For a $20m+ donation, you can put your name on my university's new recreational facility. This got me thinking, could I do the same thing?

As a satirical joke I'm thinking of setting up a website where students can pay to associate their name/a custom message for each of the bathroom stalls in every building on campus. Other students can then "rate their experience" and leave their own reviews for the stalls on the website. This would be an entirely virtual ordeal and there would be no physical modification of the stalls or pretend affiliation with the University (i.e. we would make it crystal clear that "buying" the stall doesn't actually mean anything and is not approved by the University).

Do note that my University is a public institution and not a private one, if that changes anything.

I'd like to believe that this is fully legal, because as far as I'm aware there's no laws around making up fake names for things (as long as you make it obvious that they're fake), but I digress.

Obviously this is a dumb idea, but is it so dumb that I could get sued (and lose) for it?

  • 1
    I do not think it is a dumb idea.
    – emory
    May 1, 2019 at 20:19
  • 1
    @emory can you elaborate as to why? I'm mainly trying to figure out what laws I would most likely be violating, if any. If I'm clean, are there any existing laws that afford me protection from litigation (e.g. parodies)?
    – Nexuist
    May 1, 2019 at 20:51
  • 1
    I can not think of a single law you would be violating. In fact, I am reminded of my old school who reluctantly renamed an important building after a famous alumnus after the students had unofficially renamed it. The university did not like it b/c the alum got a building named in their honor for free, but the university had no choice because the unofficial name had become so popular that using the official name caused confusion.
    – emory
    May 1, 2019 at 21:47
  • It is not a parody. There can be multiple names for things. For example, you are probably familiar with the "White House" which is officially the "Executive Mansion." You can call it whatever you want. You probably know the Oval Office - which most likely has an official name. The rest room nearest the Oval Office probably has a name, but you can name it the "Executive Crapper" if you wish.
    – emory
    May 1, 2019 at 21:50
  • 2
    You'd have to be careful about using the University's logo, etc. as they're probably all trademarked. Maybe not "buying" but "sponsoring" instead. Too bad the toilet paper and paper towel holders are usually locked. You can have people sponsoring upgraded paper products otherwise!
    – mkennedy
    May 1, 2019 at 22:27


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