Why This Iowa Campus Is Erasing Political Chalk Talk

AMES, Iowa — The well-trodden pathways at Iowa State University are usually caked with chalk during an election year. Students streaming past the domed administration building, hunched against the biting cold, could look down at their phones and expect to see “Trump 2020” or “Pete!” in dusty block letters.

Instead, the sidewalks are bare.

With the Iowa caucuses just days away, the university has effectively banned the tradition of political chalking in the name of civility, provoking a standoff over free speech that some students say has only deepened divisions on campus.

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