Students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and departments commonly post signs on university buildings and inside buildings as a means of informing the university community of events that they are sponsoring or merely of their opinions. The university allows this practice within regulations designed to reasonably govern the time, place, and manner for the protection of the students, university property and the appearance of the campus. Official signage of The University of Southern Mississippi – building designations, regulatory and traffic control, etc. – is not governed by this policy.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
This policy is required for the effective communication of university policy regarding signs displayed on campus.
Who Needs to Know This Policy
All members of The University of Southern Mississippi community.
Website Address for this Policy
TIME, PLACE AND MANNER REGULATION
Outside Signs (Library And Commons)
- Signs will be posted by the applying party after reserving the space for designated areas through the union information desk, located in the lobby of the R.C. Cook University Union.
- The minimum size of all outside signs is two feet by two feet. Signs may be hung no higher than six feet.
- Tattered and torn signs that have become "weathered" to the extent that they are no longer legible will be removed.
- Students, student organizations, faculty, staff and departments may register for a maximum of one sign space at each location. During SGA elections, half of the designated spaces will be allocated to the election commissioner for candidate distribution. Please refer to Student Handbook for the sign posting dates.
- Signs are allowed to remain posted for a maximum of five days and then will be removed by the Union Information Desk clerk. Renewal of this space may occur at the conclusion of the five-day period if available. Signs will also be removed after the event occurs.
- The following are the dimensions and numbers of designated spaces for these outside signs:
- Library: 21 spaces three feet by 10 feet
- East Side, five spaces, eight feet by four feet; 6 spaces, three feet by ten feet
- West Side, nine spaces, eight feet by four feet; 6 spaces, three feet by 10 feet
- North Side, eight spaces, eight feet by four feet; three spaces, three feet by 10 feet
- Signs will be posted in designated areas by reserving a space through the Union Information Desk, located in the lobby of the R.C. Cook University Union.
- Each applying party is allowed three locations.
- Signs are allowed to remain for a maximum of five days and then must be removed by the sponsoring organization. Renewal of space may occur at the conclusion of the five-day period if available.
- Approved Freestanding Sign Locations:
- Entrance off W. Fourth Street (across from the Ferlise Ticket Office)
- Shoemaker Square – east, west and north end
- Library and Union Plazas
- Freshmen Quad
- W. 31st Plaza
Student Government Association election candidates are permitted to place freestanding signs on campus under the following conditions:
- Approved locations: Union and Library Plazas, Shoemaker Square, Freshmen Quad and W. 31st Plaza
- Only one sign may be displayed per candidate, per location. If running on a ticket or as a group, one candidate sign and one group/ticket sign is permitted to be displayed in each approved location.
- “Sponsored by SGA” must be printed on every sign.
- No signs will be permitted to be displayed until the SGA election commissioner submits the request form with the Office of Student Activities, for all candidates, at least 48 hours before campaigning is to begin.
- SGA election commissioner is responsible for removing all signs the day after the election (SGA constitution election code section 1 A.6).
- Refer to the SGA election code (Sect. 3) for sign posting dates and other applicable policies.
Entrance off Fourth Street (across from the Ferlise Center)
Shoemaker Square - east, west and north end
Library and Union Plazas
Freshman Quad (two spaces)
Fraternity Row (entrance from Montague Street)
Joseph Green Hall (southwest corner of building on lawn)
Pine Haven Playground
Liberal Arts Café Lawn (corner of Montague and Coliseum on grassy area)
M.M. Roberts Stadium
- Athletic spirit signs may be posted on M.M. Roberts Stadium without reserving the space.
- All signs belonging to anyone other than resident assistants, hall councils, or RHA must receive a stamp of registration from the appropriate hall director before being posted on the outside of the hall. Anything posted must be sponsored by a university organization or be university-related. The dimensions should follow those outlined in the Outside Signs section of this policy.
- Outside locations, excluding glass and painted surfaces, for residence halls will be determined by each hall and regulated by the respective hall directors. The freestanding wall behind Wilber Hall will be regulated by the Wilber Hall director.
- The hall director is responsible for the posting and removal of the signs on the outside of the hall. If signs are put up without a stamp of registration, the signs will be taken down. Individuals or groups who hang signs without registering them may be sanctioned by the hall director by the suspension of permission to post signs on that residence hall for some reasonable period of time.
- The use of chalk on sidewalk and pavement areas is allowed for events only in designated areas in the Union Plaza and Freshman Quad area. Organizations should reserve the Union Plaza space a minimum of 24 hours in advance through an event form found on the Student Activities website at http://www.usm.edu/student-activities/forms-0. The Freshman Quad area requires approval through Residence Life.
- Organizations using these designated areas are then responsible for the cost of having the Physical Plant clean the chalked area if it has not been cleaned by the organization within 24 hours after the event.
- Banner space is assigned through a reservation process at the Union Information Desk. Banners will be hung no higher than six feet in the following locations:
All banners should be professionally printed and approved by the Union Information Desk clerk.Banners should not obstruct the sidewalk or interfere with traffic.Banners may remain posted for a maximum of five days, after at which time the space may be renewed if available. All signs should be removed after the event occurs by the sponsoring organization.
- Entrance off Fourth Street by the Residence Hall
- Entrance off Fourth Street in front of the Payne Center
- Other areas approved by the Union and Programs director
- Handbills (posters, bulletins, flyers and notices) shall be posted only on inside bulletin boards and designated areas in university buildings.
- Each building manager, acting in accordance with these guidelines, may publish written regulations concerning the placing of signs on interior bulletin boards or designated areas of their building. Only when available space on these surfaces becomes a problem may a building manager limit the size of the signs. Members of the university community should have priority in the allocation of space.
- Signs that are deemed to be outside the scope of First Amendment protection may be removed, that includes signs such as obscenity and speech inciting individuals to unlawful activities. State and federal constitutional decisions will be used as guidelines for determination of what speech is protected by the First Amendment.
- Student organizations and departments may no longer display signs, printed advertisement materials, or wearables on campus that advertise alcohol beverage companies or alcohol consumption.
ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF POLICY
- Responsibility for assigning building and property managers lies with the vice president for Business and Finance. Building managers may make the decision as to removal of inside signs. If in doubt whether an outside sign should be removed, the following should be contacted: a) director of the Physical Plant – individual safety or property damage; b) Office of the Dean of Students – content. When there is a doubt that a sign should be removed because of the content, the decision will be made by a committee consisting of two faculty members who have an awareness of First Amendment law appointed by the dean of students, and a student appointed by the president of the Student Government Association.
- People who feel that a sign has been erroneously removed should immediately contact the dean of students. Since time is often an important consideration in these questions, the party involved may request the Student Judicial Council to meet as quickly as possible to determine whether the sign has been improperly removed.
- While all student organizations, students and departments are subject to the rules and regulations contained within this policy, departments would have the discretion of posting signs at their facilities for special events. Student organizations that violate this policy are subject to discipline by the Student/Faculty Committee on Student Organization. First offense will warrant a letter or warning, while the second offense will result in the president of the student organization being called before the Student/Faculty Committee. The committee has the right to impose penalties, including but not limited to, fines as well as activity restriction. The Student/Faculty Committee retains the right to recommend that an organization's official recognition is withdrawn if serious or continual violation of the policy occurs. Violations by students will be referred to the Student Judicial Council and by departments, to the appropriate vice president.
Students, student organizations, faculty, staff and departments are allowed to hang signs for advertisement of on-campus events along the rails of the breezeway and the northeast balcony of the R.C. Cook University Union. All signs must bear the name of the sponsoring organization, department or person. Signs must be registered with the Information Desk clerk prior to being hung. After a sign is registered, the Information Desk clerk will place an approval sticker on the banner. The sponsor of the sign is responsible for hanging the sign properly according to the guidelines herein as well as those concerning content set forth by the Policies, Procedures and Guidelines Manual available in the Student Activities office. Spots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
1. Rail Sections:
- Rail Section A is defined as the west railing of the breezeway. There are 14 spots for reservation in Section A.
- Rail Section B is defined as the east railing of the breezeway. There are six spots for reservation in Section B.
- Rail Section C is defined as the south rail of the northeast balcony. There are four spots for reservation in Section C.
- Rail Section D is defined as the cross section between the flights of stairs. There are two spots for reservation in Section D. This section is for posters only.
A reservable spot is defined as one four-foot sign hanger.
2. Sign Types (all signs will be hung vertically):
- Permanent Signs – one that will be hung for an extended period of time (one month up to one semester). These signs must be of vinyl material and may not be larger than four feet in width and six feet in length. Nylon ropes must be used to secure these signs to the railing. No form of electricity or electric equipment may be used on these signs. Permanent signs will be hung in the latter most open spot in Section A.
- Temporary Signs – one that will be hung no earlier than seven days before the event. These signs may be of vinyl material or butcher paper and may not be larger than three feet in width and five feet in length. No tape may be used to hang signs made of butcher paper. They must be hung using the sign hangers on the rails. Temporary signs must be removed no later than 24 hours after the event. No form of electricity or electric equipment may be used on these signs. Temporary signs may be hung in Section A, B, or C.
- Posters – may be hung no earlier than seven days before the event. These signs must be made of standard size (3’W x 4’L) poster board. No tape may be used to hang posters. They must be hung using the sign hangers on the rails. Posters may be hung with the four-foot side running horizontal. Posters must be removed no later than 24 hours after the event. No form of electricity may be used on these signs. Posters may be hung only in Section D.
- No items that extend above the railing may be placed on the breezeway in the R.C. Cook University Union or Thad Cochran Center.
The Director of University Union and Hub is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).
Event form available at http://www.usm.edu/student-activities/forms-0
11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies website.
02/27/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.
Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes