NAICU Washington Update

Political Activity on Campus

March 22, 2016

As the primary elections winds down this spring, and general election activity ramps up, it is time for colleges and universities to review the “do’s and dont's” of political activity on campus. The American Council on Education recently updated its memorandum on political campaign activities to presidents, which is a helpful guide to the rules applying to 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt institutions.

The memo covers what are generally permitted activities for institutions, such as voter education, candidate appearances and issue advocacy; and what are generally prohibited activities for institutions, such as endorsing candidates, fundraising for candidates, or using institutional letterhead or logos to support a candidate or political party.

Presidents are encouraged to review the ACE memo with their counsel to ensure campus activities are in compliance.

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