Sidewalk-chalk advertising helps spread word

Students promoting their latest on-campus event might want to think twice about using chalk or colorful paper to get the word out.University officials are charging Campus Crusade for Christ for the cost of cleaning up its sidewalk-chalk advertisements for last week’s AFTERdark ministry series.

According to the 2005-2006 Student Handbook, marking or taping signs on buildings, sidewalks or tree surfaces is not permitted.

Shawn Wagner, reservations coordinator with Campus Life, said students can be fined for breaking this policy in the area immediately surrounding the Student Center, but said the charges are rarely enforced.

Both Wagner and Larry Markley, director of the Student Center, said different policies on campus advertising exist for the Student Center area and the rest of campus. Michael Russell, associate dean for Campus Life, did not return phone calls by time of publication to elaborate on the different policies.

Physical Plant workers contact student organization representatives when they find sidewalk-chalk advertisements. The students are given until noon to clean up their mess. If cleanup is still required, the Physical Plant or an off-campus cleaning crew finishes the job.

The student organization is then billed the invoice, which includes the total cost of hourly labor at $25 an hour.

Markley said the cleanup requires pulling up flyers and using a high-powered sprayer to remove chalk residue.

Although it rarely happens, student organizations should never be charged for sidewalk-chalk advertisements. As long as flyers and ads are in good taste, the university should allow students to promote on-campus and campus-related events while still encouraging students to clean up after themselves when the event is over.

Since the myTCU Announce e-mail gets a one-way ticket to the deleted box, the most effective way to inform students about upcoming events is when they’re staring at their feet, shuffling to class.

TCU should re-evaluate its policies on student event promotion and advertising.

News editor John-Laurent Tronche for the editorial board