Illegal car advertisements becoming a problem on campus

A full lot of cars in the X parking lot on the North side of UConn's Storrs campus on December 5, 2018. Students are questioning the legality of advertisements being placed on cars in UConn parking lots. (Judah Shingleton/The Daily Campus)

The ads University of Connecticut students often find on their cars in the parking lots on campus are usually illegally placed, said university spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz.

“Although UConn is not a private institution, the university does have the authority to control activities that occur in its parking lots,” Reitz said in an email. “People or businesses who want to place flyers on cars on university lots must get UConn’s authorization in advance.”

Chapter 246 of the 2011 Connecticut Code statute says, “No article, device, sticker or ornament shall be attached or affixed to or hung on in or any motor vehicle in such a manner or location as to interfere with an unobstructed view of the highway.”

Numerous students have commented on the ads they find on their windshields and attached to their cars in parking lots. Most of the incidents have occured in the last few months, according to students.

“I have asked several people at UConn and none of us can recall an instance in which that authority has been granted, at least in the last several years,” Reitz said.

Jessica Reed, a fifth-semester accounting major, said she found an ad on her vehicle earlier in the year and thought it was more annoying than helpful.

“They made it look like a parking ticket so it definitely gave me a good scare,” Reed said. “It was more of an inconvenience than being funny or good advertising.”

Reed said if she hadn’t noticed the ad, it would’ve sat on her vehicle and she would not have given it a second thought.

“If I hadn't noticed it on my car before I left I would've been driving with it stuck to my windshield,” Reed said. “The ad was for a company I wouldn't think about using anyways.”

Reed said she hasn’t had a problem with ads since then, but said it would be a wise idea for the university to crack down on the ads in the future if it happened more frequently.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s a huge issue,” Reed said. “It’s only happened once to me.”

Marisol Hooks, a third-semester biology major, said at first the ads weren’t an issue for her but that they have grown more bothersome recently.

“I just didn’t think much of it, but now it’s become increasingly annoying,” Hooks said.

Hooks said the ads are counterintuitive because they often resemble parking tickets.

“Each ad or flier looks like it’s a parking ticket,” Hooks said. “And so for that reason it’s become bothersome.”

Reitz said it is typically easy to convince certain groups to stop unauthorized advertising in the parking lots on campus.

“They usually stop once they’re notified that it’s now allowed,” Reitz said. “If necessary, we could involve UConn police if it were flagrant and repeated, but that hasn’t been necessary.”


Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at taylor.harton@uconn.edu.