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).

Please note that Library Mall is partially controlled by the City of Madison and partially controlled by the University. In the portions of Library Mall controlled by the City of Madison, posting fliers or signs in any of the places listed above is also likely a violation of Madison Ordinance 23.02 and carries a $68.75 fine per occurrence. This ordinance applies only to City controlled property. DO NOT destroy or deface other organizations’ flyers, posters, and/or signs.

University Housing Posting

Current University Housing posting policies, procedures, and regulations.

  • To poster in the eighteen Residence Halls, the following must be followed:
    • Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and University Departments are
      allowed to post information about programs or events in residence halls
    • The name and contact information of the RSO or Department must be on all
    • Postings need to advertise a program or an event. A flier espousing a viewpoint
      only will not be approved for postering
    • No commercial solicitation is allowed in the advertisement
    • Advertisements which openly endorse a particular commercial interest or product are prohibited
    • Agencies or individuals unrelated to the university are not permitted to post in the residence halls
    • Candidates for public office can request to post campaign fliers in the residence halls only through an RSO related to their campaign. That related RSO can then request permission to post campaign information in the halls about a specific candidate
    • Ideal poster size is 8 by 11, anything larger will be folded
    • A copy of the poster must be submitted to Desk Services via email prior to approval—

Upon receiving approval, the front desks will be notified.

Deliver to each of the front desks at least 10 days before the event. Anything less than 7 days might not be posted.

Deliver the following number of posters to the appropriate desks:

  • Smith Hall, Susan Davis and Merit: Smith Hall Desk, 35 N. Park Street
    • 1 posters
  • Ogg Hall: Ogg Hall Desk, 835 W. Dayton Street
    • 7 posters
  • Sellery Hall: Sellery Hall Desk, 821 W. Johnson Street
    • 1 poster
  • Witte Hall: Witte Hall Desk, 615 W. Johnson Street
    • 1 poster
  • Chadbourne Residential College: CRC Hall Desk, 420 N. Park Street
    • 2 posters
  • Elizabeth Waters: Elizabeth Waters Desk, 1200 Observatory Drive
    • 1 poster
  • Tripp, Adams, Slichter: Carson Information Desk, 1515 Tripp Circle
    • 20 posters
  • Cole, Sullivan Hall, and Leopold Halls: Frank Holt Center Desk, 1650 Kronshage Drive
    • 12 posters
  • Kronshage Hall: Frank Holt Center Desk, 1650 Kronshage Drive
    • 9 posters
  • Jorns & Humphrey Hall: Frank Holt Center Desk, 1650 Kronshage Drive
    • 6 posters
  • Dejope, Phillips, & Bradley Halls: Dejope Desk, 640 Elm Dr
    • 3 posters
  • Lowell Center: Lowell Desk, 620 Langdon Street
    • 9 posters

Any posters found that have not gone through the approval process may be denied future approvals. Any organization with posters found in the halls that have not gone through the approval process may be denied future poster approval. Contact Desk Services at with any other questions.


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 above restrictions are met and followed.

Additional Chalking Restrictions:

  • You can only use 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.
  • Chalking can not be done on vertical surfaces, or under overhangs or coverings. Marking on a vertical surface or under an overhang or covering 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, under overhangs, or if water-soluble chalk was not used.
  • Chalk is only allowed on University sidewalks and University streets.

Full details on chalking restrictions can be found here.


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.