5.31 Political Activity

Also see Student Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities Document


The following guidelines for political campaigning on campus are in effect for the three months prior to general elections:

  1. The campus shall be open to political campaigning by candidates for national, state, county and city office and to candidates for representative offices of the various districts in which the College is located when the primary purpose of the campaigning is to educate only the campus community.
  2. Groups organized solely for the purpose of supporting political candidates shall have all the rights and responsibilities of other recognized student organizations, except that they may not be granted funding from college or MCSG sources or be given use of campus mail facilities.
  3. Organizations may use campus facilities for political meetings directed to the Macalester Community. When using college facilities, organizations shall be expected to abide by existing college policies and shall be responsible for cleaning and returning a facility to the condition in which it was found.
  4. It is recognized that there may be some political candidates who will not have campus group support. Such candidates may reserve facilities for political presentations directed to the Macalester Community. They shall abide by existing college policies.
  5. Political literature may be freely posted on outdoor bulletin boards. Posters applied to any painted surfaces, glass or metal surfaces or indoor bulletin board may be removed by representatives of the college. Political literature cannot be placed on doors or under residence hall room doors by candidates or their representatives.
  6. Candidates may only solicit in the foyer of the lower level of the Campus Center and/or on Bateman Plaza. Candidates must reserve space a minimum of one business day prior to solicitation and be sponsored by a chartered student organization or campus department. Candidates and candidate staff (hired and volunteer) must respect our campus population by staying in designated areas (e.g., behind a table).
  7. In accordance with state law, candidates may request to solicit in Residence Halls. Candidates should request approval from the Assistant Dean for Residential Life, or designee, no later than 48 hours from the requested activity. Candidates, and up to two campaign staff, may solicit students by going door to door in residential facilities, provided they are accompanied by a member of the residence life professional staff. Candidates cannot use the floor lounges for campaigning and soliciting. Requests may not be approved if they conflict with the academic or co-curricular programs of the College, or if Residential Life staff are not available to assist them. Building residents will be notified by Residential Life staff via email in advance of the scheduled campaign activity, and may obtain from the hall office a no solicitation sign to hang on their doors.
  8. When attendance over 100 people is expected, a representative of the candidate may be required to meet with an official of the college to arrange for crowd control and program management. Any expenses associated with large events shall be borne by the sponsoring organization.
  9. In residence halls and College owned housing students may place signs on their residence hall room door and window(s) in their rooms. For individual room windows/doors, all occupants must agree to the placement of the signs. In public areas of residence halls or college owned housing, 2/3 of the occupants must agree in order for a sign to be posted
  10. Campaign signs displayed in locations other than those described above and/or those in violation of other campus posting policies are prohibited and will be removed. Students are responsible for the timely removal of permitted signs and for any damage resulting from displaying campaign materials.

Disclaimer: Like all political participation, the use of political signs must be undertaken in an individual capacity, without any use of the College's resources, and not in a way that it may be attributed as intervention or endorsement by the College on behalf of a candidate.

Any campaigning outside of the limits of this period are governed by policies of inviting guests to campus and/or facility rentals guidelines.


Students are free to support causes by orderly means so long as those means do not disrupt the operation of the College, endanger the safety of individuals, or destroy property. In any public demonstration or expression, students or student organizations speak only for themselves. College guidelines regarding disrupting demonstrations are as follows:

  1. In dealing with disruption, the College will first attempt to use reason or persuasion before considering any other mode of action.
  2. The College will not call upon civil authorities to shut down demonstrations except when it is decided that the extent and duration of the disruption places the continued functioning of the College or safety of members of the college community in jeopardy. Public streets and sidewalks, however, remain under civil jurisdiction.