In the past few weeks, UVSC student council and other campus organizations were frustrated at having their banners taken down in certain areas on campus with no notice and no explanation.
For example, the Spirit Committee had their banner taken down in the Shurian Family Activity Center that advertised for a men’s basketball game. “It wasn’t just your average butcher paper poster…it took about 2 man hours to make it,” said Trevor Tooke, chair of the Spirit Committee.
Tooke said he thought his committee had always complied with the campus signage policy that states which locations signs are allowed in, so to have his posters thrown away without explanation didn’t feel fair.
According to Kris Coles, student body president, it was assumed that banners were taken down because there was a misunderstanding of what the signage policy actually said.
Rumors were going through student council that the current policy was from the 1980s and was supposedly in the process of a revision that had yet to be finalized.
According to the Policy Office, the current signage policy has actually been in effect since April 5, 2001 and has been under revision since Nov. 29, 2007.
This current policy states that the only places in which banners are allowed are the Science Building Atrium on the stair railing from the first to third floor, the PE concourse near the racquetball courts, and the Auto Trades railing at the west end of the third level concourse. The exception is the Sorenson Student Center, where banners have to be cleared through the director of that facility.
The reason student council didn’t realize UVSC had a recent signage policy was that this policy was never heavily enforced.
Also, the Campus Space Committee had made exceptions since 2001, allowing signs on pillars and marked windows on campus.
This misunderstanding of the policy led the Campus Space Committee to hold a meeting on Jan. 24 regarding the issue.
At the meeting, it was revealed why banners had been taken down with no apparent notice.
“The Space Committee came to the realization in October 2007 that things had gotten so bad in terms of hallway signage that something needed to be done. Entities were posting signs and advertisements, whether they had approval or not,” said Chris Taylor, a member of the Campus Image Committee. “The policy exists to protect the campus from becoming cluttered with advertising.”
The Space Committee decided to fully enforce the signage policy in order to help clean up UVSC’s hallways.
“Even though no real change was being enacted, efforts were made to communicate that enforcement would be stepped up. Unfortunately, it’s probable that this wasn’t communicated at all levels,” said Taylor.
It was apparent that this announcement of enforcing the policy never reached the student council and other campus organizations. This resulted in many banners being thrown away, since their posters did not know the banners were violating the policy.
In the meeting, a compromise was made to allow additional locations for signage until the new policy is in place.
These extra approved locations will let student council continue to advertise to a large body of students. “All we want to do is advertise our stuff to the students,” said Coles. “That’s the whole reason why we make signs is so students can have a better campus life.”
The space committee’s meeting was able to clear up the misunderstanding and create a clear signage agreement for everyone. “The interim compromise that was struck today is a win for all parties involved,” said Taylor.