Chalking on Campus

Chapter 6
Section: 6:056
Chalking on Campus

Adopted:  06/01/2017

Responsible OfficeOperations Administration

Chalking on Campus


The University of Missouri-Columbia acknowledges that chalking, within certain reasonable limits, is a permissible way to promote programs and events, make announcements, share messages, and express ideas.  The following has been established to allow chalking while ensuring that University property, equipment, and facilities are protected and maintained.

Chalking on sidewalks or plaza areas is allowed subject to the specific restrictions and parameters outlined below.

This policy applies to all employees, students, University affiliates, contractors, and visitors.


Chalking is defined as the use of a water-soluble substance, or substance washable by water or rain, to write or draw on sidewalks or plaza areas.

Prohibited chalking

Chalking is not allowed in each of the following circumstances:

  • Writing or drawing on any surface with the use of paint, aerosol spray chalk, or chalk paint;
  • Chalking on any surface that is not exposed to the elements, including but not limited to the interior of buildings;
  • Chalking on any brick surface or brick paver;
  • Chalking on vertical outdoor surfaces of any kind, including, but not limited to, buildings, walls, planters, doors, trash receptacles, steps, bridges, fountains, benches, tables, signs, poles, columns, bus stops, light posts, trees, glass, windows, pilings, painted surfaces, traffic signs, emergency call phones, fixtures, newsstands, advertisement dispensers, and utility boxes.

Chalking is not allowed in any of the following areas:

  • Within 25 feet of an entrance to any building;
  • Traditions Plaza;
  • The sidewalks on Carnahan Quadrangle & Francis Quadrangle;
  • The sidewalks within 100 feet of, or on any street adjacent to, any hospital, office building, clinic, or medical facility in the MU Health Care System.

Defacing or erasing of existing chalking is prohibited by anyone other than the person or organization who did the chalking, except that University facility and maintenance personnel are allowed to clean and wash sidewalks, plazas, and other outdoor areas at any time in the course of their usual and ordinary campus maintenance activities.

Chalking that violates federal or state law is prohibited unless such chalking is protected by the rights of free speech and expression as set forth in the U.S. Constitution or the Constitution of the State of Missouri.

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE                                            

Complaints regarding chalking or other writing or drawing on a surface on University property should be directed to the Office of Business Operations and Strategic Initiatives, 305 Jesse Hall. Upon receipt of a complaint, this office shall determine whether the chalking, writing, or drawing complies with this policy. If it does not comply with this policy, the individual or organization responsible for chalking, writing, or drawing shall be informed of the violation, which may include instructions to remove it. This does not preclude the University from removing the chalking, writing, or drawing immediately.


Cross Refs
MU Operations