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Promoting and Marketing Events / Guidelines for Banners, Posters, and Printed Announcements / Promotional T-shirts and Merchandise

The most effective approach to publicizing a program is to use a variety of complementary methods. Each group should carefully evaluate current methods, as well as new, creative approaches to obtain the highest response. The following guidelines can assist you in developing a comprehensive marketing strategy.

  • When publicizing an event, think about who your target audience is and what you want to tell them. When should you begin publicity? Teasers are effective when you start publicizing early. Publicity should start as early as possible and recur frequently. Publicity should increase a few days before your event.
  • Posters and flyers are great ways to promote your event and the Office of Student Activities provides you with free poster making materials in Sarratt’s Poster Room. Please refer on page 14 to the Posting Guidelines and Policies to find out ideal advertising locations and their accompanying policies. Contact the Sarratt Information Desk (322-2425) for access to the Poster Room and any additional information.
  • Submit events to the University Calendar. Go on-line to http://calendar.vanderbilt.edu. Simply click on the “submit An Event” link, and fill out an on-line form. The University Calendar is free and open to any student organization to submit event information. Call 343-6887, or e-mail university-calendar@vanderbilt.edu for more details or for help submitting.
  • Submit event and regular meeting dates to the Mortar Board Calendar in April. Call 343-3200.
  • Call the News Service at 322-2706; they frequently will publicize newsworthy events to local media.
  • Use the Vanderbilt Hustler. Ads are also available in all sizes. Call the Hustler at 322-7347 for rate information. Deadlines are one issue in advance, i.e., Tuesday for the Friday edition, and Friday for the Tuesday edition. They expect you to provide an internal requisition form (“1180”) when you place an order. The Hustler can create ads for you, but also accepts camera-ready art on disk, which helps to assure accuracy.
  • InnerVU submissions must be sent plain-text by email. Whenever possible, organizers should list events in the University Calendar prior to submission, and provide a link in the email/ad. Deadline for submission of ads is noon on the Monday prior to the date of publication.  An ad will be published a maximum of two times. InnerVU submissions must include the title, time, date, and location of the event with a brief description. The submission must include the name of the sponsoring student organization or department as well as contact name and e-mail address, web address or phone number.  Inner VU reserves the right to not publish ads that do not follow these guidelines.  For more information, please contact  Clay Cline at 322-1776 or innervu@vanderbilt.edu
  • Vanderbilt Register. Contact the Register at 343-3211 or skip.anderson@vanderbilt.edu.
  • Table-toppers can be displayed in Rand or the Overcup Oak, subject to the approval of Dining Services. Contact Dining Services at 2-1877 or 2-2999 for size specification and policy, or visit their website at vanderbilt.edu/dining/tabletents.html.
  • Word of mouth is a very efficient way to advertise. Announce events at organizational meetings, Greek houses, etc.
  • Other ideas. Personal invitations, buttons, balloons, announcements before classes, etc. Contact the Office of Trademark Licensing (343-7292) for a list of local licensed vendors to assist you with your orders.
  • Prohibited areas: Students may not hang posters, flyers, or banners on the pedestrian bridge on 21st Avenue. Students may not use chalk on sidewalks, buildings, walkways, stairs, or streets on campus.

T-shirts and Other Giveaways

Office of Trademark Licensing

Student organizations wishing to use Vanderbilt University’s marks on t-shirts or other giveaways must follow the University’s Trademark Licensing Policy:

1. Use a Licensed Vendor. For a list of local vendors, please visit www.vanderbilt.edu/licensing and click on “Local Vendor List.”

2. Obtain Official University Logos and Wordmarks. Please visit www.vanderbilt.edu/licensing to view the approved merchandise and official logos for the University. If you need electronic artwork, please send your request to maggie.huckaba@vanderbilt.edu. Vanderbilt University marks should be used within the following guidelines:

• The logos should not be altered in any fashion

• The logos should have the proper trademark symbols (e.g., Vanderbilt®, V arch, Vanderbilt logo®)

3. Submit Design for Approval. All designs should be sent to the Office of Trademark Licensing before manufacturing can begin. Please visit www.vanderbilt.edu/licensing to download the “Art Approval Form.” Send this along with your design to the Trademark Licensing office. Upon approval, the design and art approval from will be forwarded to your chosen licensed vendor and production can begin.
Vanderbilt University will not approve the use of its name or marks to promote the following:

• Tobacco
• Alcohol
• Controlled substances
• Sexually suggestive or oriented products
• Games of chance
• Religious products
• Endorsement of political candidate

For more information, please visit www.vanderbilt.edu/licensing or contact Mary Ann Daniel at 322-4461.

Dean of Students Calendar

The Dean of Students Calendar is a primary resource for finding student events at Vanderbilt. We encourage students to enter events by going to www.vanderbilt.edu/deanofstudents/calendar/tutorial/enter.html. Once your event is submitted and approved, it will appear on the Dean of Students Calendar as well as the University Calendar.

The calendar is organized with a three-level hierarchy:

1. The top level displays all events.

2. The second level displays all Student Organization events.

3. The third level displays events from student organization categories, such as Panhellenic Sorority, Sports Clubs, and Academic Majors.

To see the main Dean of Students Calendar, go to the Dean of Students homepage (www.vanderbilt.edu/deanofstudents) and click on the link for “Event Calendar.”

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Posting Guidelines and Policies

Sarratt Student Center and Student Life Center
It is the goal of Sarratt Student Center and the Student Life Center to provide a venue for student groups and Vander-bilt departments to promote events and happenings on the Vanderbilt Campus. We have developed a group of policies designed to promote a fair and equitable use of space within Sarratt and the Student Life Center. Should you have questions about the policies please Student Activities at 322-2471

1. All postings must be approved and stamped at the following locations: Sarratt Student Center Information Desk or Student Life Center Front Desk.

2. Any posting not endorsed with a date stamp from the Sarratt Student Center Information Desk or Student Life Center Front Desk will be removed.

3. Approved postings include those from student organizations or university departments for programs benefiting the Vanderbilt community. No commercial materials may be posted in the student centers.

4. All posting must identify the event, the event sponsor, and the time and date of the event.

5. Posting is only permitted on bulletin boards within the Sarratt Student Center and Student Life Center. No posting is permitted on any painted surface, glass surface (including mirrors), door, or windows.

6. Maximum number of posters for each area is limited to one of the following:
• Two (2) 8.5” X 11” OR
• One (1) up to 11” X 17” OR
• One (1) large poster (no larger than
2’ X 3’).

7. Only thumbtacks are permitted on the bulletin boards – no staples, tape, or sticky tack please.

8. Please be respectful of one another in the posting process. Please do not cover other’s flyers; if there are old postings on the board, groups may remove them to hang new ones.

9. Posting is permitted beginning 2 weeks prior to the event date unless specifically approved by the facility staff.

10. All postings must be removed by the sponsoring organization no longer than two days after the event. All postings not removed by the organization or department will be removed by the facility staff.

11. If an organization or group continually violates the posting policy, it may lose the privilege of posting in Sarratt and may incur further sanctions through the Office of Student Activities.

12. Only approved banners may be hung on the outside of Sarratt
• Please stop by the Sarratt Student Center Information Desk or 207 Sarratt (Student Activities) for the complete Banner policy.

13. Bulletin boards are located in the following areas:
Sarratt Student Center
• Bulletin Board 1 – on the 1st floor, outside of room 116.
• Bulletin Board 2 – on the 3rd floor, between the East and West wings.
• Bulletin Board 3 – on 3 upper, outside of the Overcup Oak on the landing.
• Bulletin Board 4 – on 3 upper, just inside the Overcup Oak doors.

Student Life Center
• Bulletin Board 1,2,3 – on the 1st floor, outside of Board of Trust room.
We appreciate your respect and support of this policy. Any questions or concerns may be directed in person to Sarratt 207 or by phone at 322-2471.

Sarratt Center Poster Room Guidelines

  • An individual or group must sign in at the Sarratt Welcome Desk before using the poster room.
  • The building manager will escort the individual or group upstairs to the Poster Room – located on the 3rd floor in the East Wing – and unlock the door.
  • The individual or group is responsible to maintain the order and cleanliness of the poster room.
  • Please refrain from writing on the walls and ceiling tiles.
  • Please put away supplies in an orderly fashion and throw away the trash.
  • Please only use the poster room and not the carpet outside the poster room or the tables in the meeting room next door.
  • Anyone, not with your group, who wishes to use the poster room, needs to come downstairs to the Sarratt Welcome Desk and sign in.
  • After the individual or group is finished with the poster room, they must come downstairs and sign out.

If an individual or group has misused the poster room, their approval to use it again will be forfeited.
If you have any questions, please contact the Sarratt Welcome Desk at 322-2425 or the Asst. Director at 322-3798.

Distribution of Printed Announcements by Campus Mail
Registered student organizations may use the campus mail service without paying postage. Items must have four straight sides and be no smaller than a post card and no larger than a 9″ x 12″ envelope.
Unaddressed notices, leaflets, pamphlets, and heavy packages will not be distributed through campus mailboxes.

Authorization for the limited distribution of unaddressed mail may be granted for the activities of governmental and other organizations that have a broad public purpose, provided the exception is not simply for the purpose of advertising an event or party. Groups seeking such authorization should apply five days in advance to the supervisor of the Station B Post Office. Mailings of more than 25 pieces must be arranged by box number in numerical order. All campus mailings of 250 pieces or more should be in Station B one week before the expected delivery date to ensure timely receipt.

Carmichael Towers Tunnel Publicity Policy
The tunnel that connects Carmichael Towers East and West running underneath 24th Avenue South is a popular way for student groups to advertise their organizations, programs, activities and events by painting areas with publicity. In an effort to maintain the tunnel as a walkway and provide as many organizations as possible the ability to advertise in the tunnel, the Office of Housing and Residential Education through the Assistant Director of Carmichael Towers West must approve all advertisements.

Generally students or groups of students who wish to advertise in the tunnel must contact the Assistant Director of Carmichael Towers West no later than three business days before they wish to advertise. Since there are numerous groups who wish to use this form of advertisement it is suggested that groups reserve space early. However, reservations will be taken no more than two months in advance.

Student groups may obtain applications at the Towers West Front Desk or by contacting the Office of Housing and Residential Education at 322-2591 (see Forms for sample application).

Posting in Campus Facilities
The following is a checklist of University regulations with reference to the posting of notices on University bulletin boards and similar facilities. All such policies are set forth and explained in the Student Handbook. In the following list, the word “poster” is used to denote any type of notice, including banners and flyers.

1. Posters must provide information regarding student activities. Give information of an academic nature, or make announcements pertinent to the business of the University.

2. Posters must carry the name and telephone number of the responsible campus organization, department, or person.

3. Students who wish to act as the on-campus agent of any commercial enterprise must receive prior authorization for such activity from the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Housing and Residential Education.

4. Commercial advertising matter unrelated to the University is prohibited unless specially authorized.

5. Members of the University community who wish to advertise special services to students (such as typesetting or sale of books) may post small notices on University bulletin boards without authorization.

6. The use of tape and nails on the Vanderbilt University campus to attach posters to anything is prohibited. Staples may only be used on bulletin boards. Thumbtacks may be used to attach posters to bulletin boards and kiosks. Posters may not be affixed to windows or doors. Posters must be tied to tree trunks with string; staples, nails, and thumbtacks are forbidden. Stakes bearing signs may not be driven into the ground.

7. Chartered student organizations and University departments and offices may post notices on bulletin boards in University residence halls, without specific authorization. However, students who represent private enterprises must have specific authorization for such postings.


9. Posters, and the string used to attach them, must be removed within three days after the event advertised.

10. Residence Hall Lobbies: Special displays may be allowed in residence hall lobbies with the authorization of the appropriate Assistant Director, and at her or his discretion with regard to appropriateness. Such displays must be removed immediately after the event.

Failures to abide by any of these policies will result in all posters being removed from the campus and the offending persons charged for the removal. Loss of the use of Univer-sity facilities and the privilege of posting notices will also result. Individuals as well as organizations are subject to disciplinary action.

Residence Hall Campaigning

Residence hall campaigning is permitted for Vanderbilt Student Government, Honor Council, and Outstanding Senior elections, only (i.e., those with campus-wide or specific residential-unit interest). Room-to-room solicitation or campaigning is specifically prohibited. As a practical matter, campus-wide elections generate more posters than can be accommodated on residential bulletin boards. Students running for office may post two flyers per bulletin board in residences, but may not cover or remove flyers already in place. Posters larger than 11″ x 17″ in size are prohibited. The internal and external use of residential windows, doors, walls, and bathroom stalls is prohibited. Candidates are responsible for removing flyers within 48 hours of the conclusion of an election.


In the lobbies of certain residences, it is appropriate to hang banners of campus-wide interest. In these lobbies, candidates running for campus-wide offices may hang banners limited to three (3) feet in width and five (5) feet in length. Candidates wishing to hang banners in residential lobbies must contact the appropriate Area Coordinator for authorization and guidance. Candidates may reach appropriate Area Coordinator by calling the Office of Housing and Residential Education at 615-32(2-2591).