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File code: PRES.POLACT.POL
Approval Date: 09/26/98
Revised: 09/13/2010
Approved By: President

Policy on Political Activities

Western Illinois University encourages the discussion of important issues in society, including the exchange of different political points of view and ideas. A university environment is a proper format for such exchange and university facilities and services are available for such purposes within a framework which promotes fairness and impartiality. University facilities and services shall not be used to promote, help finance, or to support any individual, group, or organization campaigning for an elected office except as noted in the following guidelines:

  1. Groups or individuals representing political candidates may use designated University facilities, as available, if the group or individual is sponsored by a recognized student, faculty, or staff organization. Scheduling priority will be given to student groups in the University Union. Arrangements and charges will be made in accordance with policies governing recognized organizations. All promotional material on events so sponsored must identify the sponsoring organization. Candidates or political groups not sponsored by recognized university organizations may rent designated campus facilities as available at set University rates.
  2. Literature on political candidates for public office may not be displayed in reception areas, classrooms, hallway walls, or external walls of the campus facilities. The exception to this policy will be in the Concourse Area of the University Union where sponsoring university organizations may display campaign material in accordance with existing University Union policy on space assignment and room rentals. Questions regarding University Union policies should be referred to the Director of the University Union. Available space will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis with students and student groups being given priority if requests on any given day exceed the assignable space available.
  3. Special Event programs of the University such as Homecoming, Parents' Day, etc., may include political candidates in their activities, according to the guidelines governing each event. However, when a political candidate or an incumbent seeking re-election is directly invited to take part, invitations must also be extended to their opponents for office.
  4. Politicians directly invited to take part in the University's Homecoming Parade during an election year should only include the Governor of Illinois, the State's U.S. Senators, the Representative of the 17th Congressional District, the Representative of the 18th Congressional District, incumbents of the 48th Legislative District, the Mayor of Macomb, and their opponents for office.
  5. In an election year, the Grand Marshall for the Homecoming Parade shall not be an individual seeking election or re-election to a public office.
  6. Press conferences for political candidates or visiting individuals or organizations shall be coordinated through the University Relations Office.
  7. Use of the University's letterhead or seal is prohibited in connection with political candidates.
  8. The University Mail Service will not accept or deliver any political candidate's mail which has not been stamped with U.S. postage.
  9. The Illinois State Ethics Act prohibits state university employees from preparing for, organizing, or participating in any political meeting, political rally, political demonstration, or other political event during designated work hours. Employees who participate in such activities during designated work hours must use compensatory time. For complete documentation of prohibited political activity, see the Illinois Ethics Act at http://inspectorgeneral.il.gov/EthicsAct.htm (Sec. 1-5, Definitions. "Prohibited Political Activity").

Any service costs accrued by the University under this policy, regardless of sponsorship, shall be assumed by the sponsoring organization, individual, or group.