The land of bans: Check out MSU's prohibited list
The MSU Board of Trustees make many policy decisions on behalf of the university, some of which involve limiting or banning certain behaviors or the use of certain items. Here are a few of the things, according to the Board of Trustees website’s list of ordinances, you won’t be able to enjoy while on campus.
Unless they don’t catch you, of course.
The MSU Board of Trustees passed a tobacco-free campus ordinance in 2015 which was enacted in August of 2016. The ban applies to all forms of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaporizers. The ban is in effect at all MSU sites, even those not located in East Lansing.
After the “hoverboard” trend started sweeping into campus, MSU took a precautionary step in banning the motorized boards, citing a potential fire hazard. No fires caused by hoverboards were reported on campus, but MSU cited fires popping up across the country as the reason for the ban.
“We didn’t want to wait until there was an incident,” MSU spokesperson Jason Cody told The State News in March.
MSU moved to ban hanging whiteboards on dorm room doors in February, blaming a rise in bullying incidents. The ban was controversial and even reached national attention. Some claimed a breach of First Amendment rights, but the university stood firm on the ban.
Though it was once a pastime for MSU students (there’s even a Hammocking Club of MSU), hammocking has seen a crackdown. While hammocking itself is not banned by name, the practice is prevented by an MSU ordinance which forbids students to “damage or mutilate” trees.
Camping is barred on campus except during University-sanctioned activities which require it. Also included in the camping ban is the use of a “motor vehicle, motor home, or trailer for the apparent purpose of overnight occupancy.” So, on university grounds, you cannot sleep in your car.
No animals are allowed on campus without a leash. No animals can enter a building or ride a university bus or go in animal restricted areas such as the Beal Botanical Gardens. There are exceptions for medical needs, veterinary services, university sanctioned events and police duties.
No Selling or Signage
No person can sell anything or advertise for anything on university grounds without a permit. Posters advertising for things or erected structures for the use of advertising are not allowed either unless they are on personal property. No signage is allowed to be attached to any MSU sign or building and can only be done so on a university bulletin board.
MSU does not allow anyone 16 years of age or younger on university governed grounds between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. unless they are accompanied by a guardian, on guardian-sanctioned business or with someone sanctioned by a parent or guardian.
If you’re 17 or older and encourage a person 16 years of age or younger to violate the ordinance, you too can be found in violation.
Swearing on the phone
During phone conversations, computer conversations or other electronic communications you cannot use “threatening, vulgar, indecent, or obscene language” — at least with malicious intent. Also included in the ordinance are a ban on prank calls to emergency services and repeated harassing phone calls to other people.
Fishing is only allowed on campus along the north bank of the Red Cedar River when permitted by the Secretary of the Board of Trustees. No motorboats are allowed in the Red Cedar except when permitted by the Police Chief and Director of Public Safety.
This story appears in The State News 2017 Welcome Week Edition. The issue can be found on MSU's campus at various dorms and buildings. To read other Welcome Week stories, click here.