Hosting political H ti liti l candidates or events on campus

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					Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Hosting political
H ti      liti l
candidates or events on

               The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is an Equal Opportunity employer and educator.
          State Mandate
          One of the four objectives of Public Higher
           Education under state law is…
           To promote democratic values and enhance
           Minnesota’s quality of lif b d
           Mi        t ’                       l i
                             lit f life by developing
           understanding and appreciation of a free and
           diverse society
                               Minnesota Statutes Section 135A.011

          One way to accomplish this is hosting
           political candidate(s) or events on
Slide 2
          When elected officials visit
          • \
                           • What is the purpose? Set agenda
                             around this
                Planning   • Who needs to be present?
                           • Will food be served? (any special
                             dietary needs?)

                              a e      ee oo at e ac es
                           • Take a keen look a the facilities you
                             will use, make them tidy
           Preparation     • What may visitors observe? – bulletin
                             boards, walls, floors, etc.

Slide 3
          When elected officials visit
                                p     g p                    y
                     • Mark off parking spot – make this easy to find
                     • Host the meeting in a room close to the parking spot

                     • Have greeters ready
                     • You are encouraged to include students and faculty
          G ti
          Greeting     (consider gender balance and diversity)

                     • Allow legislators to focus on the topic they came to
            Visit    • Move swiftly through the agenda to discuss all issues

Slide 4
          When elected officials visit

          Time              Departure       Follow up
          • Do not run      • Escort the    • Send a thank
            over your         visitor out     you note,
            allotted time   • Ask if they     reinforce
          • Keep the          need            what was
            meeting           directions      discussed
            runningg                                 p   ,
                                            • Send photos,
            promptly                          if taken

Slide 5
          When elected officials visit

           Questions asked?
           Q   ti      k d?
           • Be prepared for questions
           • If something is asked that you do not know,
             get back to them with the requested
             information (this is a typical response)
           • Ensure accuracy and credibility

           If elected officials visit for a
           campaign event …

Slide 6
          For a campaign event:
                         y pp y policies regardless of p
          • Consistently apply p           g           political
          • Stay viewpoint neutral.
          • Presidents are encouraged to introduce
            candidates on campus when possible. (A neutral
            introduction does not constitute an endorsement.
          • Make it clear that an appearance DOES NOT
             i     d
            give endorsement f       the          the
                              t from th campus or th
                         issues          candidate
          • Focus on the issues, NOT the candidate.
Slide 7
          More tips to hosting a campaign
          • If candidates want to appear on campus for a town
            hall, fundraising, or event not sponsored by the
            institution they should be allowed to rent space as
            any other group or organization would do. Same rules
            – noise, clean up, etc. – apply. (Must give similar
            opportunity to all candidates and charge similar rates
            for similar events.)

Slide 8
          For a candidate forum:
                • Invite qualified candidates to campus Provide
                  similar opportunities for all major party
                  candidates. (If one candidate declines, you can
                    till h   th th        did t ( ) Keep
                  still have the other candidate(s). K
                  documentation of the declined invitation.)
                          p             , pp
                • As a practical matter, appearances may be y
                  limited to major party candidates.
                • Student political groups may invite their
                  candidate to appear at a forum as long as other
                  student groups are similarly treated.

Slide 9
           When hosting a campaign
           Do NOT:
            – Use the college or university to endorse or
              oppose a candidate or party
            – Use institution letterhead, emails, mailing
              lists or staff assistance for candidate
              fundraising or support.
            – Allow employees to use their position to
              endorse candidates.
            – Use college or university list serves or
              other college or university resources to
Slide 10      support a political party or candidate.
           In the classroom:
           • Equally promote opportunities:
                     y    y                        p
             – Faculty may share details about upcoming g
               candidate forums and events, however,
               information about all major events should be
               shared, regardless of the affiliation.
             – Faculty may assign students to work on
               campaigns but the students must choose the
               campaign without influence. Alternative
               assignments may be appropriate for students
               not eligible to vote.

Slide 11
           In the classroom

           • Remind students to vote or be politically
             involved, without telling them for whom to
             vote or using one’s position to influence
             their votes.
           • If providing extra credit or incentives for
             voting or wearing an “I voted” sticker offer
             a related alternative opportunity to
             students that cannot vote, e.g. foreign

Slide 12
           In your “personal” office …

           • While an office can be viewed as personal
             space, business is still conducted here.
           • DO:
             – Make your office welcoming (certain political
               paraphernalia may turn off students, staff or
             – Use common sense
           • DO NOT:
             – Use your position or items in your office to
               influence votes or students.
Slide 13
           • Administrators may direct questions to the
             Office of General Counsel.

Slide 14

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