Posting, Chalking, and Leafletting

Registered Student Organizations use a variety of ways to get the word out about organization meetings and events.  If your organization would like to put up posters on campus, chalk announcements on campus, or hand out leaflets to students, please see below for pointers and policies.


Posting on campus is limited to general bulletin boards and kiosks. In campus buildings, the posting of fliers and posters is only allowed on bulletin boards. In most cases departmental bulletin boards are maintained and regulated by individuals in the department's main office or sometimes the caretaker of the bulletin board is listed on the bulletin board itself. In "general use" buildings (Memorial Union, etc.), consult regulations posted on the board or contact the public service information desk. Ask about approval to post in various buildings.

DO NOT post fliers or signs on the following:
  • Telephone poles
  • Light poles
  • Garbage cans
  • Sidewalks
  • Stairs/steps
  • Fences
  • Trees
  • Buildings
  • Bascom Hill (without a reservation, Policy G-2)

Posting of fliers or signs in any of the places listed above is a violation of UWS Administrative code 18.08(9)(a). It is also a violation of Madison Ordinance 23.02 and carries a $68.75 fine per occurrence. DO NOT destroy or deface other organizations' posters.

University Housing Posting

Current University Housing posting policies, procedures, and regulations.


DO NOT chalk on the following:

  • University buildings
  • Courtyard areas
  • Vertical surfaces
  • Arch of bridge walkways
  • Lakeshore Path
  • Underneath any overhang

DO NOT use paint, oil-based chalk, indelible markers or spray chalk.

RSOs who choose to chalk notices on sidewalks or streets should cooperate promptly with any University or Madison Police requests for identification and information about the chalking activity. Chalking (an act of writing or drawing messages using chalk) is illegal by law. The UW Administrative Code 18.08(9)(a) and Wisconsin State Statute 943.01 prohibit this activity. However, some chalking is allowed by the UW Police, UW Physical Department and the Dean of Students if the following restrictions are met and followed.

Additional Chalking Restrictions:

  • You can only use a water-based/water-soluble chalk. Oil-based and aerosol chalk will not come off over time of its own accord, nor through daily exposure to the elements; water-based will. Water-based chalk rubs off or smears when you wipe your finger over it.
  • You can only apply the water-based chalk on sidewalks. Marking on a vertical surface requires physical effort to remove it; it will not come off on its own. This means that a Physical Plant employee must spend time and materials to remove it. Student organizations may be fined if Physical Plant has to remove any chalking on vertical surfaces or if water-based chalk was not used.
  • Chalk is only allowed on University sidewalks and University streets.


Leafleting is the process of distributing information in the form of a small (typically ¼ of a page) flier. If you wish to leaflet, you can ask permission from the building manager to distribute materials in the lobby of academic buildings.

DO NOT leaflet in campus classrooms of academic buildings. This activity is a violation of university policies and guidelines; student organizations may be subject to sanctioning under the Policy and Conduct of Registered Student Organizations as a violation of the Student Organization Code of Conduct.