Fresno Pacific University is a diverse community of learners committed to furthering the Kingdom of God. The university seeks to encourage an understanding of political processes and issues without promoting a particular political agenda. Such choices are matters of individual conscience, not institutional endorsement. To further these ends, the following guidelines have been established regarding political activity and involvement.

Individuals

Inasmuch as faculty, staff and students are private citizens, they are encouraged to participate in the political process to whatever extent they wish, as long as their involvement does not violate the guidelines set down below as they relate to the institution, its facilities and resources. Faculty, staff, and students may publicly endorse or disapprove any candidate or public policy. However, the institution discourages faculty, staff, and students from officially identifying themselves as being associated with Fresno Pacific University in any way that might be construed as a direct or an indirect endorsement of the candidate or the issue by the institution. Offices, classrooms, and other non-residential facilities of the University should be free from display of political campaign materials, including petitions. (Student Groups seeking to advocate at approved times and places are exempt from this stipulation.)

Student Groups Seeking to Advocate

Student Groups seeking to represent a proposition, cause, or candidate must conform to the following guidelines.

Advocacy Events are those that represent one side and are not delivered to a captive audience (i.e. College Hour, Student Senate, Cafeteria, etc.). Such events, activities, and/or other forms of group advocacy must be reviewed, approved, and scheduled via the Dean of Students (DOS) Office. Groups are encouraged to plan in advance so as to better position their selves in terms of times, locations, and dates. Appeals of decisions from the DOS should be addressed to the President’s Cabinet in writing and filed with the DOS. Student Groups have 72 hours in which to appeal DOS decisions. (The President’s Cabinet meets weekly.)

  1. The appropriateness of events, activities, and/or other forms of group advocacy will be evaluated against the FPU mission, vision, Idea, and educational purpose of the institution.
  2. Displays are subject to review via the Dean of Students Office and are to be free from slander, malice, and/or other misrepresentations. Displays are to be in good taste and should promote civility and respectful discourse. Appeals to decisions from the DOS should be addressed to the President’s Cabinet in writing and filed with the DOS. Student Groups have 72 hours in which to appeal DOS decisions (The President’s Cabinet meets weekly.)
  3. Institutional facilities and/or spaces may be used for meetings or activities to promote a position, cause, and/or a candidate as long as similar facilities and/or spaces are available on similar terms to other groups representing different positions, causes, or candidates. Whether other groups choose to avail themselves of the opportunity to promote their position, cause, or candidate is solely their decision. (Similar does not mean simultaneously, and no individual or group is obligated to ensure that the “other side” takes advantage of their opportunity.)
  4. Events related to the promotion or advocacy of a position or candidate must not interfere with the instructional mission of Fresno Pacific University.
  5. Events, activities, and/or other forms of group advocacy must conform to applicable institutional policies and guidelines.

Student Groups Seeking to Educate

Student Groups seeking to educate about a proposition, cause, or candidate must conform to the following guidelines.

  1. Educational Events are those that represent both (or all) sides and might be delivered to a captive audience (i.e. College Hour, Student Senate, Cafeteria, etc.). Such events, activities, and/or other forms of group education must be reviewed, approved, and scheduled via the Dean of Students (DOS) Office. Groups are encouraged to plan in advance so as to better position their selves in terms of times, locations, and dates. Appeals to decisions from the DOS should be addressed to the President’s Cabinet in writing and filed with the DOS. Student Groups have 72 hours in which to appeal DOS decisions. (The President’s
    Cabinet meets weekly.)
  2. The appropriateness of events, activities, and/or other forms of group advocacy will be evaluated against the FPU mission, vision, Idea, and educational purpose of the institution.
  3. Displays are subject to review via the Dean of Students Office and are to be free from slander, malice, and/or other misrepresentations. Displays are to be in good taste and should promote civility and respectful discourse. Appeals to decisions from the DOS should be addressed to the President’s Cabinet in writing and filed with the DOS. Student Groups have 72 hours in which to appeal DOS decisions. (The President’s Cabinet meets weekly.)
  4. Institutional facilities and/or spaces may be used for meetings or activities to educate members of the university community or the general public about issues, candidates, and/or propositions as long as the following guidelines are adhered to:
    1. Opposing views must be equally represented in presentation, materials, and time.
    2. Equal representation in terms of presentation means an advocate for each side, a representative/stand-in for each side, materials for each side, etc. One side having an advocate and the other side being represented by a stand-in or materials would not be acceptable.
    3. Advocate is defined as someone personally, passionately, and purposefully involved in the advocating of a proposition, cause, or candidate. Representative/stand-in is defined as someone objectively and dispassionately representing a proposition, cause, or candidate that they may or may not personally support.
  5. Events related to educating the FPU community must not interfere with the instructional mission of Fresno Pacific University.
  6. Events, activities, and/or other forms of education for the FPU community must conform to applicable institutional policies and guidelines.

University

The university, with regard to the representing of propositions, causes, and candidates, will conform to the following guidelines.

  1. It will make an intentional effort to be a part of the civic arena by bringing political debates and symposia to campus through cooperation with outside groups such as “The League of Women Voters,” or through the institution’s own efforts. In all cases, Fresno Pacific will be identified through advertisements and public service announcements in the media, at the event through banners, podium shields, and through welcoming comments, etc.
  2. It will not endorse or disapprove any political candidate, cause, or proposition. In keeping with this policy, any events or engagements will be conducted as politically neutral. They will be debates, discussions, airing of issues with “pro” and “con” arguments, etc. They may be hosted and moderated by FPU staff and faculty, or FPU may simply be the host site through arrangement with other organizations.
  3. Any arrangements that are made with candidates, forums, etc. will exclude the display of campaign signs and promotional displays. In events where there are multiple candidates, for example in a debate format, all will be allowed to present informational literature on their positions equally and equitably. FPU officials will have the right to decide what is applicable presenting of literature. For example, FPU officials might decide it is not appropriate for campaign workers to hand out informational literature, as opposed to it just being available on a table.
  4. University resources such as letterhead, office supplies, copiers or any other similar materials or services which are funded by the university may not be used to support the campaign efforts of any candidate, cause, or proposition.
  5. Individuals employed by the university are not to be involved in any active political campaigning during the hours when they are officially being paid for their time by the university.
  6. Offices, classrooms, and other non-residential facilities of the University should be free from display of political campaign materials, including petitions (Student Groups seeking to advocate at approved times and places are exempt from this stipulation).

We believe that following these guidelines will allow interested faculty, students and staff members to be actively involved in campaigns and other political activity. At the same time, it will help avoid crossing any of the lines that might be viewed by others as in violation of campaign laws, regulations or standards established by governmental bodies or “watchdog organizations” regarding political activity by non-profit, public benefit organizations.