4-OP-A-1 Commercial Solicitations

Responsible Executive: Finance and Administration

Approving Official: Vice President for Finance and Administration

Effective Date: September 26, 2014

Last Revision Date: January 1, 2014


  • Use of University Facilities (OP-B-10)


  • To specify the methods and responsibilities for commercial solicitation at Florida State University.


  • All solicitation activity on the University campus/premises must be approved by the Director of the Office of Business Services or his/her designee, except for the sale of newspapers in the residence hall and housing areas which are subject to the approval of the Director of Housing and certain approved activities sponsored by registered student organizations including but not limited to:
    • the sale or distribution of any product, merchandise, publication or service, whether for immediate or future delivery; or
    • the distribution or display of printed material, merchandise, or products that is designed to publicize, advertise, encourage the purchase, use of any property, product, merchandise, publication or service.
  • Approved solicitors will be issued a University Solicitor’s Permit that must be provided upon request by a University administrator and must be displayed prominently during the solicitation period. All approved solicitation must be appropriate for the university community, benefit the students, faculty, and staff, and be conducted in a manner that will not:
    • obstruct vehicular/pedestrian pathways or building entrances and exits;
    • interfere with University activities or operations;
    • violate a law, rule, regulation, or ordinance;
    • damage University property
    • harass, embarrass, or intimidate the person or persons being solicited;
    • violate an existing university agreement or contract.
  • The University campus shall be defined to include all properties and facilities under the guidance, supervision, regulation, and control of Florida State University. View the campus map to see campus boundaries.
    1. Commercial solicitation as used herein is the offering of goods and services for sale either by advertising or direct sale that result in financial gain to the salesperson, individual(s) or organization(s).
    2. Approved solicitation activities referred to in this section (unless noted) are permitted primarily in the area of the University Oglesby Union complex designated as the Union Courtyard, Union Green and Union Amphitheater. Approval for use of this area is contingent upon the Use of University Facilities policy. Any requests for exceptions to this these locations should be submitted to the Campus Event Services. Requests for tables and chairs in connection with any such activity should be made to the Union Guest Services Office.
    3. Persons violating this policy will be instructed to cease and desists solicitation activities immediately and will be asked to leave the University campus. The FSU Police Department may be contacted for those refusing to leave the premises and a no-trespass warning may be issued to the violators.
    1. All solicitors must have a University Solicitor's Permit, except students representing registered student organizations.
    2. All applicants requesting a permit must have in their possession a valid City of Tallahassee Solicitor's Permit. They must also have and furnish verifiable personal and company or organization identification for all persons who will be engaged in the requested activity.
    3. By requesting the opportunity for solicitation on the premises, an applicant warrants that it may lawfully sell or promote its product, service or idea and that such activity does not violate any law, and does not violate any trademark, copyright, or similar proprietary interest.
    4. The University Solicitor's Permit will contain, but not be limited to, the following information:
      1. Name of the company or organization including the contact information of the individuals representing the company or organization.
      2. Names of individuals representing the company or organization on campus.
      3. Type of Solicitation or nature of approved business.
      4. City of Tallahassee Solicitor's Permit.
      5. Location where permit is valid.
      6. Dates of issue and expiration of University Solicitor's Permit.
    5. Copies of the University's Solicitor's Permit are to be given to the individual responsible for the activity, who will ensure that each person engaged in soliciting has a copy. The original permit will be kept on file in the Office of Business Services.
    6. A processing fee may be assessed for a University Solicitor’s Permit. Any associated fees can be found at obs.fsu.edu
    7. Solicitors must adhere to requirements, policies, and procedures established by FSU.
    8. FSU is not responsible for any loss, theft, or damage to a solicitor’s equipment or goods. Solicitors are responsible for securing their property.
    1. Permits are to be obtained from the Office of Business Services at least seven (7) business days prior to the scheduling of the event. Such requests should be submitted in writing to the OBS Customer Service area at obs@fsu.edu for review and processing. The issuance of permits will be governed by the benefits to be gained by the university community. Copies of the permits are to be carried by each individual whose name appears on the permit and are engaged in the activity and will be presented to any University official upon request. Any issued permit is subject to cancellation at any time it is deemed in the best interest of the University. In the event a permit is canceled, all copies of the permit are to be surrendered to the Director of the Office of Business Services or his/her designee and soliciting by permit holders will cease.
    1. Credit Card vendors and solicitation is not allowed on the University campus.
    1. In recognition of the rights and freedom of student organizations at Florida State University, approved student groups are permitted to solicit for support or sell and distribute items as a project of that organization within the following limits and guidelines:
      1. No item is sold or advertised that is offered for sale in, or that is in competition with, any University contracted service or agency such as the Text Book & Computer Sales (FSU Bookstore), Food Services (Seminole Dining), Golf Services (Seminole Golf Course), Copier and Printing Services, Beverages, Bank Services, Laundry, retail stores located in the University Union, Information Technology Services/Telecommunications, without a University Permit granted by the Director of the Office of Business Services or his/her designee. Student Housing advertisement requests will be submitted to the Director of University Housing for review.
      2. Sponsoring and participating organizations must register the activity and arrange for space with the Campus Event Services.
      3. Sponsoring and participating organizations must comply with any Student Government Statutes affecting fund raising projects.
      4. Officers of any student organization sponsoring or participating in solicitations either on or off campus will assume full responsibility for adherence by participating students to all laws and regulations governing such activities.
    1. Items may not be sold that are offered for sale in, or that are in direct competition with, any University exclusive contracted area such as the FSU Bookstore or retail stores located in the University Oglesby Union.
    1. The posting or distribution of advertising materials will be limited to the permanent official bulletin boards or approved display racks of the University. Any requests for materials to be distributed on the University display racks should contact the Office of Business Services or its contracted vendor.
    2. Posting or otherwise affixing printed material or other items on of vehicles (i.e. flyering) will not be permitted by outside groups or organizations. The right to flyer vehicles is reserved for University officials for the purpose of disseminating information about University operations.
    3. Vendors or solicitors using Postal Services or its contracted vendor for student mailboxes must gain prior approval from the Office of Business Services as well as associated or sponsoring department, such as Personnel Services and must be approved by the appropriate office. Any request for materials on display racks will be forwarded by the Office of Business Services to its contracted partner.
    4. Business categories and advertisements may not: glorify, edify, promote or support the sale of alcohol and illegal drugs; display trademarks and or brand names of alcohol or illegal drug products; contain material that is obscene or defamatory; be directed to incite or produce imminent lawless action.
    1. Dependent upon space availability in areas specifically designated for such purposes, newsstands containing daily newspapers of general public circulation will be permitted. The Director of Housing must approve the placement of newsstands in the residence halls. The Director of the Office of Business Services, or his/her designee will authorize the placement of newsstands in other areas, provided they are contained in some type of distribution rack.
    1. Under no circumstances will door-to-door solicitation be allowed in any University facility. Door-to-door solicitation in University Housing will not be approved with the notable exception of Student Government Elections as outlined in the Guide to Residence Living and the Student Handbook.
    1. The Union Flea Market for individual students or student groups, staff members and non-students, is permitted one day per week for the sale of goods. Items may not be sold that are offered in or that are in competition with any university unit. No smoking items may be sold. Any person or organization wishing to sell goods at the Union Flea Market must make reservations for table space in the Guest Services Office. Registered FSU students are charged a fee of $5.00 per table. All other participants are charged a fee of $20.00 per table. Sponsoring and participating organizations must comply with any student government rules affecting fund raising profits.
    1. On occasion, traveling artisans wish to display work on the University campus. If the art is compatible with other programs offered by the University, these artisans will be invited to display and sell their goods on campus within the confines of the University Union. An agreement must first be made with the Student Campus Entertainment Office for the artisan to pay a fee of not less than 20% of gross sales.
    1. Nothing in this policy or its regulations is intended to infringe upon any constitutional or other legal rights regarding freedom of speech. This policy and regulations exist to ensure the privacy, safety, educational and work environment of campus occupants. Application of this policy and regulations will be neither arbitrary nor capricious, nor shall they be based on the political content of the solicitation. All constitutionally protected speech will be permitted within the reasonable time, place and manner parameters of this policy and regulations.
    1. Any soliciting, selling, collection of contributions, vending, or distribution of flyers, or other promotional/advertising materials on FSU’s property during Game Days without written approval by the Athletics Department (or their contracted vendor) is prohibited.