Students, student organizations, faculty, staff and departments commonly post signs in designated locations as a means of informing the university community of events which they are sponsoring. 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. All signs must include the name of the sponsoring student organization, department or person. Official signage of The University of Southern Mississippi, building designations, regulatory and traffic control, directional signage, etc., is not governed by this policy. The locations listed below are the only locations where signs may be posted.
1. 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.
2. Student organizations and departments may not display signs, printed
advertisement materials or wearables on campus that advertise alcoholic
beverage companies or alcohol consumption.
B. ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF POLICY
1. Responsibility for assigning building and property liaisons lies with the Vice
President for Finance and Administration. Building liaisons may make the
decision as to the removal of inside signs and signs posted outside the
building’s surrounding areas. If in doubt whether an outside sign should be
removed, the following should be contacted:
- Director of Physical Plant – individual safety or property damage
- 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
2. 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 Board to
meet as quickly as possible to determine whether the sign has been
3. While all student organizations, students and departments are subject to the rules
and regulations contained within this policy, departments 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 Activities Committee.
First offense will warrant a letter of warning, while the second offense will result
in the president of the student organization being called before the Student
Activities Committee. The committee has the right to impose penalties including,
but not limited to, fines as well as activity restriction. The Student Activities
Committee retains the right to recommend that an organization's official
recognition be withdrawn if serious or continual violation of the policy occurs.
Violations by students will be referred to the Student Judicial Board and by
departments to the appropriate vice president.
4. During SGA elections, half of the designated spaces will be allocated to the
election commissioner for candidate distribution. Please refer to the SGA
Constitution for the sign posting dates.
C. TIME, PLACE AND MANNER REGULATIONS FOR SIGNS
1. FREESTANDING SIGNS
a. Signs may be posted in designated areas below; however, no
reservation needs to be made to reserve space.
b. Only university‐approved student organization and departments may
display freestanding signs on campus. The department or student
organization name must be printed on the sign. Outside or non‐campus
affiliates are not permitted to display freestanding signs on campus.
c. Signs (not including SGA elections) are allowed to remain for a maximum
of five days and then must be removed by the sponsoring organization.
Freestanding Sign Locations
- Entrance off W. Fourth Street (across from Ferlise Center)
- Shoemaker Square‐ east, west and north end
- Library and Union Plazas
- Freshmen Quad
- West 31st Plaza
d. Student Government Association election candidates are permitted to place
free‐standing signs on campus under the following conditions (section C
does not apply to SGA elections):
- Approved locations: Union and Library plaza, Shoemaker Square, Freshmen Quad, and West 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 section 3 for sign posting dates and other applicable policies.
2. INSIDE SIGNS
a. Handbills (posters, bulletins, flyers and notices) shall be posted on
inside bulletin boards and designated areas in university
buildings by student organization or campus departments only.
b. 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.
c. Student organizations are responsible for the nature and content of
the handbills and inside signs being posted. The Office of Student
Activities and the Department of Union and Programs reserve the
right to take down any inappropriate signs.
d. The University of Southern Mississippi prohibits the posting or display
of these signs by student organizations or departments outside of
designated areas. This includes the exterior of any University building,
telephone/utility pole, tree, sidewalk, window, trash can, or any other
exterior surface located on the campus, including vehicles. The Office
of Student Activities reserves the right to take disciplinary action
against any student organization that does not follow this policy.
e. Non‐university affiliates who wish to hang signs that advertise similar
products or services currently offered the University will NOT be
permitted (i.e. apparel, food service, lodging, etc.)
3. SUSPENDED BANNERS
a. Banners will be hung no higher than six feet in the following locations:
Entrance off W. Fourth Street by the residence hall
Entrance off W. Fourth Street in front of the Payne
Center Other areas approved by the Union and
b. Banners should not obstruct the sidewalk or interfere with traffic.
c. Banners may remain posted for a maximum of five days, at which
time the space may be renewed if available. All signs should be
removed after the event occurs by the sponsoring organization.
a. Only registered student organizations can chalk on campus. Any outside
group, non‐affiliated with the university is not permitted to chalk on
b. Water‐soluble chalk only is allowed in designated areas. Markers,
spray chalk, paints or oil‐based products are prohibited.
c. Chalking may occur only on horizontal, designated spaces. No chalking
is allowed on brick areas, buildings, trash receptacles, steps, fountains,
benches, tables, light posts, columns and any other vertical areas.
d. The use of chalk on sidewalk and pavement areas is allowed for events only
in designated areas:
- Union Plaza
- W 31st Street
- Freshman Quad area
e. The Freshman Quad area requires approval through Residence Life.
f. Organizations using these designated areas are then responsible for the
cost of having Physical Plant clean the chalked area if it has not been
cleaned by the organization within 24 hours after the event.
5. M.M. ROBERTS STADIUM
Generally, signs and banners are permitted at athletic events. The Athletics
department recognizes that banners/signs can positively contribute to an
event but must adhere to the following conditions. Banners and signs:
a. May not be attached to posts, standards or sticks
b. May not obstruct sight lines of others in attendance
c. May not block or detract from sponsor signage
d. Must be in good taste and show good
e. May not contain objectionable language or innuendo
f. Should be positive in nature and relate to the event
g. May not have the potential to incite others
h. May not detract from the event
i. Must be used in a safe manner
j. May not be placed on railings or game goals
These standards are at the complete discretion of athletic event
management personnel and/or law enforcement. The Department of
Athletics reserves the rights to disallow signs and banners at any event
6. RESIDENCE HALLS
a. All signs belonging to anyone other than Residence Life staff, the
Residence Hall organizations or Hall Councils therein, must have their
signage pre‐ approved by the Residence Hall Association before having
it placed within the residence halls.
b. Anything posted must be sponsored by a registered student organization
of the university.
c. Inside signage locations, excluding glass and painted surfaces, will
be determined by the Residence Hall staff.
- The minimum size of all inside signs is 8.5 x 11 inches.
- Tattered and torn signs that have become “roughed” to the extent that they are no longer legible will be removed by the Residence Hall staff.
- Signs will be posted by the Residence Hall staff and will be removed within 24 hours of the advertised event.
- Students and student organizations may register up to two inside signage requests per week per hall. Once the signage is approved by the Residence Hall Association, the organization may begin printing the signage and may return it to the RHA Center to be dispersed to the Residence Hall Staff for posting.
d. Student organizations may not place signage on the outside of residence
halls for any reason.
e. Student organizations that place signage inside the residence halls
without prior consent from the Residence Hall Association will be
subject to suspension of posting signage in the future, which will be
determined by the Residence Hall Association.
f. Departments of the University should contact the Student Housing
Administration clerk in the Department of Residence Life in an effort to
post signage inside the residence halls.