In addition to policies and procedures for Sponsorship of Visiting Speakers and Public Performances and for Distribution of Literature, the following guidelines have been created to regulate the presentation of political candidates and campaigns as well as elected or appointed government officials. The goal is to allow for sponsorship of these speakers and activities by a recognized student organization while protecting the interests of the sponsoring group and the University.
It is expected that events will be registered and approved using the regular timeline and Event Planning Form in place for all student club/organization events. In an election season, circumstances may arise where a club/organization learns of the availability of a political candidate or speaker less than 3 weeks before an event. Exceptions to the timeline may be made in these instances, but a request for exceptions with less than 24 hours notice will not be approved. The University has final discretion in decisions regarding the sponsorship of political candidates, speakers, or activities and these decisions are made by the Office for Student Engagement in consultation with other University officials as appropriate.
Sponsorship of State and Local Initiatives and Referenda
Student organizations may bring advocates for particular ballot measures to campus when those ballot measures are salient to the PLU community. This can include local and statewide issues. Organizations advocating for a particular side of these issues must follow the same procedures as a visiting candidate found below. Student Engagement will review requests for potential sponsorship of events related to referenda, recalls or other ballot issues on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with other University officials.
Sponsorship of Political Candidates
Pacific Lutheran University is a 501 (c)(3) organization; the IRS prohibits us from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of the organization. Therefore, our student clubs/organizations should not bring political candidates on campus to campaign. There may be special circumstances in which a student club/organization may bring political candidates to campus. For specific inquiries, please work with the Office for Student Engagement.
Sponsorship of Voter Registration Activities
Student clubs/organizations may sponsor non-partisan voter registration activities in collaboration with ASPLU Lute Vote. In accordance with election laws, all voter registration events must be non-partisan in nature; no campaigning may take place and no materials in support of any candidates or issues can be displayed while registering voters. Student clubs/organizations that exist to promote the campaign of a specific candidate or issue will not be permitted to sponsor voter registration activities. Upon approval of voter registration activities, Student Engagement will provide additional information on any procedures that may apply for submitting voter registration forms and providing information from the University to newly registered voters about Election Day requirements for student voters.