Office of the President
Political Activity on the Utica College Campus
Notwithstanding our commitment to free expression, the College has a responsibility to refrain from endorsing or favoring one candidate over another. Furthermore, as a private institution, the College has the right to withhold use of its facilities from those persons whose views are directly opposed to our mission and values.
This policy applies to all those who wish to participate in political activity on the Utica College campus.
REASON FOR POLICY:
Utica College is committed to the ideals of free expression and academic freedom. Moreover, the College believes that a healthy and diverse community is one in which various points of view are presented and discussed. Indeed, our Mission Statement states that we are engaged in “…creating a community of learners with diverse experiences and perspectives…” One of the College’s stated values that guide the College community’s decisions and actions is “dedication to freedom of expression and to open sharing of ideas and creativity.”
From time to time such freedom of expression can be controversial, particularly when electoral politics is involved. The College has always invited candidates from public office to our campus to discuss their positions, engage in forums or debates with other candidates, or to make campaign appearances. This practice has benefited our students by exposing them to candidates, ideas and the political process. Many students over the years, particularly those in the fields of government and public relations, have been involved in the planning and coordinating of these appearances. This work has been an invaluable experiental learning tool that advances another of the College’s values: “commitment to pragmatic approaches to teaching and learning.”
The following procedures will govern the appearances of candidates and potential candidates for public office on the Utica College campus:
The College will make space available free of charge for appearances, including announcements of candidacy, by bona-fide candidates for public office as long as the College’s schedule permits. The College will incur no costs associated with extraordinary security or facilities management. The College reserves the right to deny the use of its facilities if it believes that such use will constitute an undue risk to the security and safety of the College and its members. The College further reserves the right to deny the use of its facilities to those who are directly opposed to the College’s mission and values. The College will make an effort to make time and space available to candidates with opposing viewpoints to campus in order to refrain from endorsing or favoring one candidate over another.
Permission to make an appearance on the College campus will be granted after evaluating the ability and willingness of an academic department, College office, or student organization to sponsor and coordinate the appearance.
Enforcement of Utica College policies is the responsibility of the office or offices listed in the “Resources/Questions” section of each policy. The responsible office will contact the appropriate authority regarding faculty or staff members, students, vendors, or visitors who violate policies.
Utica College acknowledges that College policies may not anticipate every possible issue that may arise. The College therefore reserves the right to make reasonable and relevant decisions regarding the enforcement of this policy. All such decisions must be approved by an officer of the College (i.e. president, vice president for academic affairs, or vice president for financial affairs).
Political candidates who wish to request the opportunity to appear on the College campus may direct such request to the Vice President for Marketing and Communications.
Please note that other Utica College policies may apply or be related to this policy. To search for related policies, use the Keyword Search function of the online policy manual.