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Partisan Political Activities

Overview

Before confirming political speakers for a campus event, student groups must first consult with and gain initial approval from Student Activities and Leadership. During campaign periods, further procedural approval may be necessary to proceed. Federal and state laws that govern the university as an educational trust and tax-exempt institution, and concern for the proper role the university plays in society, limit the partisan political activities that can take place in Stanford facilities or with Stanford support. These limitations in no way inhibit the expression of personal political views by any individual within the University community.

Permitted political activities include:

  • Use of White Plaza as a designated “free speech” location on campus for student group information tables or speeches. White Plaza is an ideal location for programs and rallies. See White Plaza for additional information.
  • Intermittent use of facilities for meetings or public events, including speeches by political candidates.
  • Anything done as individuals (e.g., working for campaigns, endorsements (when it is clear the endorsement is made on behalf of the individual(s) and not the University), etc.).  In such cases, student organizations are expected to include a disclarimer on any endorsement with the following: "The views, opinions and any endorsements expressed on this site are solely those of SPECIFIC STUDENT ORGANIZATION NAME, a student organization, and its members. They do not represent the views of Stanford University. */

     

Prohibited political activities include:

  • Using university facilities or receiving university support, except as listed above.
  • On-campus solicitation of funds for candidates.
  • Use of Stanford name and seal; on-campus addresses; and nonresidential telephones, services, equipment or personnel.
  • Using a student organization name to endorse a candidate while using University resources. (To be permissible, it must be clear that the endorsement represents the views of the students and not the University).
  • Payment of fees to candidates.

Because the laws relating to political activities are complex, all groups wishing to bring political candidates (those that are currently running for an elected office) to campus can only do so with prior approval from Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) and Stanford Events.

See