Political Activities and Testimony (see 8-2 Space Rental, Political Activity, Solicitation and Vending on Campus)
Santa Fe Community College encourages its employees to engage in public works and to participate responsibly in civic activities, fulfilling their responsibilities as citizens. The decision to participate and the extent of participation in political and civic activities are completely up to the employee. When employees choose to participate in civic or political activities, they must ensure that the views they express are understood to be their own views as individuals and not those of the College.
Contacting Political Officials or Members of the SFCC Governing Board
It is a matter of an employee’s individual discretion whether he or she communicates directly with a member of the Governing Board or any political official. However, if an employee decides to contact a member of the Governing Board or a political official, he or she must do so in a way that makes it clear that the employee is acting as an individual and not as a representative of the College. Thus, the use of college stationery, the employee’s job title, and college equipment to make such a contact is prohibited.
Contacting Political Officials or Members of the Governing Board on Behalf of the College
From time to time, an employee may be authorized or requested to make contact with the governing board or a political official or a political entity. In such situations, the employee must coordinate the communication through the President’s Office, and copies of proposed communications, including showcase materials provided at regular board meetings from program directors, must be reviewed and approved in advance. If an employee is requested to attend a board meeting or an executive, judicial, or legislative hearing in their official capacity as a College employee, the employee must immediately notify the President’s Office and coordinate their response accordingly.
As private citizens, employees are free to make political contributions. However, they are strictly prohibited from soliciting or receiving political contributions on College property or while on working status, and from providing or using any College-owned equipment to engage in political activity.
Campaigning on college-owned property or while on work status is prohibited. Campaigning activities include, among other things, distributing campaign literature or information, placards, buttons, cards, stickers, and other materials. It also includes circulating political petitions and making appearances or speeches for campaign purposes. Employees may wear campaign buttons and may discuss their political views, but may not compromise their productivity in the process. Employees may not permit political candidates to use college property or equipment for campaigning purposes, nor may they permit a political official or candidate to infer, directly or indirectly, that the College supports a particular candidate or position, or that the individual employee supports a position or a candidate in their official capacity as a college employee.
Using the Santa Fe Community College Name and Logo
No employee may use the Santa Fe Community College name, logo or their position with the College in an endorsement for any candidate, commercial product, or religious or public position.
Employees may not testify about any issue relating to the business of Santa Fe Community College in their capacity as a college employee without the express written approval of the President. Employees may testify before any tribunal as a private citizen on matters unrelated to their employment duties with the College, and no notice or permission is required. If leave is required, normal leave policies apply. In situations where an employee is providing testimony not related to the official business of the College, they must ensure that it is clear to the tribunal that the employee is presenting testimony as an individual and not in their capacity as a college employee. When providing testimony as a private citizen, employees must ensure that they do not compromise the confidentiality of college proprietary or confidential information.
Use of College-Owned Equipment
When official testimony has been approved, employees may use College-owned equipment and materials for preparing their testimony. Employees may not use College owned equipment or materials for use in testimony unrelated to their position as a College employee.
Corrective Action and Disciplinary Action
An employee who violates this policy may be subject to Corrective Action or Disciplinary Action up to, and including, termination. The discipline imposed will depend on the severity of the violation and the circumstances of the situation.
Approved by the Governing Board: 09-28-06