Iowa State updates chalking policy


Courtesy of Jacob Badger

Chalk messages denouncing white supremacy and Rep. Steve King were crossed out in favor of messages supporting King. These messages come at the same time when fliers saying “It’s okay to be white” were found on campus in November 2018.

Lauren Ratliff

Students at Iowa State received an email from the Division of Student Affairs on Thursday regarding an interim policy change on campus chalkings.

The university is implementing a temporary policy regarding the chalkings effective Monday, which will limit what students are allowed to chalk. Registered student organizations will be the only groups allowed to chalk on campus.

Chalkings will be limited to the event title⁠ — which can be up to seven words long⁠ — as well as the time of the event, place and the registered student organization that is sponsoring it, according to the Iowa State policy. 

“Registered student organizations may chalk ONLY to publicize an upcoming event that is open to all students,” the policy states.

According to the policy, no student may erase, remove, modify or otherwise impair the legibility of any chalking.

This is the first time Iowa State has created a policy in accordance with specific limitations in regards to chalking. The policy library defines acceptable chalkings as “the marking of a sidewalk surface with chalk in order to publicize an upcoming event that is open to all students.”

The policy was implemented following an “escalating volume of chalking on campus in recent years,” according to an Inside Iowa State release.

The university reserves the right to remove any chalkings that do not meet the standards of the policy, according to the policy.

“Facilities planning and management staff will remove all chalking that doesn’t comply with the interim policy,” the policy states.

University administrators are planning to work with Student Government to establish a permanent policy regarding chalking, according to the Inside Iowa State release. The new policy mirrors the chalking policy at the University of Iowa.

The president’s office was asked for a statement regarding the policy change. The office declined a request for an interview on the issue.