137.4 On-Campus Political Activity

Created by: Stephanie Ferguson on 04/25/2000
Category: 1 - Academic Affairs; 30 - Freedom
Originator: President
Current File: 137.4
Adoption Date: 01/30/2014
Reviewed for Currency: 01/30/2014
Replaces File: 137.4
Date of Origin: 09/30/1994
Classification: Faculty
In Archive? 0

137.4 On-Campus Political Activity


A. Background

Furman University believes in the legitimacy and importance of appropriate political activity by employees and campus visitors and acknowledges their right to participate in such endeavors. The university does not endorse political candidates. Accordingly, faculty and staff should not leave the impression that they are speaking for the university in endorsing political candidates. As a liberal arts college, Furman is committed to freedom of expression. All political candidates are welcome to express their views on campus when invited to participate in programs scheduled by Furman organizations.


B. Policy

Furman University recognizes the rights of all citizens to take part in the political process and to express their opinions freely. However, the university does not endorse political candidates nor approve of activities that give that impression. Employees and visitors to the campus, like all citizens, should be free to engage in political activities on campus so far as the individual citizen is able to do so without infringing on the rights of others. Individuals are assured freedom from unwanted solicitation by or on behalf of political candidates.


C. Guidelines

1. Many kinds of political activity (e.g., holding part-time office in a political party, seeking election to any office under circumstances that do not require extensive campaigning, or serving by appointment or election in a part-time political office) are consistent with effective service as a member of the faculty and staff. Other kinds of political activity (e.g., intensive campaigning for elective office, serving in a state legislature, or serving a limited term in a full-time position) may require that an individual seek a leave of absence or end employment at Furman.

2. Furman cannot give its support to a political party or candidate. Therefore:

(a) No favoritism will be shown to any political candidate or group.

(b) University symbols, bands, cheerleaders, teams, employees, faculty or staff must not appear in connection with any event on or off campus in any manner that would give the appearance that the university supports a particular candidate. While a student, faculty, or staff member may support any candidate or party, the appearance of doing so in an official capacity representing the university must be scrupulously avoided.

(c) No university resources—mailing lists, copying or printing services, facilities, etc.—may be used in support of a candidate or party.

3. Political parties and candidates may rent Furman facilities for approved events, such as dinners and receptions. Political rallies may be held on campus as a part of the educational process. However, the university reserves the right to deny its facilities for any political purpose that seems inappropriate for an educational institution.

4. Political candidates may speak on campus when invited to do so by Furman officials and organizations. Campaign posters, banners, and literature will be permitted only at the approved site of the event and only at that time.

5.  The dissemination of notices to the news media and other communications activities by the Division of Marketing and Public Relations to promote the appearance of political candidates on the Furman campus is prohibited.  Individual organizations that have invited and/or are sponsoring appearances by candidates may seek counsel from the 
Division for their own promotions.

6. When requests are not covered by this policy, a three-person review committee, consisting of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, the Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations, and the Senior Associate Academic Dean, will determine if the activity requested is permissible.