Frequently Asked Questions about Political Activities

These FAQs supplement the policy on Political Activities (III.B.4).

  1. There will be a candidate event downtown next week, sponsored by the local VFW. Can I send out an email to spread the word?
  2. I’m going to a political rally. Can I wear my Purdue sweatshirt?
  3. A professor is wearing a button in class for one of the candidates in a local race. Is that okay?
  4. Can I put a campaign poster on an outdoor public bulletin board on campus?
  5. Can I hang a candidate poster on a public bulletin board in a residence hall?
  6. Can I slip political candidate flyers under residence hall room doors?
  7. Can I put up a campaign poster on my University office door?
  8. I’m running for the local school board and I’m a staff member of the University. Is there anything I need to do?
  9. Can I promote a candidate with a sidewalk chalk message?

Q1. There will be a candidate event downtown next week, sponsored by the local VFW. Can I send out an email to spread the word?

Not with your Purdue University email account. Purdue is a public institution, so its resources, including email, may not be used to promote a candidate for office. You may send an email from your personal email account to individuals whose email addresses you know; sending to a University distribution list is prohibited.

Q2. I’m going to a political rally. Can I wear my Purdue sweatshirt?

Yes. The policy does not infringe on an individual’s right to freedom of expression.

Q3. A professor is wearing a button in class for one of the candidates in a local race. Is that okay?

Yes. Faculty, staff and students may express their individual support for candidates, including wearing buttons and stickers on their person and on their belongings.

Q4. Can I put a campaign poster on an outdoor public bulletin board on campus?

Yes, so long as the bulletin board is not within 50 feet of a polling location (or otherwise within the "chute" set up at the polling location). Postings are allowed to be up for one week, and it is the responsibility of the person who puts it up to remove it.

Q5. Can I hang a candidate poster on a public bulletin board in a residence hall?

Candidate posters are allowed on public bulletin boards within the residence halls. Please contact the campus residence hall director’s office for the appropriate steps to take in order to have them posted.

Q6. Can I slip political candidate flyers under residence hall room doors?

No. However, certain canvassing activity is allowed in residence halls with prior approval from the residence hall director’s office and in accordance with conditions set by the governing body of the specific hall. Please contact your campus residence hall director’s office for more information.

Q7. Can I put up a campaign poster on my University office door?

No. Campaign posters, stickers and buttons may not be posted on University office doors. This is a rule of general application and is applied on a viewpoint-neutral basis.

Q8. I’m running for the local school board and I’m a staff member of the University. Is there anything I need to do?

Yes. Faculty and staff who run for a part-time office are required to disclose both their campaign and, if elected, their nomination to office in accordance with the policy on Conflicts of Commitment and Reportable Outside Activities (III.B.1). The disclosures must be approved prior to the individual taking on the outside activity.

Q9. Can I promote a candidate with a sidewalk chalk message?

Yes, as long as you follow the rules for sidewalk posts in the University Postings Policy (IV.B.2) and write it at least 50 feet from polling locations (or otherwise outside the "chute" set up at the polling location).

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