12.5.5 Bulletin Boards, Postering, and Display Spaces

This policy was last updated November 3, 2023. See the update history page for more information.

Recognizing that the primary purpose of MIT facilities is to support MIT’s mission for the benefit of the MIT community, this policy sets forth rules for the use of bulletin boards and similar postering/display spaces in centralized locations on the MIT campus that are accessible to the public, such as those in the Infinite Corridor, the Stratton Student Center, the corridors of Buildings 16, 26, 56, and 66, publicly accessible library spaces, and the Stata Center (“Institute Display Spaces”).

Unless stated otherwise, this policy does not apply to bulletin boards and postering/display spaces that are locally controlled by and assigned to individual departments, labs, and centers (“DLCs”); recognized student groups; residential living communities; or similarly recognized Institute groups. These groups are expected to adopt rules for the use of their local display spaces that are not inconsistent with this policy, including rules about who may use them (e.g., only members of the group) and for what purposes (e.g., only events and activities relevant to the group). Policies and procedures for postering and display spaces in residential living communities must be approved by the Division of Student Life. Permissible Uses of Institute Display Spaces

Institute Display Spaces may only be used by DLCs, recognized student groups, and other established Institute groups, such as academic and administrative units, unions, and employee resource groups. Individual students, faculty, and staff may not post on Institute Display Spaces unless sponsored by or acting on behalf of an Institute group, except that candidates for student leadership positions may post on Institute Display Spaces in accordance with rules governing elections for those positions. Non-MIT individuals, organizations, and groups are prohibited from using Institute Display Spaces unless sponsored by an Institute group.

The use of posters, flyers, and similar items (collectively, “posters”) on Institute Display Spaces shall only be used to communicate information about Institute or MIT-recognized group events, activities, programs, or services, or for educational, research, professional, or volunteer opportunities that are relevant to the MIT community. These spaces may not be used for the purpose of selling personal items, promoting businesses or third-party goods and services, or advertising non-MIT events, activities, or programs that are targeted toward a broad, general audience.

All posters must clearly and conspicuously identify and include contact information for the group responsible for the posters.

Posters on the MIT campus, regardless of location, may not be used to engage in harassment, discrimination, retaliation, invasion of personal privacy, defamation, threats or violence, targeting of groups or individuals, infringing the intellectual property rights of others, or other violations of law or MIT policies.

Posters must not be posted on common area or outdoors-facing doors, windows, walls, elevators, pillars, floors, ceilings, stairs, railings, fences, bike racks, tables or chairs, chalkboards, whiteboards, classroom spaces, trees or other landscape features, lamp posts or street signs, art installations, or any outside building spaces. Posters must only be affixed with materials that do not cause permanent damage to surfaces. Chalking and Other Displays

Chalking is permitted by Institute groups on sidewalks and pathways on campus to promote their events or activities. Only washable/biodegradable chalk can be used. Chalking is not allowed on buildings, steps, or interior locations. Chalkings must clearly identify the group that is responsible for them. Chalkings are washed by the Department of Facilities on a regular basis.

In general, large banners or flags may not be displayed at MIT by individuals or groups without MIT’s permission. Individual residence halls may temporarily display banners in accordance with Housing & Residential Services (“HRS”) policy.

Other temporary displays, such as sandwich boards and similarly sized displays, are permitted for limited time periods solely to promote Institute events or activities and/or provide directions to campus locations. These displays cannot block corridors or access to buildings, streets, paths, or sidewalks, and must comply with all of the above requirements, including clearly identifying the group that is responsible for them. Institute groups may also seek permission from the Division of Student Life or Institute Events for the temporary use of larger displays in locations such as the Stratton Student Center, Lobby 7, or Lobby 10. Removal of Posters

Posters on Institute Display Spaces are usually removed several times a week by the Department of Facilities. Groups that control their own display spaces should establish a process for the regular removal of posters that are no longer relevant to their community or that do not comply with any rules the group has established for their spaces.

Individuals or groups may not remove posters on Institute Display Spaces on their own, nor may they alter or deface them.  Institute groups may cover posters for events or activities that have already passed, if multiple identical posters are preventing other posters from being put up, or if posters are hung by non-MIT individuals or groups. In addition, an MIT group can remove their own posters. Raising Concerns

Concerns that a poster does not comply with this policy should be brought to the attention of Student Organizations, Leadership, and Engagement (SOLE), the Association of Student Activities (ASA), or the Department of Facilities Customer Service Center. Posters on Institute Display Spaces that do not comply with this policy are subject to immediate removal and may result in fines or Institute disciplinary action against the individual or group who put up the offending posters.

Concerns about the content or viewpoint expressed in a poster can also be reported to the Institute Discrimination & Harassment Response Office (IDHR) or the MIT Hotline. The decision to remove a poster from an Institute Display Space based on content/viewpoint is expected to be rare, and will be made in the sole discretion of a rapid response team appointed jointly by the Provost, Chancellor, Vice President for Human Resources, and the Chair of the Faculty.