Political activity at JCCC 2013

I’ve been getting some feedback about using my position as a JCCC employee to endorse or influence the upcoming the JCCC Trustee election.

Let me be clear, these posts are composed and uploaded from my own personal computer on my own time.

Yes, my experience as a JCCC employee and student inform my opinion on the candidates and the issues facing JCCC. However, as the disclaimer under my photo (on the right) explains:

“Information presented here does not reflect the opinions of JCCC or Miguel M. Morales unless otherwise noted.”

I’d also like to note JCCC’s official policy on political activity:

Political Activities – 427.01

All college personnel enjoy the rights and privileges of any free citizen in matters of a political nature. Employees shall not use time for which college pay is received, nor college property, students, school equipment or materials for the purpose of solicitation, promotion, election, or defeat of any candidate for public office or of passage or defeat of any election issue.

Despite that brief policy, this was posted March 26 to the Johnson County Community College electronic mail server, Infolist:

Political activity at JCCC 2013

As the spring elections approach, it’s good to revisit the college’s policies regarding political activity on campus:

Because JCCC is supported by public funds and is a tax exempt entity, the college as a whole cannot support or endorse a candidate for public office or an election issue.  JCCC’s Political Activities Policy 427.01 prohibits employees from using or allowing the use of college time or resources (such as JCCC communication systems or other college property) to promote, elect or defeat a candidate or election issue.

  • Students and employees may engage freely in comment on political issues or public policy as individual citizens, provided they clearly identify that the opinions expressed are their own and do not represent the official position of JCCC and provided they comply with JCCC’s policies concerning political activity on campus.  Additionally, Student organizations that follow college guidelines may be involved in political activities on campus (such as: College Democrats, College Republicans, Student Senate, etc.).
  • JCCC’s Trademarks & Resources:  Use of JCCC’s name, letterhead, logo and/or resources (such as: college computing and information technology resources, including email, listserv groups, Infolist, etc.) for partisan electoral purposes such as solicitation of funds or other contributions in support of a political party or candidates, endorsement of candidates for public office or advocating a position with regard to a public issue (other than an authorized spokesperson on behalf of the college) is prohibited.
  • Candidates on Campus:  As a publicly supported institution, JCCC welcomes to campus any candidate running for office during a political campaign. However, a candidate’s desire to reach potential voters must be balanced against our students’ abilities to pursue their studies without distraction.
    • Literature Distribution: Candidates wishing to talk with students and/or employees during a campaign may request to have a table in the public area of the Commons building. From there, the candidate may distribute campaign material in the public areas on campus — namely the Food Court and cafeteria in the Commons, the first floor of the Student Center and the exterior central courtyard. Candidates may not visit areas where students work with Student Services or Learner Engagement personnel, such as the Success Center, or areas where students are involved in educational activities, such as classrooms, the library or computer labs.
    • Each candidate may have a table for one day during the campaign. To make arrangements for a table, call the office of Student Life and Leadership Development, 913-469-8500, ext. 3410.
    • Placing notices in or on parked cars in campus parking lots is prohibited.
  • Classrooms:  JCCC faculty or members of the administration may invite a candidate to visit a class or organization to make a presentation, but the candidate should do so with the understanding that he/she is not to campaign during the visit and JCCC faculty/administration should be vigilant and cognizant of the need for neutrality and fairness in seeking classroom visitors.
  • Facilities:  JCCC facilities may not be used for political fund raising events for candidates or parties, nor may candidates be invited to participate in campus events (such as a commencement ceremony or building dedications) during an election year when other candidates running against them would be excluded.
    • JCCC facilities may be made available for the purpose of holding political meetings, provided: there is no interference with regularly scheduled functions; there is not otherwise available a reasonable facility in the community; students are permitted to hear the speakers without charge; and, sponsors pay in advance the regular fees for use of the facilities (including technical support in the performance spaces, food ordered from JCCC’s Dining Services and overtime labor and setup costs if the event takes place outside of normal working hours). To inquire about JCCC facilities, call the Scheduling Office: 913-469-4423.
    • Depending on the college calendar and the event schedule, the college may also invite all candidates (or candidates’ representatives) to visit campus on the same day prior to a November election.
  • Recognition:  Political office holders and candidates will not be introduced or recognized on campus unless they are attending a campus event.
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