Use of Public and Outdoor Spaces

Alma College supports the use of the campus to accommodate educational and co-educational needs of the campus. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that public spaces are committed to activities that serve the college’s best interests and that space is utilized in a way that provides for the health and safety of everyone on campus.


This document provides guidelines for utilization of interior and exterior public spaces for the purposes of meetings, displays, signage and temporary art installations (hereafter referred to as events/displays). This policy applies to all major public spaces including, but not limited to lobbies and hallways in campus buildings and outdoor spaces on college property. 

Reserving space in established meeting rooms and classrooms is accommodated through the campus calendaring system or the conferences office (ext. 7952) or the camps office (ext. 7950) during non-academic periods. Reserving other interior spaces, such as hallways or lobbies, or exterior space requires submission of the request form at least 10 calendar days before the event and approval by the Policy and Planning Council. Major events should be submitted at least 30 days prior to the event to assure adequate time for review and reconsideration if necessary.

Posters: The overuse of posters renders them less effective and is inconsistent with the college’s desire to be more environmentally responsible. While posters are not prohibited by this policy, the college encourages them to be used selectively and for multiple events or student opportunities when practical. Posters must meet all of the Basic Guidelines listed below as well as the following:

  • Must include the name of the sponsoring organization and a contact person.
  • Cannot violate fire regulations, be posted on non-man made (i.e. trees, etc.) or memorial structures
  • Cannot be posted over another poster, art or signage.
  • Cannot be attached to painted structures unless they are hung with painter’s tape.
  • Must be removed promptly, within 48 hours of the event.

Student Congress has established an additional process for approval of posters for recognized student organizations that those groups should follow.

Chalking: Although no Application for Use of Public and Outdoor Spaces will be required for chalking, there are limitations. Washable chalk may be used on campus sidewalks that are open to the elements as long as the content does not violate community standards as outlined in item 8 under Basic Guidelines below. No chalking is permitted on vertical surfaces or horizontal surfaces that are not open to the elements (covered walkways, overhangs, etc.). The responsible parties will be responsible for removing markings that are not easily washed away or for reimbursing the college for related cleaning costs.


  1. Events/displays must not interrupt normal pedestrian or vehicle paths.
  2. If displays are suspended above pedestrian walkways, they must have a minimum head clearance of 6’8”. This includes banners that are draped over balconies.
  3. Events/displays must comply with ADA law and Michigan barrier free code regarding accessibility. For information about these requirements, contact the Director of Facilities and Service Management.
  4. Events/displays must not cause damage to buildings, lawn, landscaping or trees on campus. Requests to plant trees should be submitted through this process.
  5. Events/displays that result in damage to campus building or grounds may result in financial consequence to the installing parties.
  6. All displays must be properly maintained for the duration of the project. Installation, maintenance and prompt removal of temporary displays are the responsibility of the requesting individual or group. Failure to do so may result in financial consequence to the installing parties.
  7. Permanent installations approved through this process are the property of Alma College and will be the responsibility of Facilities and Service Management.
  8. Content must comply with reasonable community standards. The Policy and Planning Council reserves the right to reject any request and to remove an item that has not been approved or that it deems would violate the college’s Civil Rights Policy.


  1. A completed application is required for review and approval of any event/display. (See form for details.) Renderings or descriptions of the display must be included as part of the application process.
  2. The Policy and Planning Council will consider the request within 5 business days of the request and will notify the requestor of the approval/denial/need for more information after consideration.
  3. Appeals of a denial may be submitted to the President’s Cabinet for reconsideration. The decision of the Cabinet will be final

Note: This approval process will not add the event to the campus calendar and applicants must still place work orders for room set-up, media and catering needs. Please follow the appropriate processes if any of those services are required.


While all members of the campus community share the responsibility for using public spaces appropriately, the Policy and Planning Council will administer the policy. Applications should be submitted electronically to policyplanningcouncil@alma.edu.