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Decorations and Displays (policy)

Office of Origin: Facilities Management/Human Resources
Responsibility: Executive Director, Facilities Management; Executive Director, Human Resources
Original Date Adopted:5-16-23
Dates Reviewed:4-5-23 (C)
Date Approved by Board:5-16-23

Decorations and displays must reflect Lake Michigan College’s (the College) commitment to diversity and its values and must conform to federal and state laws that govern public institutions. In all cases, decorations and displays must be respectful and sensitive to employees, students, and the public.

Personal Space

Individuals may have personal, lifestyle, or cultural symbols in their immediate workspace provided they do not interfere with the normal course of business, are only displayed for personal reference, and do not impose a particular religion, culture, or lifestyle over another. Individuals are encouraged to be thoughtful in their decor, to avoid feelings of discomfort or marginalization by students, staff, or visiting public.

Common Spaces / Departments / Office Areas

Common Spaces (defined below), departments, and office areas may have seasonal (fall, winter, spring, summer) displays with supervisory approval (or building coordinators for approval in the case of Common Spaces.) Without the approval discussed in the following paragraph, a display may not reference, either directly or indirectly, any religious connection. The College wishes to be mindful that many holidays are faith-based or honor cultural beliefs, and, as such, may be an opportunity for the College community to express a spirit of diversity and inclusion. Accordingly, with the approval of the Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) or designee, a department/office may have a display that supports educational opportunities for diversity and equity during the holiday seasons and/or that reflects a culture of inclusion and belonging at the College.

Common Spaces are defined as the following areas:

  • Beckwith Hall: Lobbies
  • Hanson Tech Center: Collaboration area
  • Main Building: Student Services, Welcome Lobby
  • Mendel Center: Lobbies
  • Niles Campus: Central Corridor
  • South Haven Campus: Student Commons
  • Todd Center: Lobbies
  • Welch Center: Tasting Room


Only the College itself may install outdoor displays, and only those that are seasonal and that do not reference, either directly or indirectly, any religious connection.

Requirements – General

The requirements below are based on the Bureau of Fire Services requirements for the installation and use of decorations in places of public assemblage and/or best practice for building safety.

  1. The use of candles is prohibited.
  2. Only non-combustible materials or combustible materials that have been treated to be flame-resistant may be used for decorations.
  3. Decorations may not be permanently affixed to surfaces; for allowable attachment methods, consult with Facilities Management, as needed.
  4. Decorations cannot be placed in an exit pathway where they obstruct or hinder use of an exit and may not protrude into an exit pathway more than 4”.
  5. Displays in Common Spaces may only be installed with the approval of the building coordinator and may only be left up to a maximum of 30 days.
  6. Decorations may not be hung from the ceiling unless they are a part of approved set up or theatrical set in approved portions of the Mendel Center.
  7. Electric decorative string lights must bear the Underwriter's Laboratories seal of approval and can only be on when under the constant supervision of an employee.

Requirements – Trees, Plants, and Wreaths

  1. No live trees (container or cut trees) or wreaths are permitted indoors.
  2. Artificial trees must be fire retardant treated.
  3. Decor, including artificial trees or plants should generally not exceed 8 feet high. Exceptions must be approved by Facilities Management.
  4. Metallic trees (e.g., aluminum alloy) may be used if no electric lights or wiring are placed on or in contact with any part of the tree.
  5. Artificial winter holiday trees must be dismantled and stored before 6pm on the last open day before the winter break begins.
  6. Live plants are allowed in private work areas. Placement of live plants elsewhere must be approved by Facilities Management.

References: Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth Bureau of Fire
                    Services Fires Marshal Bulletin - 6 Decorations, Including Christmas Trees

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