Political Activity Policies

Campus Administrator's Reference for

Political Activities Policies

This is a list of current rules regarding political activities, including campaign and election activities, pertaining to Kansas State University. Participants in political activities should be mindful that all other University policies remain in effect in political activity situations, including, for example:

  • Traffic and Parking Regulations

  • Weapons Policies

  • Computer Use Policies

  • The Workplace Violence Policy, as well as

  • Applicable Federal, State and Local Laws and Regulations

 

Kansas Department of Administration guidelines

On August 23, 2012 Secretary of Administration Dennis Taylor sent a memorandum to all State employees outlining issues that State employees need to keep in mind while participating in political activities of their choosing. See the memo here.

 

State Law

  • K.S.A. 25-2430 -prohibits electioneering within a radius of 250 feet from any polling place or entrance thereof.

The above rule applies to everyone.

 

  • K.S.A. 75-2953 - prohibits state employees from using their authority or influence to compel any other state employee to apply for membership in or become a member of any organization, or pay or promise to pay any assessment, subscription or contribution, or to take part in any political activity. Any person who violates any provisions of this section shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be punished accordingly. If any officer or employee in the classified service is found guilty of violating any provision of this section, such officer or employee shall be automatically separated from the service.

The above rule applies to all of our employees. 

 

  • K.S.A. 25-4169a - prohibits government employees from using public funds, vehicles, machinery, equipment or supplies of the agency, or governmental work time, to expressly advocate for the nomination, election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate to state or local office. This rule does not apply to an incumbent officer campaigning for nomination or reelection to a succeeding term to such office or to members of the personal staff of any elected officer.

The above rule applies to all of our employees.

 

  • K.S.A. 75-2974 – prohibits supervisory classified employees from soliciting contributions from subordinates for candidates for state office. It also prohibits disciplining any classified employee for making a contribution to or on behalf of any state officer or candidate for state office.

The above rule applies to our classified employees and their supervisors.

 

  • K.S.A. 75-2949f – provides that grounds for dismissal of classified employees includes use of the employee's state position, use of the employee's time on the state job or use of state property or facilities by the employee in connection with a political campaign.

The above applies to all of our classified employees.

 

  • K.S.A. 75-2953a - No officer, agent, clerk or employee of this state shall directly or indirectly use their authority or official influence to compel any officer or employee in the unclassified and the classified services to apply for membership in or become a member of any organization, or to pay or promise to pay any assessment, subscription or contribution, or to take part in any political activity.

The above rule applies to all of our employees.

 

Board of Regents Policies

13.  POLITICAL ACTIVITY

http://www.kansasregents.org/policy_chapter_ii_c_political_activity

a.  Faculty, administrators and other unclassified employees, including University Support Staff, may accept any public or political party appointed or elected position that does not create any conflict of interest with, and does not require substantial time away from, assigned duties or in other respects infringe upon those duties.

b.  The filing of a declaration of intent to become a candidate shall not affect the status or appointment of an unclassified employee, including University Support Staff.  However, the employee shall continue to properly and fully perform all of his or her assigned duties or take appropriate leave if available.  Should the employee, while he or she is a candidate for office and not on approved leave, fail to perform all of his or her assigned duties, such employee shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

c.  Leave without salary or other benefits shall be granted to those elected or appointed to public office requiring full time or lengthy sustained periods away from assigned duties, such as Congress, the Kansas Legislature, and state and county offices or appointments to office falling within this category.  For persons elected or appointed to Congress or the Kansas Legislature, this provision shall be effective from the date such person takes the Oath of Office or the first day of the Legislative session and continuing until the adjournment of Congress or to a date no sooner than the last adjournment in April or sine die adjournment, whichever occurs first, of each regular and special session of the Kansas Legislature; as to other state and county offices requiring full time or lengthy sustained periods away from assigned duties, this provision shall be effective during the entire time a person serves as such officer.  Leave without salary or other benefits shall not be required for any person serving in the Kansas Legislature or for service on any committee during a period when the Legislature is not in regular or special session, provided that such person shall decline to accept all legislative compensation for such service, but such person shall be entitled to mileage and other expense allowances as provided by statute and paid by the Legislature.  K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 74-4925(5) provides that any member of the Kansas Legislature who is on leave of absence from the Board of Regents or an educational institution under its management may elect to remain eligible for participation in the Board of Regents’ retirement plan while on such leave.

d.  In the interest of the fullest participation in public affairs, personnel are free to express opinions speaking or writing as an individual in their personal capacity and not as a representative of the institution in signed advertisements, pamphlets and related material in support of or opposition to parties and causes.  There shall be the commensurate responsibility of making plain that each person so doing is acting for himself or herself and not on behalf of an institution supported by tax funds drawn from citizens of varying political and economic views.  This responsibility includes avoiding the use of university letterhead and stationery and other official university designations.  Employees testifying before the Legislature on behalf of outside entities shall notify their institution’s designated representative prior to such testimony.

 

The above rules apply to our unclassified employees.

 

15.  USE OF CAMPUS FACILITIES

 http://www.kansasregents.org/policy_chapter_ii_e_use_of_campus_facilities

a.  State university facilities and grounds shall not be made available for fund raising events for any candidate, party committee or political committee, or for filming or otherwise producing partisan political advertisements.

b.  Except as prohibited in subsection a., state university facilities may be made available for the purpose of holding political meetings, or public forums, provided there is no interference with regularly scheduled functions, the person requesting the space can clearly demonstrate that there is not otherwise available a reasonably suitable facility in the community, students are permitted to hear the speakers without charge, and payment of the regular fees for use of the facilities is made in advance of such use.

c.  Other than the Governor, elected officials and candidates for elected office shall not be introduced or recognized on campus unless they are in attendance at a campus event in an official capacity and at the request of the university.

d.  The distribution of handbills shall be prohibited in those areas devoted primarily to instruction and study or at the immediate sites and times of enclosed public events.

e.  State universities shall have the authority to develop additional policies and guidelines that are not in conflict with this policy.  Such policies and guidelines shall be reviewed by the Governance Committee and filed with the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Board.

f.  For purposes of this policy, the terms “candidate,” “party committee,” and “political committee” shall have the meanings specified in K.S.A. 25-4143, as amended.\

 

The above facilities use rules apply to everyone.

 

University Policies

(In addition to those stated above) – found in the campus directory (Student Life section) and in the Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM)

  • Division of Facilities

Facility Use Guidelines

See also: Use of KSU Buildings and Grounds - http://www.k-state.edu/policies/ppm/7840.html

Division of Facilities policies contain numerous rules regulating the use of campus buildings and grounds, including rules about:

      • scheduling space

      • displaying signs

      • obtaining fund-raising permits

      • using amplified sound

      • serving food

      • controlling animals

Regulates on-campus events coordinated by registered student organizations.

Regulates commercial activity and advertising on campus.

Campus Facilities

Reiterates Board of Regents policies, and adds that use of facilities on campus is subject to the approval of the Associate Vice President for the Division of Facilities.

Residence Halls

Prohibits door-to-door campaigning.

Prohibits campaign materials in common areas of residence halls or dining center areas except in a resident's room with the permission of roommate(s). 

Requires that all candidates be allowed opportunity for equal time and publicity when speaking, if any candidate is allowed to speak.

Requires that to speak to the ARH/HGB of the residence hall, a candidate must contact the President and arrange a speaking time in advance, and that before speaking with hall residents in any public area of the hall (other than at an HGB meeting), a candidate must receive prior permission from the floor president of the floor on which he/she wishes to speak.

Prohibits campaigning (whether verbal, oral, or written in the form of posters, flyers, letters, etc.) by a candidate and/or his/her representative(s) in the dining center areas.  The only exception shall be items of personal clothing and buttons worn by an individual.

Requires prior approval by the appropriate dining center unit head dietitian or his/her designated representative and the KSUARH advisor for use of the dining center areas for political forums or debates sponsored by the hall's HGB or by ARH.

Prohibits solicitation of funds for political organizations or candidates within the residence halls or dining center.

Jardine Apartment Complex

Provides that distribution of political information and/or posters will be allowed only in areas designated by the Residents’ Council and Jardine Apartments Coordinator.

Requires sponsorship and arrangements for appearance before any political organizations or candidates will be allowed to hold meetings or rallies.

K-State Student Union

A.  The K-State Student Union has its own regulations for posting and maintaining its own posting areas.

B.  The only political literature that can be distributed is from behind a table sponsored by a registered student organization.

C.  The usage of any meeting rooms by any political party will follow guidelines as outlined in Section 1-B for campus facilities.

Literature Distribution on Campus

A. Registered student organizations may distribute literature on campus or in any campus building (with approval of the authority of the building), providing such distribution does not reasonably interfere with the movement of traffic, classes, or other scheduled activities.

B.  A non-registered group or individual may distribute literature only in the area between Seaton Hall and the K-State Student Union, in the quadrangle north of Hale Library, or in the quadrangle east of Calvin Hall.

C.  Placing notices in or on parked cars in campus parking lots is prohibited.

Posting on Campus

Non-registered student organizations or individuals are not permitted to post notices on campus.  Registered organizations may post according to the KSU Publicity Regulations (available in the Office of Student Activities and Services).

See also: Publicity Regulations - http://www.k-state.edu/policies/ppm/8570.html

E-mail

University information technology resources, including e-mail, may not be used to support partisan political candidates or party fundraising.

Major Candidate Visits

Campus visits by major candidates must be coordinated through the Director of Governmental Relations to insure that proper and adequate arrangements have been made to accommodate security, press, crowd, etc.

  • Policy Concerning Religious Activities

See Campus Directory or http://www.k-state.edu/studentlife/reportsandpolicies/Religiousactivitiespolicy.html

Regulates on-campus advertising and other publicity. Requires truth in advertising, restricts size and placement of posters. Addresses:

      • hanging of banners

      • sidewalk marking, and

      • distribution of general literature

Refers also to Union and residence hall rules on publicity and posting.

See also: Media Guide

http://www.k-state.edu/media/videoguidelines.html

Guidelines for photo and video on the Kansas State University campus(excerpt):

Political advertisements may not imply endorsement by Kansas State University. Therefore, K-State's landmarks, buildings, grounds, mascot and/or logos may not be used in any political advertisement. In keeping with the Regents policy on political use of campus facilities, photographs and videos which use K-State's name, buildings, landmarks or other indicia shall not be used in advertising which promotes candidates or parties.