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ASA amends MIT poster policy to curb "pollution"

By Lakshmana Rao

and Karen Kaplan

The MIT poster policy was amended to allow only one poster per event at each bulletin board in any area of campus. It also authorizes parties affiliated with MIT to remove posters for events not affiliated with MIT. The amendments were made at the general body meeting of the Association of Student Activities at its Feb. 28 meeting.

The ASA amendments were necessary to reduce the "poster pollution" on campus, according Stephen D. Immerman, director of special services. "They follow extensive and lengthy discussions that were held at the ASA over a period of 16 months," he added.

ASA President Kathleen Mahoney '92 added that after the trial period for the original poster policy ended, the ASA found that "it needed some modifications, so we modified it accordingly."

In a memorandum issued to all student groups, Mahoney mentioned that the policy is student-enforced. This means that students are encouraged to tear down any posters that are violating the stated policy. "The ASA has decided not to enforce a punitive action to violators and expected the self-policing by the students to be effective," Immerman said.

However, the Undergraduate Association Council passed a resolution at its March 21 meeting to give the UA ExecBoard authority to withdraw funds from ASA-recognized activities that violate the poster policy, according to UA Floor Leader Hans C. Godfrey '93.

If the ASA ExecBoard receives three written complaints about a group violating the policy, it will give the case to the UA ExecBoard, which will then decide whether to restrict the activity's funding. "The UA ExecBoard says that the poster policy was being violated, and that there needed to be some sort of check on student groups," Godfrey said.

The poster policy continues to forbid the placement of posters, flyers, or other announcements on any wall, door, window, pillar or other spaces besides the designated bulletin boards. "The Physical Plant has been instructed to tear down any posters in these non-designated areas at any time of the day," said Immerman.

Bulletin boards will continue to be completely cleared by the Physical Plant on Thursday nights and Monday mornings of each week.

Extra bulletin space created

"More than 1000 square feet of bulletin space was created over the past one year along the main corridors of MIT in response to requests for more postering space," Immerman said.

"We are also considering specialized areas for rides, roommate advertisements and for furniture exchange services. The final details regarding these specialized areas are expected to be finalized sometime this year," Immerman added.

The memorandum from Mahoney encouraged the students to use other ways of advertising of student events such as the UA Today, the TechInfo electronic bulletin board and the MIT Cable television, in addition to the posters on bulletin boards.