Policy 3104
Use of Bulletin Boards & Posting Public Notices

Date of Current Revision: September 2017
Primary Responsible Officer: Director, University Unions


The purpose of this policy is to outline the proper guidelines and procedures for posting information on campus related to ongoing campus activities, events, and notices of interest.


The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia § 23.1-1600; § 23.1-1301. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.


Banner Space:
Space for a long sign on paper or cloth (typically 8’x 3’) to advertise events.

Designated Space:
Approved areas for posters, flyers, banners, chalking, etc.

Festival Conference & Student Center

General Purpose Bulletin Board:
Designated corkboards to display approved posters/flyers.

Non-designated Space:
Areas not designated (e.g: walls, doors, departmental use only bulletin boards etc.) for public postings.

Placement of flyers to promote event(s) and other approved activities.

Publicizing events:
Ways to inform campus community of events and activities.

Taylor Down Under:
Area located on first floor of Madison Union.


This policy applies to all employees, students, and constituents of the university who make use of these information resources.


All information and/or announcements must be approved by JMU Event Management and comply with the information standards outlined in the procedures listed below prior to posting. Approved designated space is referenced in the Procedures section (section 6). No postings are allowed in non-designated spaces.

It is not the intent of this policy to censor or otherwise control the content of notices or other materials to be posted. However, it is recommended that such materials be in good taste. In addition, materials that violate laws and regulations (including university policies and procedures) will not be approved. For additional publicity options at JMU go to the JMU Event Management website.


6.1 Posting by University Departments/Student Organizations:
All materials for posting must be approved and stamped with a removal date at an information desk in Madison Union, Taylor Down Under or the Festival.

A JMU department or student organization must sponsor all posters and flyers. The name of the JMU contact person must appear on the poster. A name is not necessary if an academic office or department sponsors the poster or flyer.

Posters/flyers without a specific event date will be stamped for two weeks.

A limit of 100 posters/flyers will be stamped per event, regardless of different poster styles. One poster/flyer per event may be posted per general purpose bulletin board.

6.1.1 General Purpose Bulletin Boards in University Unions:
All materials for posting must be approved and stamped at an information desk in Madison Union, Taylor Down Under or the Festival and follow the procedures outlined above.

6.1.2 General Purpose Bulletin Boards in Other Areas of Campus (i.e. Academic buildings, Athletic facilities, etc.)

6.1.2a In academic buildings, resident faculty and staff are permitted to post materials of the types approved by Academic Unit Heads because they are relevant to academics, advising or academic unit policies. Posting in these buildings by other individuals requires approval as specified in 6.1.2b.

6.1.2b All materials for posting in other areas of campus (not already identified above) must be approved and stamped at an information desk in Madison Union, Taylor Down Under or the Festival and follow the procedures outlined above. Information regarding specific posting locations and requirements for these facilities may be obtained from the building coordinator for that facility.

6.1.3 Residence Hall Posting Information:
Residence Halls: Posters/flyers may be posted in approved locations in residence halls by contacting the hall director or resident advisers between 8:00 p.m. and midnight prior to posting. The hall staff will indicate the public posting area for the building. Signs or decorations may be placed in windows of student residences only with the permission of the hall director.

6.1.4 Additional/Special Signage: 
Persons responsible for conferences, conventions, workshops or other activities sponsored by the university may request outdoor signs for identification or direction by contacting Facilities Management.

6.1.5 Banner Spaces:
There are banner spaces located in Madison Union, Taylor Down Under and the Festival, as well as outdoor banner space available on the grassy hill of the Commons. Details concerning sizes and the process for reserving may be obtained at the JMU Event Management website.

6.1.6 Brochure Racks: 
Brochure racks are available on the second floor of Madison Union and at the Festival for use by JMU departments and student organizations and non-university businesses and organizations. All brochures must be approved by an information desk supervisor for placement in the racks.

6.1.7 Chalking:
There are five designated outdoor areas on campus which can be used for "chalking" to advertise an event: the Commons, Festival Patio, Godwin Stairs, ISAT/CS and Showker. Space must be reserved with the scheduling authority for each area as listed on the JMU Event Management website.  Organizations may reserve blocks of three days per area. Chalking areas may be booked with back-to-back reservations and chalk from a previous reservation may still be in place. The reserving office is not responsible for clearing the previous chalking. Chalking is NOT allowed anywhere other than outdoor sidewalks and steps.

6.2 Posting by Non-university Organizations:
In addition to the procedures outlined above, these specific procedures apply to non-profit [501(c)(3)] non-university organizations desiring to post flyers, posters, banners or to distribute materials or literature.

All non-profit organizations must conform to the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia regarding non-profit status and must provide a copy of their IRS letter, which states they are exempt from Federal income tax.

The university reserves the right to assign non-university organization flyers/posters or brochures to specific locations. 

At no time shall JMU grant or deny authorization of distribution or posting of information based on its content, unless such distribution or posting is commercially motivated. However, the distribution or posting of said material shall be subject to reasonable time and place. In addition, materials that violate laws and regulations (including university policies and procedures) will not be approved.

For profit non-university organizations may place advertising materials in the brochure racks located in Madison Union and the Festival. Space will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and priority will be given to activities conducted by students, faculty, or staff (alone or in conjunction with non-university organizations) over those conducted solely by non-university organizations.

All non-university posters, flyers, or brochures must be approved by JMU Event Management prior to posting.

6.3 Solicitation:
University facilities may not be used for solicitation of faculty, staff, or students by private enterprise for profit organizations, except for solicitations for instructional materials as permitted by the Student Handbook. This includes solicitation by individual contact, free advertising on campus through flyers, posters, or similar materials, and profit-oriented activities not officially sanctioned by the university. For-profit non-university organizations may place advertising materials in specified brochure racks, subject to restrictions in section 6.2 paragraph 5.

6.4 Specific Prohibitions:
In order to maintain the natural beauty of the campus and preclude a cluttered appearance of the buildings, the following actions are specifically prohibited:

Posters, notices, announcements, or other materials will not be attached to indoor walls, windows, doors, porches, walks, light fixtures, stairways, the outside of buildings, trees, trash receptacles, shrubs, utility poles, or other non-designated areas on campus.

Posters or announcements with dimensions exceeding 11x17 inches will not be approved for posting on bulletin boards.

Flyers or notices may not be placed in or attached to automobiles on campus.

Advertising the sale of alcoholic beverages, or any phrase or symbol that would lead the reader to believe that alcohol will be served or consumed is prohibited.

Using duct tape, staples, pins, nails, etc. in non-standard posting locations is prohibited and may result in damage billing.

Chalking of buildings is prohibited.


User Responsibilities:
It is the responsibility of the student organization, department, or other university organization to:

  • Take material to be posted to a university information desk in Madison Union, Taylor Down Under or the Festival to have it approved and stamped with a removal date.
  • Post the stamped material on "general purpose" bulletin boards in assigned areas.
  • Include the name of the JMU contact person or department name sponsoring the notice or event on the poster or notice.

Owners of banners are responsible for the placement and removal of banners in accordance with the banner posting procedures outlined above. JMU Event Management will not be responsible for banners left beyond the reservation period or for theft or damage to banners displayed.


Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment or judicial referral.

In addition, student organizations or departments may risk the loss of financing or official recognition.


These posting regulations may not apply to non-university activities in special campus-sponsored events, as determined by the university, which occur from time-to-time on campus. However, these events have their own regulations that apply to non-university organizations.

These posting regulations, in their entirety, may not be applicable to digital signage postings. Consult with individual building managers for regulations related to posting on digital signage.

Organizations whose recognition has been withdrawn by the university will not be allowed posting privileges, or any other form of facility usage.

Posters and displays associated with a scheduled event in the University Unions facilities may be placed in non-standard areas for up to 24 hours with approval from Madison Union Operations or Festival Operations. The posters must meet all regulations in this policy and must be removed immediately following the conclusion of the event.


The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president, and is generally delegated to the senior vice president for student affairs and university planning.

Previous version: April 2015
Approved by the President: May 2002

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