Election year brings reminder of guidelines on campaign activity

September 27, 2012
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With the general election just over a month away, the University of Colorado reminds employees of guidelines regarding political campaign-related activity and expression.

Here is a recently updated summary of those guidelines from E. Jill Pollock, vice president of employee and information services, based on state and federal laws and CU policies.

For University Employees

Employees may not engage in any activity during working hours designed to urge electors to vote for or against any campaign issues.

Employees wishing to participate in a campaign activity should take personal leave.

Employees may not use office supplies or equipment — including computers, telephones, printers or facsimile machines — to create materials urging electors to vote for or against a campaign issue.

Employees may not use their university email accounts to urge electors to vote for or against a campaign issue, or to forward materials that urge electors to vote for or against a campaign issue.

Employees may not use university websites to urge electors to vote for or against a campaign issue.

Special Rules for Faculty Members

Faculty members who do not have personal leave should avoid the appearance of impropriety when engaging in personal political activities by clarifying whenever possible that such activities are being conducted on personal time and not on behalf of or at the request of the university.

Faculty members remain subject to other limitations on the use of state resources, including university email, even if using personal time.

A summary of the guidelines, including special rules for students, and an article, “Political Activities on Campus During the Election Season,” by Maggie Wilensky and Jeremy Hueth of University Counsel, is posted at https://www.cu.edu/articles/upload/2008_V02-3.pdf

Questions: Contact your campus human resources department or University Counsel office. Additional information can also be found on the Government Relations website https://www.cu.edu/articles/upload/Guidelines-CampaignActivities.pdf.

– This article originally appeared in the Sept. 27 edition of CU Connections

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