chalking for pete

Chalking on the Iowa State campus advertising an event for presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Aug. 26. Iowa State implemented a temporary chalking policy soon after.

A drafted chalking policy is being reviewed, which would implement fewer restrictions on chalking around Iowa State’s campus but permanently ban chalking from some areas.

The draft policy lays out what exactly is allowed to be chalked and where the chalking can and cannot occur in detail.

Last semester, the university implemented a temporary policy regarding the chalking, which limited what students are allowed to chalk. Within the policy, registered student organizations were the only groups allowed to chalk on campus.

Now, the proposed policy opens up chalking to anyone.

“Iowa State University recognizes that chalking of sidewalks is a way to announce programs, promote events, exchange opinions, share messages, and otherwise express ideas,” according to the policy. “This policy is designed to permit sidewalk chalking while also advancing important university interests, including but not limited to ensuring campus safety, safeguarding entrances and exits to and from university facilities, protecting university property and facilities, and maintaining the aesthetic appeal of campus.”

While chalking would be open to everyone, the policy also affects all students, affiliates, employees and visitors to Iowa State.

According to the policy, chalking is only allowed in water-soluble chalk, banning markers, paints, oil-based products, non-soluble products and spray chalks.

Additionally, the policy lays out that chalking is only permitted on horizontal sidewalks which are open to the elements, not being covered by a roof or ceiling, banning chalking on vertical surfaces and non-sidewalk surfaces. 

“Chalking that violates any federal or state law, the Iowa State University Student Disciplinary Regulations (Code of Conduct), or any other policy of Iowa State University as contained in the Iowa State University Policy Library is prohibited,” according to the policy.

The policy follows by banning chalking from certain areas on campus.

According to the policy, chalking is not allowed in any of the following areas: Within the Memorial Union Plaza and memorial space, within the historical quad space, within the Anderson Sculpture Garden, the George Washington Carver Plaza, the Knoll grounds and within “areas outside health care facilities including both stand-alone facilities and mixed-use facilities that are embedded within another facility, veterinary medicine facilities, a facility or outdoor area used by the institution’s athletics program or teams, or other outdoor areas where access is restricted to a majority of the campus community, see Iowa Code Chapter 261H.1(4).”

A drafted map is available within the policy, which highlights the areas that chalking would not be allowed at.

Feedback on the draft policy is being accepted through Wednesday with email questions and comments being sent to

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