Use of technology for political activity
Members of the University community, as individuals and groups, have the right to exercise their full freedom of expression and association. However, as a Section 501(c)(3) organization, the University is prohibited from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate for public office and no substantial part of the University’s activities may be directed to influencing legislation. In order to constitute participation or intervention in a political campaign, or influencing legislation, the activity must be that of the University and not the individual activity of its faculty, staff or students.
A website is a form of communication. If something were to be posted on the University’s website that favored or opposed a candidate for public office or solicited financial or other support for a candidate, it would constitute prohibited political activity. It is the same as if the University distributed printed material, or made oral statements or broadcasts that favored or opposed a candidate. In addition, the University’s website may not be used to influence legislation.
Similarly, individuals may not use the technological resources of the University for political purposes in a manner that suggests the University itself is participating in campaign activity or influencing legislation.
Other political activity
In using University resources with respect to other political activity, individuals and groups should take care to make it clear that when expressing political views they are speaking only for themselves and not for the University. Non-partisan educational activity is acceptable.