University Center


  • University Center
    Fax: 202-885-1534
    Mary Graydon, Room 274

    Elmore, Michael
    Senior Director, University Center & Student Activities

Mailing Address

Chalking Guidelines

UC Chalking

At American University, student organizations and campus program are free to chalk on outdoor surfaces according to the guidelines listed below.  These guidelines are created to accommodate the free exchange of ideas and the promotion of campus programs or events while balancing the needs of the campus to care for the facilities and grounds throughout the academic year.

The content of all chalking should be consistent with the Student Code of Conduct and the Freedom of Expression Guidelines, as found in the American University Student Handbook.

Hand-held blackboard or sidewalk chalk is the only material approved for chalking.  The use of spray chalk or chemicals to enhance the advertisement is also prohibited. Permission to use any other material for these purposes must be pre-approved in writing by the Physical Plant.  Other material used without this permission could result in reimbursement charges to the host group, department, or individual responsible for the chalking.

Permission to chalk on approved surfaces is not needed. Permission from the Physical Plant is needed to use materials other than hand-held blackboard or sidewalk chalk.

Chalking may be applied to asphalt and concrete roadways, sidewalks, and pathways on AU property.

Chalking may not be applied to:

  • stairs or stairwells
  • landings above ground level 
  • raised walkways 
  • building walls, windows, doors, or roofs 
  • benches 
  • slate surfaces 
  • plants or trees 
  • campus sculptures, artwork, or memorials

Generally, sidewalk chalk will be left to the natural elements for removal.  However, AU reserves the right, at its own discretion, to remove any chalking at any time.