Posting, Solicitation and Distribution of Materials on College Property :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Posting, Solicitation and Distribution of Materials on College Property

Policy Number: 118

Categorized: General Policies

Responsible Office: Campus Provosts

Subject: Policy governing the procedures for posting information on campus related to campus activities, events, or other notices, and for solicitation on College property.

Related Policies: Speech and Expression Policy, Fundraising, Fundraising by Student Organizations, Digital Media System


Additional Information:

Effective Date: 04/24/2018

Last Reviewed Date:

1.0 Scope

This policy applies to all faculty, staff and students as well as to all external individuals and organizations wishing to post or distribute material on college property. It also provides guidelines for external individuals and/or organizations who seek to use college facilities for the purpose of soliciting, providing information, distributing promotional materials, performing community service, or otherwise making person-to-person contact with the college community. This policy does not apply to outside organizations that are requesting meeting space or the use of facilities when solicitation is not involved.

During Student Government Elections this policy remains in effect.

2.0 Policy Statement

NOVA welcomes and respects the free expression of ideas. Guidelines and procedures for posting, distribution and solicitation on College property have been established to permit freedom of expression without disruption to the regular operations of the college.

  1. All materials posted on College property must be authorized in advance and posted in designated areas in accord with the procedures described in this policy. Recognized student organizations, College departments and administrative offices, are eligible to post materials. Each campus may establish designated areas for posting commercial notices limited to job postings, apartment listings and similar student-serving purposes.
  2. Distribution of handbills, circulars and flyers is permitted in outdoor areas. Students, recognized student organizations, College departments and administrative offices and their sponsored guests are eligible to distribute materials on College property. External individuals and organizations that are not sponsored by the College or a recognized student organization may distribute material only with advance authorization by the campus Office of Student Life. The College retains the ability to exercise the right to regulate the time, manner and place of the distribution.
  3. All solicitation by external individuals and organizations on College property must be approved by the Director of Campus Operations. External individuals and organizations seeking to solicit must follow college rental procedures through the Director of Campus Operations. Solicitation will be approved if the activity involving solicitation serves the needs of the college community or provides a community service that is consistent with the mission of the College. College employees may solicit or distribute literature to other employees provided it does not substantially disrupt the workplace, and the solicitation will benefit a non-profit, community service organization (e.g., sale of Girl Scout cookies, or merchandise for charitable causes). Employees may not solicit students other than as a required job function.

3.0 Definitions

External individuals: individuals who are not students, staff, or faculty of the college.

External organizations: community or cultural groups, not-for-profit organizations, state and local government agencies, corporate and commercial organizations, and professional organizations.

Recognized Student Group or Organization: An organization that has followed the procedures for recognition and approval outlined in the Student Life Resource Guide. This category includes student clubs, organizations including student government, and student groups organized around shared academic interests such as the Honors Program or Phi Theta Kappa.

Solicitation: selling or promoting products, goods or services; seeking contributions or pledges, including distributing printed materials; and conducting membership drives.

4.0 Procedures

4.1. General Guidelines


  1. Size and number of postings shall be in compliance with campus-specific guidelines available from the Office of Student Life.
  2. Material that would be considered “Prohibited Speech” under the College’s Speech and Expression Policy will not be authorized. This includes:
    1. speech which is considered to incite imminent lawless action
    2. obscenity,
    3. defamation,
    4. harassment,
    5. true threats,
    6. child pornography,
    7. fighting words (words indicating a willingness to fight) and
    8. plagiarism and or breaches of trademark and copyright laws.
  3. Materials printed in a foreign language must be presented in English translation for authorization.
  4. Authorized materials must be stamped and posted only in designated areas using appropriate methods. Each campus will designate these locations, including locations for chalking, and posting methods.
  5. Materials may be posted for up to 30 days or until the event is concluded. Chalking will be authorized for no more than five days. Outdated materials will be removed.


  1. Individuals distributing material must do so without requiring any further obligation or discussion with the recipient.
  2. Individuals distributing material must allow members of the College community to approach them and may not engage them against their will.
  3. All individuals, groups or organizations will be responsible for removing any litter associated with distribution of their materials in a timely manner.


  1. Solicitors must operate from the table or in the area designated, and they are not permitted to move about college buildings or parking lots.
  2. Solicitors may not attempt to engage members of the College community against their will.

4.2 Authorization Process

All requests for posting or distribution or solicitation must be authorized by the Dean of Students/designee on each campus with the following exceptions:

  1. Academic deans or designees may authorize posting of materials related to academics or events sponsored by academic department.
  2. The AVP for Human Resources or designee may authorize posting, distribution and solicitation to College employees regarding employee benefits, discounts, the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign and other employee matters.
  3. The Director of Campus Operations must approve all requests for solicitation by external organizations and individuals.

A decision to authorize posting, distribution or solicitation will be made within five working days of the request, unless good cause exists for additional time, in which case the decision will be made as soon as reasonably possible.

If authorized, posting, distribution and solicitation will be subject to reasonable restrictions of time, place and manner, including:

  1. Any limit to the number and size of materials to be posted.
  2. The areas on campus where the material can be posted or distributed.
  3. Placing fliers on vehicles is prohibited.

4.3 Appeal

If authorization for posting, distribution or solicitation is denied, the requestor may appeal the decision to the Provost by presenting such an appeal within five working days of the approver’s decision. The provost or designee will respond to the appeal within ten working days, unless good cause exists for additional time, in which case the decision will be made as soon as reasonably possible.

If a request for solicitation by a representative of for-profit business has been denied by the Provost, there is no appeal.

4.4 Sanctions

  1. Unauthorized materials may be removed and discarded without notice.
  2. Failure to adhere to these regulations may lead to loss of posting privileges, conduct charges, fines for littering and/or legal proceedings.
  3. Modifying or altering approved postings may lead to loss of posting privileges, conduct charges, fines for littering and legal proceedings.
  4. Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.
  5. Violators may be asked to leave the premises, and may be denied future access to NOVA facilities.

5.0 Authority

VCCS Policy 6.5 Campus Conduct