Political Campaign Policy

What to Do When You’d like to Invite, Engage with or Receive a Call from the Office of an Elected Official, Government Entity or Political Campaign or Organization

While most campus visits are coordinated by the director of external engagement, some elected officials, government entities, agencies and municipalities, as well as political campaigns and organizations may contact faculty, staff and students directly. We strongly encourage the college community to bring all government, political and campaign outreach requests and calls to the attention of the director of external engagement, for coordinated efforts by the institution that reflect and align with the college’s mission, welcome statement and brand.

Political Campaign Policy

As a non-profit organization, under federal law, Central College is prohibited from doing anything that could be construed as an endorsement of a particular candidate or political party or be involved with any political fundraising activities.

There are, however, several appropriate ways by which a candidate may appear on campus.

  • A candidate for office may rent space on campus for a public meeting or presentation or campaign event as would be the case for any organization or entity simply seeking the use of our facilities for a fee.
  • Faculty could seek to sponsor debates among candidates for office, ensuring that all candidates and all parties are invited to participate in an event, so that an equal opportunity is presented to everyone running for office. The purpose of such an event must be in service of an educational mission for undergraduate students.
  • In all cases, if candidates appear on campus, any promotional materials or verbal introductions must include the following: “The opinions expressed will be neither the opinions of Central College or its Trustees nor sanctioned by Central College.”

Central College, at the corporate level, does not sponsor or host federal level or statewide debates, forums, discussions, rallies or political events during primary and general elections.

To avoid the perception of actions that can be construed as an endorsement of a candidate or cause, the chair of the board of trustees, trustees, president of the college, senior leadership team and external affairs employees will not meet with presidential candidates in connection with their official duties at the college.

Political Events on Campus

All events that include a candidate seeking presidential, congressional or statewide office are subject to review by the senior leadership team. Event requests should be submitted to the director of external engagement at least 14 days in advance of the event date. Campaign rallies fall outside of the scope of permissible events pursuing an educational mission for undergraduate students.

If a campaign seeks to hold a rally or stump speech style of event on campus, then the campaign may rent space on campus for a public meeting, presentation or campaign event as would be the case for any organization or entity seeking the use of our facilities for a fee. No registered Central College logos, trademarks, branding may be visible during this style of event. For example, the Central College sign on the podium must be removed. Promotional materials, such as pamphlets, may be distributed in the building and outside the doors of the building in which the campaign is renting space on the day of the event.


Increased security demands may require the deployment of additional college resources to meet security requirements. The cost of the deployment of added college resources to meet these needs will be billed to the sponsoring organization or campaign.

Educator Led Political Events on Campus

Members of the faculty, the dean of students and the director of student involvement may host a policy focused event or candidate forum for an educational purpose. The event must be in service of the educational mission for undergraduate students. Politically driven debates sponsored by educators are non-permissible. Events should refrain from favoritism of candidates, and educators cannot leverage their position to give their favored candidate exposure.

Educator led, permissible events on campus must meet all the following criteria:

  1. A sponsor of the event must have a legitimate role in the education of students as recognized by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty.
  2. The event is required to be in service of an educational mission for undergraduate students.
  3. During a primary election, all candidates within the party must be invited and the same type of event must be made available to other parties. During a general election, all candidates must be invited to the same event.

Student Organizations on Campus

Under the guidelines for the establishment of an officially recognized student organization, students may organize groups affiliated with political parties and candidates. Recognized student organizations may reserve space on campus for events that are political in nature and are not be compelled to invite every candidate or campaign to an event.

Student Senate

To comply with federal non-profit law and maintain a clear division in college resources, Central College Student Senate is prohibited from distributing funds to student organizations for support of an active campaign, candidate or an activity that can be construed as partisan.

Communication and Promotion

Under no circumstances may official Central College signage be allowed, visible or in camera view at political events.

The use of Central College trademarked logo and branded images cannot be used in any promotional materials associated with a political party, campaign, candidate or cause, including recognized student organizations and educator led events.

                The following are not permissible in promotional materials associated with registered political student organizations or events: official Central College logos, official Central Dutch logos, official Central College “C” and the terms “Central College”, “Central Dutch” and “Forever Dutch”.

Defacing Central College property or affixing political promotional materials to college property, facilities or equipment is not permissible under any circumstance, including for the purposes of public display. Temporary political promotional signage, in conjunction with an event on campus, may be displayed as early as 12 hours prior to the event. Signage is subject to review by the senior leadership team.

Campaign materials may be displayed by students in the residence halls if the promotion cannot be construed as the view of the whole college. Signage by students must follow applicable student development protocols.

In all instances, the principles of the Central College Welcome Statement apply.

Dutch Connect App.

All communications whether internal or external must fall within the standards outlined in the Policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology. Political endorsements, opinions and statements from any individual or organization are non-permissible and subject to removal from the app.

A member of a recognized student organization may make an announcement on the app regarding an upcoming political event that the organization is hosting.

Individual Student

An individual student maintains the right to free speech on Central’s campus and the principles of the Central College Welcome Statement apply.


Updated February 2020