Political Activity on Campus
With another political season upon us, all district employees are reminded that it is a violation of state law and district board policy to use college district resources to advocate for or against a candidate for election or a ballot measure.
District employees may not use district equipment or resources, including email systems, for political fundraising or political advocacy. District employees may not work on political campaigns during work hours or in work areas; they may not use district equipment or resources for that purpose. Also, district employees may not use public resources to distribute political materials prepared by non-district organizations. Wearing of political campaign buttons to work is viewed as an expression of one’s personal opinion and is allowed.
Any employees wishing to engage in political activity must do so in an off-duty individual capacity. Political activities include such things as attending a political rally, participating in a campaign committee, sitting on a phone bank, doing campaign-related work, posting campaign signs, registering voters, or advocating that persons contribute or vote for or against a candidate or ballot measure. If political activities are to take place on district property, employees must follow College District Administrative policy 3900: Time, Place and Manner.
AP 3900: Time, Place and Manner includes but is not limited to: Utilizing areas designated as public forums, providing notification to the District through the Office of Campus Events three (3) business days in advance of the activities, and not disrupting the orderly operation of the college. Public forum locations include Library Plaza, Gym Circle, Bookstore Hallway, Applied Arts Courtyard, Health Science Courtyard. Areas of the college that are non-public forums specifically include campus offices, classrooms, warehouses, maintenance yards, or locker rooms, and any other area not designated a public forum. The District reserves the right to revoke that designation and apply a non-public forum designation.
California General Education Code Section 7054 states that “No school district or community college district funds, services, supplies, or equipment shall be used for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate, including, but not limited to, any candidate for election to the governing board of the district.” A violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor or felony punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both, or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.
Reference: California General Education Code Section 7054, 7056, Government Code Section 8314, College district board policy 3900, 7370, AP 390, Education Code Sections 76120 and 66301, California Government Code section 19990 subdivision (b), California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.