As an educational institution, Nazareth College encourages opportunities for candidates running for political office to visit the campus. These visits often provide our students with information and a view of the political process which can be uniquely described by candidates. It is important, however, for all members of the campus to be aware of, and to abide by, the College's guidelines concerning political activities on campus.
As a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, Nazareth College cannot intervene in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. In accordance with IRS rules, violation of this prohibition could cause the College to lose its tax-exempt status or incur excise taxes imposed on political expenditures.
To insure that the College does not jeopardize its tax-exempt status, Nazareth College, including any individual acting on behalf of Nazareth College, may not engage in any of the following on College property, during any College function, or otherwise using Nazareth College's resources or facilities:
- Endorsing any candidate for public office
- Donating or contributing money, foods or services to any candidate's campaign
- Participating or engaging in political fundraising events
- Publishing or distributing statements for or against any candidate
- Engaging in any other activity that favors or opposes any candidate
Individual members of the faculty, staff, and student body of Nazareth College are entirely free to support candidates of their choice for elective office, or to express their personal views on political issues as long as they are not acting in an official capacity as a representative of Nazareth College. These regulations preclude the use of Nazareth College letterhead, telephones, e-mail, or use of any other property owned by Nazareth College on behalf of any political party or candidate for public office.
With appropriate organization sponsorship and/or faculty supervision, the use of College facilities for political discussion or debates is encouraged. Student organizations, for example, may sponsor such an event on campus or conduct a voter registration drive. Classroom activity may also include discussion or debates on political issues as a legitimate part of the educational process.
College facilities may be used for public events such as legislative hearings and topics of general or educational interest. College facilities may not be used for partisan political functions such as fundraising events or similar activities that could be construed as an endorsement of a particular candidate or political party. No outside groups may rent any Nazareth facilities for activities that are part of a campaign for public office.
Whenever there are plans for an elected official or a candidate for public office to visit the Nazareth campus, the vice president for institutional advancement should be notified during the planning time. This includes academic conferences, tours, and any type of meeting, as well as student-sponsored events. This will enable the office of the vice president for institutional advancement to assist in determining that the College is following the federal guidelines. Details regarding the event, such as a copy of the invitation to the public, who is paying for the event, and the content of the program should be outlined briefly.
If you have any questions about restrictions that apply, please contact the vice president for institutional advancement.