Q: What is the University’s policy regarding political activities?

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A: Information related to faculty and staff involvement in political campaign activities is outlined in Policy AD 92 and is accessible by visiting guru.psu.edu/policies. The policy applies to all University employees and students at all campus location.

Penn State is committed to an individual’s freedom of expression, including expressions of political viewpoints and ideas. Policy AD 92 is not intended to infringe upon employees’ or students’ rights to express their personal opinions or limit political activities performed in an individual capacity or as a private citizen.

The policy states, "…employees and representatives, when acting in their official capacities for the University, may not, directly or indirectly, participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elective public office. This includes campaigns at the federal, state, and local level." For example, students and employees, when in their official capacity or as representative of the University, may not contribute to political campaigns; make public statements that support or oppose a candidate for public office; distribute statements prepared by others that support or oppose a candidate for public office; or allow candidates to use University resources without giving equivalent opportunities to other candidates.

Activities related to voter education and registration are permitted but must be performed in a nonpartisan manner. Activities also may not support or oppose specific candidates running for a public office. Additionally, the policy does not intend "…to limit non-partisan courses, coursework, curricular activities and other assignments designed to foster civic engagement, educate students, or enhance public understanding of the political election process."

Policy AD 92 also outlines how University resources may be used for political events or activities, providing information for University-sponsored events and events hosted by student organizations; external, non-University individuals or groups; and University employees.

For more information regarding Policy AD92 and other University policies, visit guru.psu.edu/policies or the Office of Human Resources. 

Last Updated March 15, 2017