Campus Life

Campus Signage Policy Revision

The policy prohibits chalking for messaging on campus surfaces.
By Texas A&M University August 26, 2020

This serves to notify the campus community that Texas A&M University Standard Administrative Procedure (SAP) 51.99.99.M0.02, Campus Signage, has been revised. The policy prohibits chalking for messaging on campus surfaces.

This update was prompted by advances in technology and communications channels since the protocol began 10 years ago, as well as issues tied to the removal of chalk itself as detailed below.

“Chalking” at Texas A&M has been previously defined as the use of a water-soluble substance, washable by water or rain, to write or draw on campus surfaces such as sidewalks or other areas. The revision prohibits all chalking, regardless of chalk type and regardless of message content or viewpoint.

When the signage protocol was originally released, chalking served as a key mechanism to help student groups communicate information on sidewalks and other campus surfaces regarding upcoming meetings and events. Given advances in social media and other technology tools and options, the need for chalking as a communications channel in 2020 is no longer as important for message distribution.

Non-soluble forms of chalk (railroad chalk, aerosol spray, etc.) are increasingly being used on campus in violation of the previous policy. Railroad chalk requires the use of power washing and increases financial costs to Texas A&M at an estimate of $100 per incident, including the cost of equipment and labor. Monitoring the use of different types of chalk is labor and time intensive and cost prohibitive. During COVID-19 especially, the need to avoid diverting personnel from priority cleaning of classrooms and buildings is critical.

At the time of a review of the SAP in 2018, special attention was paid to campus beautification and the removal of environmental pollution. Further efforts were undertaken to allow for the use of sandwich boards and wickets with respect to location, size, and allowable time to ensure that opportunity exists for communication of viewpoints regardless of content. This procedure allows for ample communication without negatively impacting the environmental beauty of the campus indefinitely.

The new policy is effective immediately. Anyone found in violation will be directed to stop and informed of the requirement. Chalkings will be removed by maintenance and grounds personnel. Those refusing to cease will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

The SAP in full can be found on the University Rules and SAPs page.

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