Can You Post Inspirational Post-its at Your College?
February 27, 2013
An uplifting story comes to us today from Tyler Kingkade of The Huffington Post, who reports that one Rutgers University student is using his First Amendment rights to spread inspiration around campus:
For the past several months, Rutgers University sophomore Dan Munoz has left behind hundreds of Post-it notes with inspirational quotes on campus.
As the notes began gaining popularity, the Daily Targum reports Munoz added a social media component at the suggestion of classmates, and now runs Tumblr and Twitter accounts to compliment his guerrilla project.
Rutgers Today has a video interview with Munoz as well:
Munoz is trying to add some positivity to life on Rutgers' campus, and more power to him. He also says that people on other campuses, like that of New York University (NYU), have contacted him and want to copy his project, "RU Post-it Anonymous." But those with plans to inspire others on their own campuses through Post-its should beware: They may run afoul of campus speech codes.
For instance, at George Mason University, Munoz would be forbidden to leave anonymous Post-its anywhere on campus. The university's Poster Posting Policy (try saying that five times fast) states: "No information or advertising will be posted that is inconsistent with the educational mission of the University or that has not received prior authorization in accordance with this policy." An inspiring quote certainly is a form of "information." So unless your uplifting notes have been vetted and approved ahead of time by government employees (George Mason is a public university), you can just forget about random Post-it-based acts of kindness anywhere on campus.
Yet George Mason is hardly alone in having such policies. Is Post-it inspiration outlawed at your school? Visit FIRE's Spotlight database of campus speech codes and find out!