Sidewalk Chalking Guidelines

WSU recognizes that chalking sidewalks is a way to announce programs, promote events, exchange opinions, share messages, or otherwise express ideas concerning political and social issues of public concern. 

These guidelines are designed to permit sidewalk chalking while also advancing important university interests. These include ensuring campus safety, safeguarding entrances and exits to and from university facilities, protecting university property and facilities, and maintaining the aesthetic appeal of campus. 

These guidelines apply to all university students, staff, faculty, affiliates, and visitors.


Chalking is limited to the use of water-soluble chalk (sidewalk chalk). 

The use of markers, paints, oil-based products, and non-soluble products is prohibited. 

The university will remove messages created with any prohibited material and the individual or group responsible will be billed. 

Chalking is allowed on horizontal surfaces where rain or natural elements will wash it off. Chalking is not allowed on vertical surfaces (e.g. buildings, walls, doors, poles, columns,) planters, trash receptacles, steps, benches, tables, signs, bus stops, light posts, and trees.

Chalking is prohibited from occurring under overhangs of buildings or any location that is not exposed to rain or natural elements.

Overwriting, erasing, defacing, or altering existing chalking is prohibited by anyone other than the person or organization who did the original chalking. This excludes university facility and grounds personnel, who are allowed to clean and wash sidewalks and other outdoor areas at any time over the course of their usual campus maintenance activities.

Chalking that violates any federal or state law, published Minnesota State policies, or WSU policies and regulations is prohibited.

All potential violations will be evaluated through the lens of U.S. Constitutional Free Speech principles and WSU’s Free Speech Value Statement to determine appropriateness.

Commercial solicitation, advertising, and sales— including through chalking—are not permitted on campus. 

Dr. Karen Johnson
Dean of Students

Kryzsko Commons 230

Email Dr. Johnson
Candice Guenther
Associate Director of Housing & Residence Life

Kryzsko Commons 230

Email Candice Guenther