Publicity and Solicitation

Distribution of Printed Matter

Distribution of printed matter in the Houses, dormitories, Annenberg Hall, or on Harvard property must be approved by the Office of Student Life. The Faculty Deans and the Dean of Freshmen have the right to regulate the time, place, and manner of distribution in their areas. In each of the above cases, permission to distribute printed matter may be granted upon application to the Office of Student Life. Student groups may also wish to use the distribution services of Harvard Student Agencies. For distribution of materials outdoors, all ISOs must register with the Office of Student Life.

Should a group of students that is not a recognized independent student organization or sponsored student organization wish to distribute printed matter on campus, permission to do so may be granted by the Office of Student Life upon submission of a petition signed by ten enrolled undergraduates. Distribution cannot occur until approval has been made explicit.


Posters may be placed only on bulletin boards and kiosks and not on doors, fences, entry posts, gates, poles, waste containers, sidewalks, or other similar places. Organizations violating these rules may be fined up to $200 per daily violation and may lose postering privileges by the College. The defacement of sidewalks or buildings with posters, chalk, or any other material is prohibited.

  • Every recognized ISO in good standing with the College, including official House organizations, has the privilege of posting on University bulletin boards and kiosks.
  • “Restricted” bulletin boards (inside classrooms or buildings) are limited to the use of designated departments or organizations. The official representative of the respective department or organization must approve use of these bulletin boards.
  • Prior permission of the Office of Student Life is required for posters larger than 11” x 17”. Posters are removed from bulletin boards and kiosks every Monday and Thursday, staffing and weather permitting.
  • Unrecognized student organizations must obtain prior permission of the Office of Student Life to post on University bulletin boards and kiosks and such permission will be granted only in exceptional cases.
  • The bottom right-hand corner of all posters must clearly denote the ISO's official name and include details on accessibility. For more information, please visit the Office of Student Life webpage regarding accessibility considerations.
  • It is against City of Cambridge ordinances to affix posters and notices to utility poles.


Student organizations are prohibited from advertising events by use of balloons in Harvard Yard. In rare circumstances, permission may be granted by the Office of Student Life.


Solicitation in University buildings and on University property must have prior approval of the proper authority. Permission for each of the following activities must be obtained from the indicated office:

  • Sales of subscriptions to recognized publications, sales of tickets to functions given by recognized ISOs, and sales of recordings of recognized ISOs (provided all such sales are conducted in the immediate vicinity of College Dining Halls, Sanders Theatre, or by the Science Center): the Office of Student Life.
  • All other sales: Director of Student Employment and the Office of Student Life.
  • All solicitation and canvassing must be carried out between the hours of 9 am and 9:30 pm on weekdays only. Exceptions may be granted by the Office of Student Life.
  • The Dean of Freshmen or Faculty Deans may deny permission to carry on the above in their dormitories or Houses.
  • Permission of the Office of Student Life must be obtained in order to solicit prior to the first day of classes.