Business and Commercial Activities on Campus

Policy Information
Policy TitleBusiness and Commercial Activities on Campus
Responsible OfficeDirector of Procurement
Policy TypeBusiness Affairs
Policy Number203
Last Revision Date10/6/2023

 In accordance with SUNY Administrative Policy 5605:

"It is the policy of the State University of New York (University) that no authorization will be given to private commercial enterprises to operate on University campuses or in facilities furnished by the University other than to provide for food, legal beverages, campus bookstore, vending, linen supply, laundry, dry cleaning, banking, barber and beautician services, and cultural events."

(For more information, see

Approval for authorized activities in the University Union must be obtained in advance from the office of the Director of the University Union. Approval for the use of other University facilities by organizations or individuals for commercial purposes, or the establishment on campus of any business activity or enterprise which may be authorized, must be obtained in advance in writing from the Director of Procurement. This includes all activities which involve the promotion of the sale of goods or services on campus. ____________________________________________________________________________________


There are only three methods of access for commercial advertising :

  1. University publications that allow advertising. In addition, athletic programs, student organizations publications, University event programs for music, theatre, or sports events all may be utilized.
  2. University bulletin boards. All of these requests must be directed to the Director of the University Union.
  3. Campus Mail Service. Un-addressed advertising may be placed in the boxes of all students with on-campus mailboxes, and in department mail drops, by mail service employees. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will advertising be allowed which promotes unsafe alcohol use or which is deemed inappropriate for the publication’s audience.

The distribution of newspapers which convey a point of view in the public areas of a SUNY campus is protected by the First Amendment. Public areas include streets and sidewalks but not areas such as lobbies, corridors and rooms in buildings.

Harassment or intimidation of members of the campus community by persons selling goods or services or proselytizing points of view or causes may require the removal of individuals from University property in accordance with the rules of maintaining public order.

Announcements offering subscriptions to newspapers and magazines or other goods or services may be placed on departmental bulletin boards after approval has been obtained from the University official in charge of the area in which the bulletin board is located. Door-to-door solicitation is not permitted on campus (including the residential rooms or faculty offices). Unaddressed handbills and other notices of goods or services for sale are not to be sent through the campus mail, distributed to persons, nor placed on vehicles on campus property. (Advertisements may be placed in the student newspaper, Pipe Dream.)

Activities such as craft fairs and flea markets, approved in advance by the proper authority (such as the Director of the University Union or the Director of Auxiliary Services) may be held on campus. Such activities are limited to participation by students, faculty and staff, and invited members of the public, and must be under the on-site control of a recognized campus organization. Commercial vendors are not permitted to sell or offer items for sale at events such as craft fairs and flea markets.

Sales representatives from book publishers must have prior permission from Deans or department heads, as well as the Director of Auxiliary Services, before promoting their products in the academic offices of this University.

Recognized University activities, such as the performing arts and athletic, cultural, social, educational or recreational events are not commercial by nature and are the responsibility of sponsoring campus organizations within the limits of their charter and/or University policy and regulations.

When approved, a revocable permit will be granted to authorize individuals or organizations to engage in business or commercial activities on campus. Such individuals or organizations shall be subject to all University regulations. Violations may require revocation of approval to operate on campus.

For more information on Revocable Permits and non-commercial use of facilities, please go to:

SUNY Uses of Facilities by Non-Commercial Organizations