POL 05.00.04 – Political Activities

Authority: Board of Trustees

History:  First Issued:  May 5, 2015

Related Policies:  

UNC Policy Manual, Chapter 300.5, Political Activities of Employees
NCSU POL 04.25.01 – Expression of Views by Visiting Speakers
NCSU REG 07.25.11 – Use of University Facilities
NCSU REG 07.40.02 – Reporting Misuse of State Property
NCSU POL 08.00.01 – Computer Use Policy
NCSU REG 08.00.01 – Computer Use Regulation

Contact Information: Vice Chancellor and General Counsel (919) 515-3071


1. INTRODUCTION

1.1  Each member of the NC State community has the right to freely express his/her views on any subject, including advocacy for or against candidates for public office and for or against a political issue.  This expression is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and by the N.C. Constitution, Sec. 14, Freedom of Speech and Press.  In exercising these rights, however, the resources of NC State cannot be used and political activities cannot be incompatible with the general responsibilities of public employment.

1.2  This policy applies explicitly to the use of public resources in support of, or in opposition to, political campaigns and issues. It is not intended to limit discussion among faculty, staff and students, and other State employees regarding political or campaign issues or candidates or to limit debates at which candidates or speakers have equal time.

2. SCOPE

This policy applies to all NC State employees.

3. IMPERMISSIBLE ACTIVITIES

3.1 Engagement in political activities by NC State employees must be conducted independently from their NC State employment.  Consistent with State law, no NC State employee may take any active part in managing a campaign, or engage in political activity within any period of time during which he/she is expected to perform services for NC State.  Such activities may be conducted only at times when such political activity does not interfere with his/her employment obligations to NC State.

3.2 NC State is not permitted to endorse any particular political party, candidate, or cause. NC State officials must refrain from activities that may be perceived as university support of a political campaign.

3.3 No employee may use the authority of his/her position or university property to secure support for, or to oppose, any person or issue in any election.

3.4 No employee may coerce, solicit, or compel a State employee to support or contribute to a political candidate, party, or cause.

3.5 No NC State funds, equipment, or services (“Resources”) (e.g., vehicles and other equipment, campus mail, computers and e-mail, postage, photocopying and fax, etc.) may be used for political activities.

3.6 Employees may not use Community Service Leave (CSL) to work at campaign sites or to engage in other political activities related to an election (i.e., handing out campaign brochures, transporting voters, holding signs, etc).  Employees engaged in these types of activities should use other leave (i.e. annual, bonus, special) to cover time off.  Employees are allowed to use CSL if they are volunteering to work inside the polling place to facilitate the voting process on behalf of the state or a local Board of Election.

4. PERMISSIBLE ACTIVITIES

4.1 The university is permitted to conduct broad voter education, public opinion polls on issues, and voter registration drives provided they are conducted in a non-partisan manner.  Providing opportunities to speak on an equal basis for all registered candidates for public office is also allowed.

4.2 Political campaign activities are permitted on university property only if they are (1) sponsored or hosted by registered student organizations and (2) all expenses related to the activity, if any, are borne by the candidate, political organization, or student organization.

4.3 NC State facilities may be reserved for a fee for political events pursuant toNC State REG 07.25.11 (Use of University Facilities). However, such sponsored events may not be subsidized or supported by NC State.

5. POLITICAL CANDIDACY

5.1 University employees who are exempt from the State Human Resources Act and who intend to run or hold any elective or appointive public office, whether part-time or full-time, must comply with Section 300.5.2 of the UNC Policy Manual adopted by the Board of Governors.  This may require that before becoming a candidate or holding political office, the employee must make disclosures and receive approvals on a prescribed schedule.  Failure to follow these directives constitutes a violation of the terms and conditions of university employment and may result in disciplinary action.