The Texas A&M announced changes to “campus signage” in the university Standard Administrative Procedure (SAP) in a university-wide email.
This policy change states that students will not be allowed to draw any messages in chalk on any surface on campus. Previously, events and student organizations would advertise on the sidewalks of A&M’s campus, but the revised policy does not allow “chalking” any message whatsoever.
This email follows incidents on campus such as the writing of “Sully was a white supremacist” across the seal on Military Walk, referring to Lawrence Sullivan Ross, whose statue is in Academic Plaza, only yards away.
According to the email, some messages have been drawn in non-soluble materials such as aerosol spray and railroad chalk, which requires special maintenance to remove.
“Railroad chalk requires the use of power washing and increases financial costs to Texas A&M at an estimate of $100 per incident, including the cost of equipment and labor,” the announcement reads. “Monitoring the use of different types of chalk is labor and time intensive and cost prohibitive. During COVID-19 especially, the need to avoid diverting personnel from priority cleaning of classrooms and buildings is critical.”
It goes on to state that chalking is no longer necessary with the resources that students have today.
“When the signage protocol was originally released, chalking served as a key mechanism to help student groups communicate information on sidewalks and other campus surfaces regarding upcoming meetings and events,” the email read. “Given advances in social media and other technology tools and options, the need for chalking as a communications channel in 2020 is no longer as important for message distribution.”
This policy is effective immediately. Anyone who violates the new chalking protocol, will face appropriate disciplinary action, according to the announcement.
For more information on SAP policies visit https://rules-saps.tamu.edu/rules-saps-college-station/.