It will not be a banner year for student groups. The offices of Student Life and of Physical Plant have united to stiffen policies prohibiting hanging banners on trees, bushes, or light posts because of aesthetic, ecological, and economic concerns. The new policy, which goes into effect this week, mandates that student groups wishing to advertise on Locust Walk must use special poles attached to side rails to hang their banners. The groups must pay a $20 security deposit to obtain the poles. Physical Plant will cut down and remove banners hung on trees or on light poles. Performing arts group leaders said last night that the new policy will wreak havoc on their outdoor ticket booths. They said there are no supports to hang signs on the section of Locust Walk between Annenberg Plaza and Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, where they usually sell their tickets. The new policy will force them to advertise their shows at great distances from the tables they set up, they said. But Albert Moore, assistant director of student life activities and facilities, said the policy is necessary to prevent further damage to the trees, bushes and light posts. "Over a period of time, the sockets come loose and they are not effective anymore," Moore said. "[The policy will] save the University as a whole a lot of money." Pat Pancoast, who manages facility services for Physical Plant, said yesterday that although students have hung banners from trees or light posts for several years, it has been expressly forbidden under University policy. Pancoast said that since last spring, Physical Plant workers have cut down banners because both the trees and the poles were damaged when the wind blew. According to Moore, the old policy prohibited all banners from being hung on campus except across streets. But he said that the banners were hung all over anyway. "Last year, I actually saw a banner tied around a bunch of daffodils," Moore added. "There's no use having an area landscaped if its going to be destroyed by someone hanging a banner." Lisa Goldsmith, who is in charge of publicity for Theater Arts Program's The Tempest, said that the new policy will be a hassle, especially when more performing arts groups start selling tickets. Goldsmith said that Physical Plant came to her table in front of Annenberg Plaza yesterday morning to tear down the groups' banner. She said Physical Plant workers told her that she could hang her sign, but only if she went to the Office of Student Life and paid the $20 security deposit fee for the poles. "Not everyone is walking around with $20 with their pocket," Goldsmith said last night. "The whole thing is that we had our banner next to our table and now we can't do it." Performing Arts Council member David Simon said last night that though he agrees with the reasons for hanging banners on support poles, the lack of places to hang banners in front of the plaza will cause friction between arts groups over where they hang their banner. He added that the rule will also diminish the banners' effectiveness. "For the next couple of weeks it won't be a problem," the College senior said. "But in a few weeks, we will have four or five groups in that little square between Wharton and Annenberg." Simon predicted that performing arts groups will continue to sell tickets in the area but that passers-by will have a more difficult time identifying the group. "People are going to see a banner that's 30 feet away from the ticket place," Simon said. Moore said banners could not be hung in front of the Annenberg Plaza because there are no siderails on which to put the support poles. "There are no trip rails around the corners," Moore said. "We tried to come up with the least expensive and most practical way to do this." The new banner policy is the result of meetings last spring between Moore, Physical Plant administrators, last year's Senior Class Board and members of the Student Activities Council.Comments powered by Disqus
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