Student-Sponsored Political Activities

The “Guidelines for Student Sponsored Political Activities on Campus” have been developed by the Center for Student Enrichment to encourage student participation in the democratic process while maintaining the University’s integrity in regard to political activity.  The following guidelines are intended to fulfill this purpose by informing students of the means by which political activities may be conducted on the campus of Northern Michigan University.  The guidelines are based on and serve as a summary of existing University regulations and policies.  They should not be considered as replacements for or as inclusive of these regulations and policies. 

I.  Political Speakers

Persons speaking on campus on behalf of a political candidate(s) or issue(s) at the invitation of students will be subject to the provisions in the Facilities Use Policy.  Provisions within this policy to be especially aware of are:

  1. The speaker must be sponsored by a registered student organization.
  2. For purposes of coordinating the activity with available room space and other campus events, the event must be registered at least 14 days prior to the event with the Center for Student Enrichment.
  3. The speaker may not incite the audience to take unlawful action.

II.  Posters and Signs

Posters and signs promoting or calling attention to a political candidate, activity, or issue may be displayed upon University property in accordance with the Posting Materials Policy, and University Ordinances 17.00 (Posting) and 20.00 (Soliciting, Selling, and Publicizing) found in the University Ordinances booklet, and Regulations 2.3.8 (Destruction of Property) and 2.3.26 (Solicitation, Selling, and Publicizing) found in the Student Code.  Guidelines to be especially aware of are:

  1. All posters and signs must be registered in the Center for Student Enrichment prior to posting.
  2. Notices, posters, and signs may not be attached to any car, fence, wall, pole, post, tree, or any outside part of a University building or facility.
  3. Lawn signs must be approved by Plant Operations.

III.  Leaflets and Flyers

Leaflets and flyers may be distributed on campus in accordance with the policy regarding the Written Materials Policy.  Provisions from this policy to be especially aware of are:

  1. Outside the confines of buildings, leaflets, and flyers may be passed out hand-to-hand or picked up without prior permission provided the distribution does not obstruct access to, or egress from, any building or interfere with any institutional program and the normal maintenance of grounds or structures under University control.
  2. In public areas of University buildings, other than residence halls, that have been established for the distribution with representatives of those buildings.  Building representatives may establish procedures for managing the distribution of materials.

IV.  Fundraising

All activities involving the collection of money in support of political candidates by registered student organizations are defined as fundraising projects.  These activities may be carried out according to the provisions of the Student Organization Fundraising Activities and University Regulation 2.3.6 (Soliciting, Selling, and Publicizing) found in the Student Code booklet.  Provisions to be especially aware of:

  1. A registered student organization may conduct fundraising projects on campus after registering their fundraiser and receiving approval by the Director of the Center for Student Enrichment or his/her designee.
  2. Posters, signs, flyers, etc., promoting these fundraising activities must be approved as mentioned in Sections II and III of this document.

V.  Use of Funds Collected and Received by the University

The University is not legally authorized to expend funds in promotion or support of a political issue or the candidacy of a person seeking political office.  Accordingly, funds received by the University or collected by the University as a condition of enrollment may not be used for the promotion and support of a political candidate or issue.  This policy applies but is not limited to the Residence Hall Program Activity Fee, the WUPX Radio Station Fee, and the Student Activity Fee.

VI.  Outdoor Rallies and Parades

Outdoor rallies and parades may be conducted on campus if the following guidelines are adhered to:

  1. Plans for conducting a rally or parade must be registered by submitting an Activity Request Form.
  2. The rally or parade shall not obstruct or disturb the free movement of persons, the normal operation of the University and the normal use of University buildings and facilities, or contravene University ordinances, regulations, or State or Federal laws.

VII.  Use of Sound Amplifying Equipment

The use of sound amplifying equipment is permitted on campus in accordance with Regulation 2.3.27 (Sound Amplifying Equipment) of the Student Code.  Provisions to be especially aware of in the use of sound amplifying equipment are:

  1. The use of amplifying equipment is permitted outdoors only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on the lawn adjacent to the north side of the Northern Center.
  2. The use of sound amplifying equipment by registered student organizations in areas on campus other than those provided in Section VII A may be requested through the Center for Student Enrichment.
  3. The use of sound amplifying equipment may not interfere with the instructional, research, and administrative functions of the University as well as normal University activities or events.

VIII.  Use of University Facilities

The use of available University facilities may be secured according to the provisions in the Facility Use Policy.  Guidelines to be especially aware of are:

  1. Registered student organizations may reserve available University facilities through an NMU Activity Request Form.
  2. Organizations reserving University facilities will be required to pay service charges for additional services that might be required in utilizing the facilities.
  3. Request for use of residence hall facilities must be submitted to the respective Residence Hall Director at least 14 days in advance of the date of a planned event for approval by the Hall Director and the hall council(s).

IX.  Political Canvassing

Candidates and/or their political workers may make direct personal contact with students living in University housing for the purpose of explaining their political platforms in accordance with the following provisions:

  1. Prior to beginning their canvassing, canvassers shall make their intentions known to the appropriate housing officials.  In the residence halls, the appropriate officials are the Resident Director and the President of the Hall Council.  For University apartments, the appropriate official is the Coordinator of Apartment Services.
  2. Canvassing may take place in University housing only between the hours of 12 noon and 10 p.m.
  3. Canvassing must comply with the provisions of escort policies regarding visitation and the closing hours of residence halls.
  4. Canvassers must show due consideration for the rights of the individual student when participating in this activity.

The registration of voters may be conducted on campus in accordance with the provisions established by the Marquette City Clerk’s Office and the policies regarding the use of University facilities.