Commercial Activities and Advertising


May 1, 1969

Revision Date

February 10, 2006


AD 1.06

Revision No.


1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to affirm the University’s authority over commercial activities, including advertising, on its campuses. Such activities are subsidiary and must not detract from or conflict with the core mandate of the University. Consistent with this basic principle, advertising in or on University space should be kept to a minimum.

2. Definitions

"Advertising" is any message created and displayed for the sole purpose of promoting a commercial activity.

"Commercial activities" refers to any revenue-making or fundraising activity on campus by an outside business or organization or a unit or organization within the University.

"Short-term sales" are typically those undertaken on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis and are not normally sustained over a period of months.

"University Space" means all real property to which the University has right of possession, whether by way of ownership, lease or otherwise. Real property owned by the University but leased out to a third party, such as the University Centre Building (which is leased to the SFSS) is not included within the definition of University Space.

3. Policy

3.1 Commercial activities are permitted only with prior written approval of the appropriate University officer or through a provision in an express agreement between SFU and another entity (e.g., the SFSS, SFU Community Trust).

3.2 Advertising must also receive written authorization and is restricted to certain locations as identified at each campus. Individual lease agreements govern advertising in leased space.

3.3 The prime consideration for permitting commercial activity, including advertising, in University space is the extent to which it is compatible with the University’s prime objectives.

3.4 Any activity or advertising that promotes academic dishonesty or illegal activities is not permitted.

3.5 Advertising and other commercial activities are not permitted in classrooms, laboratories or any other space specifically devoted to academic purposes.

3.6 Any party operating a commercial enterprise on campus is required to comply with such rules and regulations as the University may establish.

3.7 Infractions of this policy may result in the assessment of penalties, which may include but are not limited to the suspension of privileges, a fine, confiscation of equipment and/or merchandise and being banned from the University’s campuses.

4. Scope

4.1 Unless specifically excluded in section 4.2 below, this policy applies to all commercial activities conducted by for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises in University space as defined in University Policy GP 36 (Use of University Space).

4.2 Commercial activities fall into four categories:

a) those provided through outlets or organizations owned and/or operated by the University (e.g., SFU Bookstore);

b) those conducted by external firms under contract or agreement with the University (e.g., catering firms) or operating under leases which set out details specific to their respective commercial activities;

c) those owned and/or operated by recognized campus organizations (e.g., Highland Pub, Quad Books) or operating under sub-leases from the other recognized campus organizations (e.g., the SFSS); and

d) short-term sales conducted by individuals or small enterprises as approved by the University and for which external vendors pay a rental/users fee.

4.3 Advertising and the distribution of publications produced for profit by off-campus organizations or businesses are deemed to be commercial activities covered by this policy.

4.4 The sale, distribution or solicitation of any product, good, food, beverage, service or newspaper by SFU and non-SFU organizations and individuals is subject to prior authorization.

4.5 This policy shall not apply to the activities of the University itself. Such activities may include, but are not limited to: providing instruction, supervision and related services to students; services for fees in its extracurricular or residential life programs, including residence halls; Alumni Association programmes; athletic and recreational programmes; and performing arts programmes.

5. Roles and Responsibilities

5.1 Responsibility for ensuring compliance under sections 4.2 (a – d) is set out in Appendix I to this Policy.

6. Authority

6.1 This Policy is administered under the authority of the Vice President, Finance and Administration.

Appendix I: Roles and Responsibilities

Responsibility for ensuring compliance under section 4.2 of this Policy is vested with the following University officers.


Burnaby Campus - University administered space Section 4.2 a-b: Vice-President, Finance and Administration;
Section 4.2 c-d: Associate Vice-President, Students (or designate)
Burnaby Campus - SFSS administered space Treasurer, Simon Fraser Student Society
Burnaby Campus - Commercial contracts Vice President, Finance and Adminstration
Vancouver Campus Executive Director, Harbour Centre
Surrey Campus Executive Director, Surrey Campus