SPU Display Policy

Statement and Purpose

Table of Contents

We commit to building a community of humility, caring, kindness and mutual respect. As a part of that commitment, we affirm the importance of free expression and open dialog in a manner consistent with the University’s mission and identity. The University encourages interactions that deepen and broaden understanding often accompanying vigorous debate done in an evidence-based, civil, and constructive manner. Recognizing the complex intersection of sometimes conflicting rights and responsibilities, including a compelling University interest to maintain clarity in its representation of mission and identity, with this policy SPU seeks to clarify certain boundaries on public displays that impact that representation while continuing to honor and protect free expression in other venues and contexts. SPU is committed to guidelines for all expressions of dissent or assent that honor these principles. Inciteful characterization of others’ views and denigration of those whose beliefs and opinions differ fall below these standards and will not be tolerated. 

Certain terms in this policy are defined at the end of the policy.

Entities Affected By This Policy

The following policy applies to all faculty and staff at either the main campus or other University property. Students are to abide by the display policies included in the University Catalog, Student Handbook(s), and University contracts. 

Reason for Policy

This policy is intended to provide guidance for those wanting to post displays and distribute materials on University property. The campus is private property; therefore, no external party may post displays or distribute materials on University premises without express written consent of the University. The University may regulate displays and demonstrations to ensure the safety of its community, to prevent damage to University property, to prevent damage to University branding and mission identification efforts, and to prevent the disruption of its normal business operations, including teaching and research. Further, the University may restrict expression that violates the law, that defames a specific individual, that constitutes a true threat or harassment, that unjustifiably invades privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the mission and functioning of the University. As a taxexempt entity, the University must abide by federal and state laws that prohibit the use of University resources, services, or personnel from promoting or supporting individuals or organizations campaigning for public office. 

The University reserves the right to determine if a display is in violation of this policy. 

Policy Version: 1.0

Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance
Responsible Executive:
 Vice President for Business and Finance

Effective Date: July 1, 2023
Last Updated:  
July 1, 2023

Display Guidelines

  1. Employees may temporarily post approved displays that are created for the purpose of promoting SPU programs, services, and events on SPU bulletin boards, sandwich boards, and other designated areas as necessary to conduct University business operations, including teaching and research.  
  2. Employees may display in University provided office spaces personal materials that are not otherwise a violation of this policy. Civil expressions of dissent, including disagreement with University policies, are permitted.
  3. Permissible displays may be posted using push pins or staples on University bulletin boards. Except for blue painter’s tape, tape is not permitted on wall surfaces. Employees must consult with University Facilities when hanging heavier displays or affixing large items.

Impermissible Displays

Impermissible displays include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Displays that contain illegal, discriminatory, or obscene images or language
  2. Displays that demean or degrade another person or group of people
  3. Displays that contain improper use of University trademarks
  4. Displays that contain political campaign activity material or endorse political candidates or their positions
  5. Displays attached to trees or other vegetation on University property
  6. Displays that interfere with building codes or obstruct required signage
  7. Displays attached to exterior campus structures, any windows, building exteriors (including facades), retaining walls, and exterior stairwells (except upon approval of the Responsible Office / Responsible Executive identified above)

Display Removal

The University reserves the right to remove, without prior notice, any display that violates University policy.  

Individuals posting displays advertising specific events are responsible for removing them within 24 hours after the event takes place. Signs and posters that are not related to specific events or dates may be removed at the University’s discretion. The University may also periodically remove all signs or posters (e.g., between quarters), or remove signs or posters that have already been posted for an extended period (e.g., advertisements for summer programs that have already been posted for several weeks).   Individuals and organizations are held responsible for costs incurred in removing improperly posted displays and are liable for damage caused to University property by improper or excessive posting. 


The immediate supervisor of faculty or staff who violate this policy will be responsible to address the matter and respond in a manner that is proportionate to the frequency and severity of the violation.  

Inquiries may be directed to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources. 

Definition of Terms

DisplayDisplays include but are not limited to posters, signs, symbols, fliers, electronic signatures, signage, leaflets, chalking, graffiti, electronic images, or other displayable materials.  

University Property or Premise

Buildings, grounds, and land that are owned by SPU or controlled by SPU via leases or other formal contractual arrangements to house ongoing SPU operations.