Election Campaigning on Campus

Approved By: 
Effective Date: 
May 12, 2014


A.    Rationale:

As an institution of higher learning, Lakehead University (the "University") is committed to the free expression of political views by members of the University community and to the value of discourse and debate as an essential underpinning of a broad and contemporary education.

However, as a publicly funded institution, it is also important that the University is - and is seen to be - non-partisan in any political campaign and with respect to any Candidate running for municipal, provincial or federal office. 

Within this context, the purpose of this Policy is to establish guidelines for election campaigning on campus for Candidates running for office in municipal, provincial, or federal elections.

  B.    Guidelines and Restrictions

 B.1       General

 B.1.1    The use of University resources or the University’s name in connection with partisan political        campaign activities is prohibited.

 B.1.2    Employees may take part in partisan political activities freely on their own time, but they must not do so at the expense of their regular duties to the University or its students. Furthermore, faculty and staff may engage in comment on political issues or public policy as individual citizens, but should be careful to qualify that the opinions expressed are their own and do not represent the official position of the University.

B.1.3    The University’s name, letterhead, logo or insignia cannot be used for partisan political purposes.

B.1.4    The University’s employees may not be asked to perform tasks related to partisan political activities during working hours.

 B.1.5    The following may not be used for political campaign purposes:

    1. The University’s internal mailing system (except as provided for below);
    2. The University’s electronic communications systems;
    3. University provided office supplies, telephones, copiers, computers, postage, etc.

 B.1.6    As conditions for entry upon University property in relation to activities permitted under this Policy, Candidates and all personnel accompanying them shall agree:

  1. to comply with all applicable University regulations, rules, and policies and to conform to all instructions given by the University’s Security Services;
  2. that they engage in the activities permitted under this Policy at their own risk, and that, by entering University property in relation to election campaigning, they agree that the University will not be liable for any harm to their persons or damage or loss to their property while they are on, or travelling to or from, University property;
  3. to hold harmless and indemnify the University from any and all liability for any damage to property of, or personal injury to, any third party, resulting directly or indirectly from the actions, or failures to act, of the Candidates and/or those accompanying them;
  4. to reimburse the University for any damage, reasonable wear and tear excepted, that Candidates and the personnel accompanying them cause to University property.

B.2  Canvassing on Campus (Excluding Student Residences)

B.2.1    The University has a number of areas suitable for the placement of tables and/or displays.  Each Candidate, upon request, will be provided one booking (for one day) of table space for election-related campaigning.  All subsequent bookings made by Candidates will be charged in accordance with the appropriate policy and fee schedule.  Bookings of such space must be made in advance through the Office of Conference Services, which shall alert Secuirty Services to the booking details.  Displays and tables that are erected without obtaining the necessary authorization will be removed.

B.2.2    Campaign literature may be distributed from the table display as provided for in B.2.1 to interested parties while the table is being staffed, but cannot be otherwise distributed or left about campus.  No posters or campaign signs can be left on the University premises once the designated campaigning day is over.

B.2.3    No door-to-door solicitation can take place in any University office area or building.

B.2.4    Official candidates wishing to carry out “meet and greet” type canvassing with the University community should contact Conference Services in advance to advise the University of their presence and to obtain direction on public areas made available for that purpose.  Specific areas will be identified taking into consideration the need to carry on normal University activities and address public safety and security.

B.3    Rules for Student Residences

It is recognized that it is important for residence students to have an opportunity to meet candidates for political office, and that the candidates meet with residents. This serves to ensure that our students are afforded the opportunity to be fully engaged in the electoral process. This notwithstanding, access to the electoral process must be balanced with concern for student safety and respect for their privacy. To these ends, the following procedures apply for election campaigning in student residences:

B.3.1    Candidates may request to set up a table for campaigning in residence once per election. Such a request is to be made to the Director of Residence and Conference Services. The duration shall be for one day and the table will be located in front entrance of Bartley Residence, or such other place as designated by the Director of Residence and Conference Services.

B.3.2    Candidates may request the distribution of their printed material to all student mailboxes. This will be done once per election, at no cost to the Candidate. Arrangements for this can be made through the Director of Residence and Conference Services.  Any subsequent distributions must be made via Canada Post, at the Candidate’s expense.

B.3.3    Candidates may book a Conference Room in Bartley Residence to host a “meet and greet” event for students living in residence. This can be done once per election. Bookings will be made provided space is available, and on a first-come, first –served basis.  Booking arrangements can be made through the Lakehead University Conference Services. 

B.3.4    Candidates may provide a maximum of one campaign poster for each House bulletin board. For the entire residence facility, 30 posters are required,  and they should be no larger than 24" X 30".  Posters are only allowed on House bulletin boards.  These posters should be dropped off at the Residence Administration Office and will be posted by Residence staff in the lounge areas of each House.  No exterior or lawn posters are permitted.

B.3.5    At no time will any Candidate or representative be permitted to solicit door- to- door within the Residence facilities.

B.3.6.    For the security of students, Candidates, and University property, Security Services must be informed in advance about all Candidate activities within the student residences. 

All contact and arrangements with respect to election campaigning in residence are to be through the Office of Residence and Conference Services, in Room 100 of Bartley Residence.

C.         Interpretation and Review

       C.1      Questions on this Policy should be directed to the Vice-President (Administration & Finance).

       C.2      The Vice-President (Administration & Finance) will review this Policy within three years to ascertain if any amendments are necessary.

       C.3      “Candidate” for purposes of this policy is as defined under the appropriate elections legislation.  In the case of municipal elections, the term refers to those running for the elected office of the Mayor as well as those running for city or township council in the Ward in which a campus of the University is located or the University operates student residences.