Seattle University cannot offer facilities to hold any meeting, event or conference with political overtones. Penalties for improper political activity by and at a college or university can include loss of the institution’s tax-exempt status, imposition of taxes on the institution and its responsible managers, and other risks, including federal or state lawsuits, audits, and investigations, so we are very serious about ensuring that this policy is upheld.
Usually Acceptable Activities:
- Genuine curricular activities aimed at educating people with respect to the political process.
- Providing on an equal basis to all legally qualified candidates for a public office, and consistently within the limits imposed by Federal Communications Commission standards, access to air time on a university-owned radio station.
- Conducting public forums to which all legally qualified candidates (or, if impractical, at least all candidates who meet certain objective criteria) for a public office (or for the nomination of a particular party) are invited and given equal access and opportunity to speak.
- Non-partisan voter registration activities of certain charitable organizations have been approved, even when aimed at groups (such as urban voters, young people or minorities) likely to favor a certain political candidate or party.
- Conducting training programs designed to increase public understanding of the electoral process or to encourage citizens to become involved in the process.
Questionable or Unacceptable Activities:
- Categorically: “Participating” or “intervening” in any campaign of any candidate for office.
- The University providing mailing lists, use of office space, telephones, photocopying or other institutional facilities or support to a candidate, campaign, political party, political action committee (PAC) or the like free of charge. (So please do not request this.)
- Coordinating institutional fund-raising with fund-raising of a candidate for public office, political party, PAC or the like.
- Sponsoring events to advance the candidacy of particular candidates.
- “Voter education” activities, such as those involving questionnaires, if confined to a narrow range of issues or skewed in favor of certain candidates or a political party.
- Voter registration activities that are similarly skewed (See above)
- Commenting on specific actions, statements or positions taken by candidates, including incumbents, in the course of their campaigns.
- Promoting action (voting) with respect to issues that have become highly identified and dividing lines between the candidates.
- Coordinating voter education activities with campaign events.
- Providing a candidate a forum to promote his or her campaign, even if the forum is not intended to assist the candidate.