Executive Summary of Guidelines

GGC resources may not be used to advocate for or against – or to fundraise for – political candidates, ballot questions, or groups that seek to influence elections. GGC resources include but are not limited to: the use of offices, facilities, computers, photocopiers, telephones, vehicles etc.

GGC organizations are permitted to invite guest speakers or candidates to campus, provided that guest speakers on both sides of a ballot initiative and all candidates for a public office have equal opportunities to appear on campus in the same or a comparable forum.

Any political event, candidate appearance/speech or forum held on GGC's campus must be sponsored by a GGC recognized organization.

The use of GGC’s facilities for a political event must be presented to the President for consideration of approval. However, such use shall be limited to meetings sponsored by recognized organizations of the College and shall be held only at places designated by the President. In addition, GGC's Office of Government and External Relations and the Office of Public Relations must be informed of any request for facility use for political events at least seven (7) business days prior to the event.

Any announcement of a political event happening on campus that is open to the public must also be sent to the Office of Government and External Relations and the Office of Public Relations for review and appropriate dissemination. The Office of Government and External Relations must be contacted immediately when any elected official or candidate for elected office will be on campus.

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NOTE: Any group or individual must ensure that GGC’s non-discrimination policy is followed – no person shall be excluded from attending and/or participating in any political event on campus absent articulable security threat.

Campus Involvement in Political Campaigns Based upon the USG BOR Guidelines, GGC Rules and Regulations and the ACE Political Activities Standards

  • Georgia Gwinnett College encourages all members of the GGC community to vote and to become involved in the political process. Employees must make sure they keep partisan political activities separate from their work at the College. 
  • GGC employees should always be sensitive to the possibility that individuals who are not part of the College community will assume that they are speaking for the College when they identify themselves as GGC faculty or administrators in a non-work-related communication. It is especially important to be cautious about using College titles when the non-work-related communication involves partisan political activities. When a reference to a GGC title or position cannot be avoided in a non-work-related communication (as when the title is used by the media), the employee should clearly indicate that his or her comments or views are personal in nature and that the College title is used for identification purposes only. 
  • Members of the GGC community should not use College materials including a GGC email address when engaging in private partisan political activities on behalf of, or in opposition to, a candidate for public office or a ballot question. This includes use of College letterhead, logos, or trademarks. It is prohibited to encourage and/or advocate participation by College employees and/or students in any particular political event being held on campus for a candidate to appear to be or actually be an endorsement of a particular candidate or ballot initiative.  
  • College funds shouldn't be used for tickets, or to pay the cost of attending, any rally, testimonial, or other fundraising event to support or oppose a candidate for public office, ballot question, or to influence elections. 
  • Opportunities for candidates to speak on campus and to use campus facilities for campaign advertising must be offered and granted fairly without bias.
  • There will be no solicitations for funds or in-kind donations for political candidates and/or political parties on campus.

Please note that the following activities are allowed under Federal or Georgia law:

  • The performance of academic research related to past or current political campaigns or the issues that underlie them. 
  • The dissemination of the results of that research in a manner consistent with normal academic practice. 
  • The invitation of guest speakers or candidates by a student organization, provided that guest speakers on both sides of a ballot initiative and all candidates for a public office have equal opportunities to appear on campus in the same or a comparable forum.
  • Pursuant to Georgia Board of Regents’ policy, the President of GGC may authorize the use of College facilities for political speeches. However, such use shall be limited to meetings sponsored by recognized organizations of the College and shall be held only at places designated by the President.
  • The invitation of guest speakers by faculty or academic departments is permitted, provided that the appearance is for non-partisan educational purposes.
  • College-initiated sponsorship or sanctioning of non-partisan educational activities relating to ballot measures or political campaigns by candidates for public office. 
    • Examples of such activities include candidate forums to which all legally qualified candidates for the same office are invited; symposia on ballot measures in which proponents and opponents of the ballot measure get an equal opportunity to participate; and the distribution of voter guides and voter education materials, provided the guides and materials comply with IRS guidelines. 
  • Voter education materials prepared by candidates and political groups seeking to influence the outcome of elections or legislation may be distributed only if distribution is fair and on an impartial basis – for example, an area at a student gathering where all candidates and parties may make campaign materials available to students.
    • Generally, IRS guidelines for voter guides and educational materials require that all candidates be afforded an equal opportunity to comment; questions be asked on a neutral basis; and while length may be limited, candidate answers cannot be edited or summarized. Candidate's responses should be presented in a neutral manner. 
  • College faculty teaching courses such as political science may provide a course of instruction that includes student involvement in campaign activities without specifying the candidates or ballot measures on whose behalf the students should campaign and where. Instructors may require students write papers or make class presentations evaluating their experiences.

GGC employees are further reminded of the following USG Board of Regents and GGC Guidelines:

  • GGC employees may not manage or take an active part in a political campaign which interferes with the performance of duties or services for which he or she receives compensation from the USG.
  • GGC employees may not hold elective political office at the state or federal level.
  • GGC employees seeking elective political office at the state or federal level must first request a leave of absence without pay beginning prior to qualification as a candidate in a primary or general election and ending after the general or final election. If elected to state or federal office such person must resign prior to assuming office.
  • GGC employees may seek and hold elective offices (excluding state or federal offices) when seeking or holding that office does not conflict or interfere with the employee’s duties and responsibilities to the institution or the USG.

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