With the midterm elections rapidly approaching, it is important that we abide by the university’s political policy, in compliance with federal law, which prohibits the use of university resources for political activity including fundraising, supporting candidates, or ballot measures.
The university's tax-exempt status and its relationships with donors and prospects require a clear-cut distinction between allowed and prohibited political activity associated with the university.
In keeping with long-standing practice, the university has established guidelines for use of its campus or resources related to political activity.
Examples of activities allowed:
- If invited to campus by an official campus organization, candidates for political offices or spokespersons for political campaigns may participate in regularly scheduled classes or in an open forum for the purpose of educating members of the Willamette community about issues before the electorate.
- Student use of phones in their residence hall rooms in support of political campaigns.
- Distribution of campaign literature by an official campus organization at table fairs or in the lower lobby of the University Center.
Examples of prohibited activities:
- Using Willamette University's name, logo, or mailing address in written material used for political campaign purposes.
- Using Willamette University offices, office supplies, computers, or fax machines in support of political campaigns.
- Using Willamette University facilities to announce a campaign or for an election night party.
- Using Willamette's campus mail system for postage-free distribution of campaign literature.
- Using Willamette University's facilities for fundraising purposes.
If you are not certain whether a proposed political activity is prohibited, the university will determine whether: the university will be used as a forum for an educational purpose (allowed); or the university’s facilities, resources, or name are used or are perceived as a platform for supporting a particular political candidate or position.