Buildings: Banners advertising events  sponsored by a college or department and associated with the mission of that organization are allowed, according to specifications established by the Vice President   for Administrative and Information Services, either outside the main entrance or inside the lobby of the building, subject to the approval of the Dean of the College or the director of the facility in question. Such advertising shall extend for a period of no longer than two (2) weeks. Additionally, banners advertising similar kinds of events, subject to the approval of the Dean or director, may be displayed inside the facility, on fixtures installed or provided by Physical Plant. Interior banners may be hung longer than two (2) weeks, if approved by the Dean or Director. Such banners may be no larger than four (4) feet by fourteen (14) feet, and shall not obstruct traffic, create a hazard, or detract from the physical appearance of the facility.

Banners at Event Location during Event: Use of banners during an indoor or outdoor event sponsored by a recognized University or student organization is permitted as long as approved by the University employee(s) responsible both for the venue where the event is taking place and for the venue where the banners are displayed. Such banners must have as the focus the name of the event or the recognized University/student organization sponsoring the event.

Banners at Athletic Facilities: Banners or signs may be posted in approved locations outside athletic facilities for the purpose of promoting events held in that facility. Such signage is generally limited to a maximum of one (1) week and must be maintained throughout the period. Signage promoting a home sports season should be maintained throughout the duration of the represented sports’ season, Signage is subject to the approval of the director of the athletic facility in question and the Athletics administration. Paid advertising to support the intercollegiate athletics program may be extended for longer than two (2) weeks, but must be re-approved at least annually by the Vice President for University Advancement. Game day banners will be permitted inside athletics facilities, including the interior fence of Robert W. Plaster Stadium. Athletics Facilities shall be defined as Robert W. Plaster Stadium, MSU Softball Field, and the athletics practice field on the southwest corner of Hammons Parkway and Bear Boulevard. Game day banners will be permitted inside athletics facilities including the north and south fence at Robert W. Plaster Stadium, and the exterior fences at Allison Stadium North and Allison Stadium South.

Banners at Recreational Fields: Banner space may be reserved for a one (1) week time period on an assigned section of fence at the Student Recreational field (along National Ave. between Cherry and Harrison Streets). Space may be reserved through the Event and Meeting Services Office only by university departments and recognized student organizations for the purpose of event promotion. Such signage is generally limited to a maximum of one (1) week and must be maintained throughout the period. The one-week limit may be extended up to an additional two (2) weeks, if other requests have not been received. Wind relief holes should be cut in banners to minimize strain on the fence. Reimbursement of costs associated with fence repairs due to banner postings will be the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.    

Banner for Student Elections and Homecoming Activities: Specific campaign parameters, as related to advertising, distribution, and solicitation will be established during elections by the Student Government Association and the Student Homecoming Committee; in consultation with and approval of the Director of Physical Plant and the Director of the Plaster Student Union. While campaign banners will be permitted, they will be limited to non-academic facility locations.

Fall Semester Opening of Classes: University residence halls will be permitted exterior signage for a two-week period at the beginning of the fall semester identified by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Signage will be limited to banners no larger  than six (6) feet by twenty (20) feet. Such signage must be scheduled with the hall director and approved by the hall council. Exterior banners will be limited to residence hall welcome and/or SOAR banners. Interior banners in residence halls may be permitted throughout the school year with the approval of the hall council and consistent with hall mission or activities.

Ozarks Celebration Festival: Signs will be permitted at locations other than academic or administrative buildings for a 72-hour period in conjunction with the Ozarks Celebration Festival annually. Such signage will be according to the parameters established by the Vice President for Administrative and Information Services.

SOAR: SOAR banners will be permitted as described above on the residence halls  during summer SOAR activities.

Light Pole Banners: Banners related to University-wide events as defined in the Signage Policy administered by the Vice President for Administrative and Information Services may be permitted on light poles on or inside the periphery of the campus, according to the provisions of that policy.

Additionally, three (3) sets of light poles are specifically designated for banner displays:

  1. The seven (7) light poles facing the PSU north entrance may be reserved by university recognized or sponsored student organizations for the purpose of event promotion.
  2. Four (4) designated light poles located on the West Quad may be reserved by university departments and colleges for the purpose of event promotion or to highlight faculty, alumni, academic programs and other academic-and research-related topics.
  3. Selected light poles in University parking lots 22, 24, 25, 26, and 35 may be used to display banners used to promote the University’s Intercollegiate Athletics season. Banners may include representation of private sponsorship on the athletics program and the area reserved for sponsorship shall not exceed forty (40) percent of the display   area. Light poles used shall be on the interior of each parking lot rather than on the perimeter.

For the PSU and West Quad light pole banners, events being promoted must be open to all students and be two days or more in length. Space may be reserved for a two week time period, on a first-come, first serve basis. The reservation may be extended for up to two additional weeks, if no competing requests have been received.

All light pole banners must conform to one of three sizes: 30” x 72” for high-level light pole brackets on the periphery of the campus, 30” x 60” for high-level light pole brackets located inside the periphery of the campus, or 24” x 48” for low-level light pole brackets located inside the periphery of the campus. Light pole banners must be designed and printed through university publications, and installed only by physical plant employees. Banners must not be tied from light pole to light pole.

Light pole banner spaces must be reserved through the Event and Meeting Services Office. The Vice President for Student Affairs shall approve the PSU light pole banners, the University Provost shall approve the West Quad banners, and the President shall approve athletics light pole banners. All costs associated with the creation and installation of banners will be assessed to the sponsoring organization.

Other University-wide/sponsored events: Advertising of other University-wide/sponsored events may be permitted only with the approval of the President and must be limited to University-wide initiatives, and directly related to the University mission and/or major themes.

It is the responsibility of the requesting department to maintain the advertising in a fashion that does not obstruct traffic, create a hazard, or detract from the physical appearance of the campus.

D. Sandwich board policy

Events sponsored by a college or department and associated with the mission(s) of that organization may be advertised by use of standard-sized sandwich board, according to specifications established by the Vice President of Administrative and Information Services, either outside the main entrance or inside the lobby of the building, subject to the approval of the Dean of the College or Director of the facility in question. Such advertising shall extend for a period of no longer than two (2) weeks.

For student organization sponsored events, standard-sized sandwich boards to promote campus-wide events will be limited to large recognized events/functions such as    Student Government Association (SGA) elections and Homecoming, and must be approved in advance by the SGA or Homecoming Committee and the Director of Plaster Student Union. Such large event sandwich boards will be located at approved locations outside of the Student Union entrances. Additionally, four (4) standard-sized sandwich boards may be utilized on the West Mall area (between Carrington and Strong Halls) two (2) on the North Mall (between Plaster Student Union and Bear Boulevard), and two (2) on the Carrington Mall (between the Circle Drive and Plaster Student  Union). Sandwich boards must be reserved through the Event and Meeting Services Office and may only be reserved for a three day time period; these sandwich boards may be utilized by registered student/university organizations for the purpose of event promotion. Placement of sandwich boards must not restrict pedestrian flow nor create a risk for people with disabilities.

Due to the role of the Plaster Student Union as a meeting-service facility, the Student Union may utilize two (2) standard-sized sandwich boards on a regular basis, limited to advertising of University meetings, events, and services, and subject to the approval of the Director of Plaster Student Union and must be consistent with University rules and policies.

Due to the role of the University Bookstore to promote and make available retail goods and services for the campus community, product-related banners and standard-sized sandwich boards are permitted. Such exterior advertising methods are limited to the front entrance and patio area of the bookstore, and directly adjacent to temporary satellite locations that may be used on the campus.

Distribution of published materials

In order to provide an atmosphere in which open communication can occur without disrupting the academic mission or daily functions of the University, the following procedures are established to govern the distribution of published materials, handbills, posters, petitions for signature, etc., on campus:

  • All members of the University community defined as faculty, staff, and students, whether identified or anonymous, may distribute non-commercial, written materials (i.e. leafleting) on campus. Distribution of written materials by members of the University community will be limited to the exterior of buildings, unless at a Plaster Student Union contract table.  To ensure that it is members of the University community engaging in this activity, persons on request would be required to identify themselves, and are required to be responsible for littering that they would create in an leafleting effort.  Normal vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic must not be disrupted.
  • Distribution of written materials at athletic and other University-sponsored activities which occur outside will be restricted to the outside entrance areas of the event’s location.  Normal vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic must not be disrupted.
  • Distribution of published material by means of placing the material under vehicle windshield wiper blades is prohibited and a violation of the Code of the City of Springfield (Sec. 26-155 Distribution of Handbills).
  •  Individuals who are not members of the University community are prohibited from distributing materials on University property or University-owned streets and sidewalks.  However, non-University individuals may distribute non-commercial, written materials in compliance with the guidelines established for external groups and individuals as defined in the University Expressive Activity Policy. Contact the Office of Safety & Transportation at (636 E. Elm, phone 417-836-5509) or the Event and Meeting Services Office (Plaster Student Union 302, phone 417-836-5653) for information.
  •  Distribution of written materials not sponsored by a member of the University community may be left for voluntary pick-up in designated locations in the Plaster Student Union, and Residence Hall front desks. Distribution of written materials (such as newspapers) through a cooperative program agreement with the University may be left for voluntary pick-up at additional locations designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Commercial sales activities by non-University members that may include written materials are referenced later in this document under SOLICITATION.

When the manner or place of distribution of written or electronic materials constitutes a violation of this policy or a disruption of normal University activities, a University official will request the distributors to discontinue distributions or alter procedures so as to comply with this policy. If the distributors refuse to comply with this policy, the University official shall advise them that they may face disciplinary or other appropriate action.

Solicitation

As used in this document, solicitation means the attempted sale, lease, rental, or offer for sale, lease, or rental of any property, product, merchandise, publication, or service, whether for immediate or future delivery; the oral, written, or electronic appeal or request to support or join an organization other than a registered student, faculty, or staff organization; the receipt of or request for any gift or contribution; or the distribution of information in support of these activities.

Only registered student organizations, University organizations, and University departments may solicit on campus, except that all students are free to solicit other students to join their group, or otherwise promote their group, whether the group is recognized or unrecognized. All sales persons or agents for any product or proposition or cause whatsoever are prohibited from soliciting members of the faculty, staff, or the student body in any building or on any part of the campus of Missouri State University, or by any electronic means, except as provided herein. Door-to-door solicitation in University residence halls, academic, or administrative buildings is strictly prohibited. Space for sales and solicitation must be reserved through the Event and Meeting Services Office, 417-836-5653. Unless otherwise noted in this document, such activities are facilitated in designated locations in, or directly outside of, the Plaster Student Union. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Director of Plaster Student Union. Events otherwise approved according to the University’s policies that commonly sell merchandise, such as BearFest Village, Ozarks Celebration Festival, Tent Theater, approved fundraising activities, and camps/ences may be permitted to do so if approved according to the contract or other arrangements for the event.

A. University community and organizations

All members of the university community defined as faculty, staff, university organizations (registered and non-registered) and students who want to conduct solicitation activities on campus must comply with the procedures outlined in this document. Approval for members of the university community as defined above to conduct solicitation activities can be given so long as they:

  • do not violate or conflict with University policies or local, state, or federal law;
  • do not conflict with the educational purposes of the University;
  • do not negatively impact other University development activities;
  • do not infringe upon the University’s trademark or other intellectual property rights;
  • do not disrupt traffic, either vehicular or pedestrian;
  • do not result in a breach of University contracts or compete with University or University-contracted operations;
  • do not jeopardize public or individual safety;
  • are approved by the Food Services Director if food products are under consideration;
  • are facilitated in an approved, designated location; door-to-door solicitation in University residence halls, academic, or administrative buildings is strictly prohibited;
  • are conducted by members of the sponsoring organization;
  • are conducted as a fundraiser and not a commercial activity;
  • are covered by such insurance as may be deemed necessary;
  • are related to official University business if facilitated through telephone or electronic communication systems; other solicitations through the University telephone or computer/electronic systems are prohibited;
  • are through paid United States Postal Service and delivered to the University, if by mail; or as permitted by the campus mail system.

Student organization fundraising activities that are specific to academic major/ function may be facilitated in academic areas so long as approval is received from the Dean of the College where the event is to be held. Special fundraising activities by recognized non-academic student organizations may be held in non-academic common areas where the activities of that organization regularly occur, if approved by the Dean of Students or designee.

B. Non-University organizations

The University allows some limited access to campus by non-University organizations for the purpose of commercial sales. Normally, these commercial sales will be directly related to the living/learning experience of students. The University retains the exclusive right to determine the appropriateness of the commercial sales activity or product. Commercial sales will be conducted at designated sales locations in the Plaster Student Union according to the procedures described herein. There will be a charge for allowing the commercial sales to take place.  The University retains the exclusive right to determine the charge assessed for commercial sales. The University has delegated to the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Plaster Student Union the authority to approve commercial sales, designate the sales location, and determine the appropriate charge.

It is understood that the University provides goods and services to the campus community. Commercial sales activities by non-university organizations that substantially compete with University managed, owned or operated services, or which are prohibited by contract, will not be permitted. The Dean of Students, or designee, will review requests for use of space on campus and determine whether the requested activity is in direct and substantial competition with existing campus entities. A list of no-compete products/services, updated at least annually, will be housed in the Dean of Students office.

C. Charitable organizations

Many agencies would like to solicit contributions from the faculty, staff, and students. The ability to allow charitable organizations to solicit on campus is extremely limited as a result of the demands on University facilities for educational purposes. The University acknowledges the appropriateness of solicitations, such as the support of the annual solicitation by the United Way, sponsored by the President’s Office, the frequent blood drives on campus, sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs; the American Cancer Society Relay for Life sponsored by the Student Government Association; and the Denim Day sponsored by the Staff Senate. The University retains the exclusive right to determine the appropriateness of allowing a charitable solicitation on a case-by-case basis. Inquiries for charitable solicitations can be made through the office of the Dean of Students (Plaster Student Union 405, phone 417-836-5527).

D. Non-University organizations sponsored by University organizations

Involvement of non-University organizations in solicitation activities on campus by a registered student organization, University organization, or University department must receive prior approval from the Director. In all cases, solicitation activities must be conducted at designated sales locations according to the procedure described herein. Sponsorship of non-University activities or events by a registered student organization requires the approval of the faculty advisor and the Event and Meeting Services Office to enable advertisement and promotion of the event or activity on campus. Such approval will be contingent upon the participation by members of the sponsoring organization in the planning, promotion, scheduling, and production of the event or activity. Registered student organizations or University departments who sponsor a non-University organization are encouraged to initiate a formal written agreement with the vendor, and may receive assistance from Event and Meeting Services. If sales are expected, student organizations must complete a fundraising form, which is available in the Event and Meeting Services office.

Events or activities of non-University organizations sponsored by student or University organizations under this policy will be located in the Plaster Student Union as approved by the Director. If space considerations require, the East patio or North mall area may be utilized upon approval of the Director. Events of non-University organizations sponsored by student or University organizations will not be permitted at other locations, such as along the sidewalk East of Plaster Student Union. These same parameters are in place for non-university radio station promotions that may be affiliated with sponsored events or activities. Sales incidental to non-University organizations sponsored by student or University organizations under this policy require the approval of the Director to ensure the participation of the sponsoring organization as required by this policy. Activities which provide only nominal benefit to the sponsoring organization as opposed to the non-University organization, according to the guidelines established by the Director, will not be permitted. No-compete parameters referenced in the preceding section (B), are applicable to solicitation activities of Non-University organizations sponsored by University organizations.

Employee recruitment visits by non-University organizations are encouraged to occur on campus provided the request from potential employers is facilitated by either the academic department, Career Services or Student Employment. Locations for these visits may be in the academic department or at a career fair, if arranged by the department, or scheduled in conjunction with Career Services or Student Employment. A central location is appropriate if arranged by Career Services or Student

Employment and Event and Meeting Services. Any arrangement made by a department should be communicated to Career Services. The date for scheduled visits by employers should appear in the Campus Master Calendar.

E. On-Campus credit card marketing

Members of the Missouri House of Representatives, Ninety-first General Assembly, urged the Coordinating Board of Higher Education to require each publicly funded institution of higher education to establish a written policy on credit card solicitation of college students and address the credit card debt problem experienced by some college students.

Credit card solicitation is prohibited within University facilities or on University grounds. These prohibited activities include but are not limited to:

  1. the occupancy of any space owned by the University to market credit cards or the application or issuance thereof (unless contracted by the University to do otherwise)
  2. solicitation by means of campus mail, email, pamphlets, handouts or any medium, to include inserts into shopping bags.
  3. in accordance with Student Government Association resolution GB Spring 2006 –01, all recognized student organizations are prohibited from engaging in any activity that encourages Missouri State University students to sign up for credit cards,  including fundraisers that involve credit card applications.

Facilities usage

Arrangements for the use of University facilities, including both buildings and grounds, must be made in advance through the Event and Meeting Services Office (Plaster Student Union 302, phone 417-836-5653).

  • Press conferences on University-owned property must be arranged for in advance through the Office of University Communications (Alumni Center 600, phone 417-836-6397).
  • Individuals entertaining guests on campus, in any University facility, are responsible for the proper identification and conformance to rules of the University by such guests.
  • All buildings or facilities other than residence halls shall be off limits to students after closing hours with the following exceptions:
    • Students possessing an “after hours” permit, signed by his/her instructor and department head, stating the building, room number, student name, and the times for which the student is cleared.
    • University student employees who are required to enter the locked buildings in the performance of their duties. The students must be able to validate their employment to Public Safety Officers who encounter them in the closed buildings.
    • Students who are accompanied by Department of Public Safety personnel, University staff members, or faculty members.
  • Orderly picketing and demonstrations are permitted according to The Expressive Activity Policy.

General principles

  • Missouri State University students are free to meet on campus in identified locations, by reservation, whether or not those students are recognized student groups. Students may meet in additional identified areas on campus without reservation, provided those locations are not previously scheduled or in use;
  • Recognized student organizations must agree to not engage in discrimination, but the organization should not be required to unconstitutionally impede or interfere with the personal civil rights and liberties, such as freedom of religion and association of individual members;
  • The University’s position will continue to be that student groups seeking recognition may not be refused recognition because of the constitutionally protected content of their speech and beliefs. This should not be construed to prohibit denial of recognition based on conduct or other constitutionally permitted bases.