Sign Policy

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.


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

improperly removed.

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.



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.


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.)


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

Programs director

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.


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

without notice.


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.