Policy on Campaign & Political Activity

Student organizations must at all times comply with the University's Guidelines for Students on Political Campaign Activity.



Federal law prohibits tax-exempt educational institutions from engaging in any activity on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate's campaign for public office ("Campaign Activity"). Examples are:

  • Sponsoring the appearance of a declared candidate for public office
  • Raising funds or canvassing for a candidate
  • Distributing a candidate's campaign literature

Voter Education Activities

Student organizations may conduct voter education and registration activities on campus, including holding public forms, publishing voter education guides, and coordinating voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote events. If these activities are conducted on behalf of or in opposition to a Candidate rather than on a non-partisan basis, the student organization must make clear the activity does not have the support or endorsement of the university by including a disclaimer (provided below) in printed materials and oral presentations; must not use University funds or resources (defined below) in the planning or conduct of the Campaign Activity; and must determine whether that activity requires obtaining permission and, if so, must obtain permission from the relevant Yale office and observe all university policies regarding the use of campus spaces and facilities, including paying any usual facility fee.

Candidate Appearances

NEW FOR 2020-21: Non-Yale Law School Members may not be allowed on campus for any speaking engagements or functions.

Individuals who have declared themselves as candidates and/or representatives, may be invited to speak on campus on topics of interest to students or the broader community. If the appearance includes campaign activity, the student organization must make clear the activity does not have the support or endorsement of the university by including a disclaimer in printer materials and oral introductions; must not use university funds or resources in the planning or conduct of the campaign activity, and must determine whether the activity requires obtaining permission, and must obtain permission from the relevant Yale office and observe all university policies.

A candidate who is a Yale student or is invited and accompanied by a Yale student may engage in Campaign Activity in the common area of a university facility, or in a private residential area if a student living in the area escorts them, provided it is made clear that the activity does not have the support of the university by including a disclaimer.

Student organizations should notify the Office of the Secretary at least 72 hours in advance of the appearance on campus of any Candidate.

Fundraising for a Candidate

A student may solicit funds on behalf of a candidate provided the student does not state or imply Yale endorsement, and does not use any university funds or resources.

A student organization may conduct a phone bank within the university facilities if the student organization and the participants make clear the activity does not have support or endorsement of the university by including a disclaimer in all communications.

Student Publications

Student publications may publish editorials expressing the editors' views on candidates if a statement on the editorial page indicates that the views expressed are those of the students and not the university.

Disclaimer

"This event/publication/solicitation is sponsored solely by the [name of the organization] without the support or endorsement of Yale University. Yale University does not participate in political campaigns on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office".

Use of Yale Name

Yale's name may not be used in seal or mark in any communications involving campaign activity.