ASG considering code change to prohibit ground flyering


Allie Goulding/Daily Senior Staffer

Parth Lalkiya, ASG vice president for B-status finances, speaks during Senate on Wednesday. ASG is expected to vote on a code change which would limit publicity funding for student groups who advertise using ground flyers.

Kristina Karisch, Web Editor

Northwestern’s campus boasts scenic landmarks like the Lakefill, The Arch and University Hall, but one can’t help being distracted by the copious amount of flyers student organizations tape on the ground.

Parth Lalkiya, Associated Student Government’s vice president for B-status finances, said the flyers “tarnish” sidewalks and receive negative comments during campus tours. In addition, Lalkiya said the flyers are an outdated, environmentally unsustainable way for groups to reach out to students about speakers and events.

“I feel like the internet is taking over ads right now, and that it’s the best way student groups can communicate to a lot of students,” he said. “Ground flyering is just something that’s become antiquated and no one pays attention to anymore.”

ASG senators discussed Wednesday a code change, which would limit publicity funding for student groups that advertise using ground flyers, with the end goal of eliminating the practice across campus.

NU currently allows ground flyering in certain areas on campus, but requires that student groups remove flyers within five days of the end of the event. However, the code change states that flyers are often posted outside designated areas, and are rarely removed after events, leaving the job to Facilities Management.

If enacted, the code change — which was tabled at Wednesday’s meeting — would be tested in Winter Quarter 2018 and become effective in spring.

Vice president for sustainability Katie Mansur said ASG will not revoke funding from student groups that continue to post flyers on the ground in the winter, but ASG members will reach out to those organizations to explain alternative advertising options.

Mansur added that the proposed code change will put a means of “real enforcement” behind legislation first introduced in 2014, when ASG banned ground flyering for its own events and called for a campus-wide end to the practice. Now, Mansur said ASG members are educating student groups about sustainable advertising.

Other options include the new banner printer in SOURCE, social media and TVs in campus buildings, according to the code change.

Pending the code change’s approval, B-status student groups found in violation of the policy will not receive publicity funding for the following quarter. ASG may also withdraw publicity funding from an A-status group’s account if it violates the policy.

Lalkiya said he is confident the code change will be approved at the next Senate. He said other ASG members have been supportive of the proposed policy.

ASG President Nehaarika Mulukutla said the proposal is part of a broader effort toward a unified campus that promotes sustainability. She said pushback from some student groups is expected, but that NU should still prioritize the health of the environment, especially in terms of advertising.

“Student group culture and students’ events are such a large part of our Northwestern culture,” Mulukutla said. “The methodologies that (student groups) choose to use for advertising should be in line with the greater methodology that we use to uphold values as a school.”

Maddie Burakoff contributed reporting.

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