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Postelection guidance for Roadrunners

Revisiting policies on personal affiliations, social media and political lobbying.

By Lindsey Coulter

November 5, 2020

A student registering to vote at on on-campus tabling event.As the United States awaits the outcome of the presidential election, Metropolitan State University of Denver understands that Roadrunners may be experiencing a broad spectrum of emotions and might be eager to share their perspectives, get involved and ensure that their voices are heard. The University supports and encourages democratic engagement and invites students, faculty and staff to further participate by joining in election-focused events.

The election offers an opportunity for Roadrunners to revisit University policies related to political activity and lobbying, social-media use and more. It’s also an important reminder that MSU Denver and other nonprofit colleges and universities must follow a wide range of federal rules and regulations to preserve our tax-exempt status.

Social media policy

Employees who personally engage on social media and identify their affiliation with MSU Denver in their profiles or comments should pay close attention to the potential impact that comments and posts could have on the University and its reputation. Employees should take care to utilize social media in a civil manner and avoid using personal information about others without permission. Behavior should be consistent with University policies on Freedom of Expression and Student and Employee Conduct.

Political activity and lobbying policy

MSU Denver employees retain personal First Amendment rights to engage in political activity. The University encourages participation in such activity; however, MSU Denver employees are generally prohibited from engaging in political activity while at work or using University resources, such as offices, phones, tablets, computers, email, copy machines, etc., to further that activity.

Employees should also avoid speaking on behalf of the University about political topics. Those interested in advocating formally for MSU Denver are encouraged to check out MSU Denver Champions. This guidance does not apply to academic statements made by instructors during the course of instruction, which is addressed in MSU Denver’s policy on academic freedom.

University employees who engage in lobbying for personal or professional reasons may do so on their own time, using personal resources, and should always make clear that they are acting in a personal capacity and not as a representative of the University.

Roadrunners with questions about these policies can always check with their supervisor or consult with MSU Denver’s general counsel before engaging in any political activity.

Topics: Policy

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