Political campaign activity

Published: August 18th, 2020

Category: Memos

Jodi Gentry, Vice President for Human Resources, Amy Hass, Vice President and General Counsel, Mark Kaplan, Vice President for Government and Community Relations

The University of Florida is committed to the principles of free expression, including the exchange of political viewpoints and ideas.

As Election Day approaches, this is a reminder that UF is prohibited from participating in any political campaign or providing anything of value to support or oppose a candidate for public office or a ballot initiative. This prohibition includes using UF funds, facilities, personnel, email addresses and systems, social media, or any other university resources for political activities. Among other things, you should not use university emails to support or oppose any candidate, political party, or ballot measure. Use only your personal email address, social media, and other resources. Likewise, you should not use the university seal, letterhead, symbols, logos, or other identifiable marks of institutional affiliation (including images of UF buildings) to endorse or promote a party, campaign, candidate, or issue.

Of course, university employees have important rights to participate freely in political campaigns in their personal capacity, on their own time, at times that do not interfere with their work responsibilities. As state employees, university employees may not participate in campaigns during their work time, use their offices to influence or interfere with an election, or solicit funds in university buildings to support or oppose a candidate.

When necessary to avoid confusion, employees should make clear they are expressing personal opinions–and not speaking in their official roles or on behalf of the university–when taking a position for or against a candidate or ballot issue.

We encourage every eligible person to register and vote. Primary Election Day is August 18 and the General Election Day will be November 3. Early voting for the General Election will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. October 19 to October 31 at the Career Connections Center in the J. Wayne Reitz Union. Physical distancing and face covering rules will be observed in the polling place. Please check your county’s Supervisor of Elections website for other options to cast your vote and for your election day polling place. The university will be operating under its normal work and class schedules on Election Day.

For more information, please visit the university’s political campaigning policy online. https://generalcounsel.ufl.edu/media/generalcounselufledu/documents/Political-Campaigning-Policy.pdf

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel @ 352-392-1358 or general-counsel@ufl.edu.

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