Some students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette recently chalked on prohibited on-campus surfaces.
Student organizations chalk on-campus in order to promote an event or express a message related to their organization.
“We want organizations to promote their events. And there’s not a lot of ways to do that in physical spaces,” Heidie Lindsey, director of Student Engagement and Leadership said. “Chalking is one of the only ways. So I really want organizations to take advantage of that, but while being respectful of the places on campus that are more important spaces.”
All student organizations are allowed to chalk on sidewalks that can easily be washed by rain. Some chalk messages and images were found on surfaces such as brick buildings, the circular sculptures outside Edith Garland Dupré Library and other places that are concealed or harder for the rain to get to.
According to the UL Lafayette website, “Chalking, marking, or defacing of any kind on any vertical surface, the Walks of Honor, balls in front of the library, works of art, architectural structures/buildings, bricks on the Student Union porch, and other surfaces deemed important to the aesthetic nature of the campus is strictly prohibited.”
Student organizations that break these rules are subject to deprivation of advertising privileges using chalk and will be fined.
Some students in these organizations were unaware of the rules surrounding chalk advertising.
According to Kennedi Schaubert, a UL Lafayette senior studying criminal justice, she and her sorority sisters use chalk to show love to each other.
“We normally chalk on the sidewalks but I did see a few people doing it on brick buildings. I didn’t know there were rules about chalking but it’s kind of common sense not to do it on the buildings,” Schaubert wrote in a statement to The Vermilion.
Lindsey reached out to those organizations to give them an opportunity to correct the violation and informed them of the consequences that would follow if they were to repeat these actions. She usually gets reports of chalk in restricted areas from other people, but sometimes, if she’s walking around campus, she will see some of the chalk violations.
Lindsey asks those organizations that are planning on chalking on the Student Union sidewalks to be mindful of the spaces they choose and ask just in case there’s a big event happening. The university will have to wash off the chalk, and according to Lindsey, she doesn’t want student artwork to get erased too early.
“I tell students to just be careful of that area and/or go ask the union if there’s some big event that’s going to be out there in the next couple of days, so they’re not wasting their effort by doing all that and that cool design gets washed away,” Lindsey said.
Students do not have to gain permission to chalk in most places, and all student organizations are encouraged to chalk on sidewalks to make announcements about their events.
“That’s all part of a college campus, seeing what organizations are doing,” Lindsey said.
For more information on the full chalking policy, student organizations can refer to the UL Lafayette website.