2.11.17 Political Activities

Participation by employees of Jackson State University in various community and public affairs is expected; however, it is expected that time given to such activities will not interfere with the regular duties of the employee.  Political activities by an employee will not be prohibited at such time as the employee would not be ordinarily required to render services to the institution or if the employee elects to request a leave of absence without pay. 
The scheduling of personal leave for political activity is within the discretion of the President or a person with the President’s delegated authority for that purpose.  The only qualification on that discretion is that leave must not be unreasonably or arbitrarily withheld.  The University can impose any reasonable restriction on the employee's use of leave so that the work and efficiency of the University will not be impaired.  However, the University may not grant personal leave in excess of what has been earned and accumulated by the employee.  On the other hand, the University may not require an employee to take extended personal leave while he or she is a candidate for public office. 
Any employee running for public office cannot campaign during the hours when occupied or on duty as a public employee; may not use his office, position, or employment to benefit his campaign; and may not use any public funds, property, or facilities to assist in the conduct of his campaign.
Guidelines governing the use of University facilities and resources for political purposes:
  1. In any correspondence, statement, or other material relating to personal political activity, the University title of a staff employee shall be used only for identification.  If such identification might reasonably be interpreted as implying either the support or opposition of the University with regard to such personal political purpose or activity, the identification shall be accompanied by an explicit statement that the individuals are speaking for themselves and not as a representative of the University or any of its offices or units.
  1. Neither the name, insignia, seal, or address of the University nor any of its offices or units, nor a University telephone number or University email address shall be used for personal political purpose or activity.
  1. University offices shall not be used as a headquarter or an office in connection with the organization of personal political activity.
  1. University equipment, supplies, and services (i.e., computers and other technology resources, typewriters, copiers and other equipment) shall not be used for personal political purpose or any personal political activity.
  1. University sites or facilities shall not be used on a regular or continuing basis for organizing and maintaining personal political activities.  Generally applicable and content neutral facility use requirements can be referenced through the University’s use of facilities policy.
  1. The display or distribution of political materials — including political posters, notices, handbills, and banners — shall conform to campus regulations.
  1. When undertaking personal political activity in conjunction with other faculty, staff, or students, an individual shall establish clearly the voluntary nature of such activity and maintain the clear separation of personal political activity from an educational program, University operations, or University resources (including the solicitation of other staff).  Any employee who engages in political activity proscribed by Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-871 (including coercing an employee to vote or not vote) while at work is subject to disciplinary action.