Chalking Policy

Approved by: Office of Student Affairs

History:  Amended: 2012 | Amended: 8/2017 | Amended: 8/2020

Related Policies: Student Code of Conduct and Community Expectations

Related Forms, Procedures, and References: please contact the Office of Student Affairs for a Chalking Form

For Questions Contact: Office of Student Affairs | 651.690.6778 |

Purpose: Provide a more effective way to express ideas and opinions by being more specific with the university community about when and where chalking is allowed. By providing a space for chalking we hope to preserve the central tenant of our academic community — open and free exchange of ideas. It is our intention to treat this policy as a work in progress and we encourage community feedback on this policy.

Chalking is Allowed

Officially recognized St. Catherine student organizations, departments, individuals (student, faculty, or staff) can register to chalk. The university designates the sidewalks immediately to the north of Coeur de Catherine, bordered on the north by the Quad, on the west by Chapel House, on the east by Fontbonne Hall, and on the south by Coeur de Catherine.

NO chalking is allowed on steps or non-sidewalk surfaces, any building, or any other university property. All other chalkings will be washed immediately at the expense of the individual(s) responsible for the chalking. No individual or groups external to the university are allowed to chalk. Sponsoring of external groups is not allowed.

Content of Chalking

Approval of the content of chalking is not required. It is expected that all chalking will be consistent with university policy. Chalking must not include hateful or derogatory messages or symbols. If elements of the chalking represent a message(s) that violate university policy (e.g., negatively targeting individuals or groups of people with the appearance of intending to inflict physical or psychological harm) the chalking will be immediately washed by the university at the expense of the individual(s) responsible. Formal action may be taken by the university through the Student Code of Conduct. All chalk must be removed within one week of the first day the chalking is visible. Students or student groups are responsible for removing chalking and can request to have Environmental Services remove the chalking for a charge.

Counter-chalking NOT allowed

After the chalking is complete, the college will make a reasonable effort to prevent "counter-chalking". Counter-chalking is defined as chalking that occurs either directly on original chalking or in proximity to original chalking and represents an opposing viewpoint. The college respects and defends the right of all individuals or groups to express opposing viewpoints and therefore encourages those who oppose chalking messages to express their views at the corresponding Listening Table, Community Forums, or by contacting the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Academic Affairs or other offices as appropriate. The university community does not tolerate behavior that discriminates on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, creed, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, membership, or activity in state or local commission, and sex in educational policies, programs, and services.

Register to Chalk

To register the chalking space, complete a "Request to Chalk" form, which can be received from the Office of Student Affairs, and submit the form to the Office of Student Affairs no less than one week before the requested date of chalking. The request will be approved or denied within two working days by the Office of Student Affairs. 

Listening Table Required

(Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tabling expectations and requirements will depend upon the public health conditions at the time of the requested chalking). An approved request to chalk might be required to be accompanied by a Listening Table the day before the chalking and/or the first day the chalking is visible continuing for three days between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The sponsoring individual or student organization is responsible for staffing any required Listening Table. Faculty, staff, and students not affiliated with the chalking are all welcome to attend the Listening Table and/or be at the Listening Table on behalf of the sponsoring organization. As a part of a Listening Table, information on resources for where community members can go to further discuss ideas and concerns must be made available to members of the community. The purpose of the Listening Table is to provide a consistent and respectful forum for students to engage the St. Catherine community in discussion about the purpose and content of the chalking. The sponsoring individual or student organization is responsible for reserving the Listening Table through Student Center Activities Office, Room 270 Coeur de Catherine. All questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs, located at 306 Derham Hall. (651)-690-6778, or via email at