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Political Involvement



The essential functions of Brigham Young University–Hawaii ("BYU–Hawaii" or "university") require strict institutional neutrality, integrity, and independence regarding partisan political activities. This neutrality is especially important at BYU
–Hawaii where perceived partisanship is often interpreted as endorsement by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint ("Church"). This policy is designed to protect the neutrality of the university and the Church in the course of political activities that involve members of the campus community or university facilities and resources.

Responsibility of the University

The intent of the university is to provide appropriate opportunities for learning and public service without breaching its institutional neutrality in partisan political matters. The university recognizes its responsibilities to:

  • Prepare students for effective citizenship.
  • Promote scientific research and inquiry into the political process.
  • Accommodate appropriate public service and involvement in the political process by university employees.

Reason for Political Neutrality

The present position of political neutrality is adopted in order to:

  • Avoid any impression that a particular candidate, party, or faction has the support or endorsement of the university.
  • Enable the university to serve the community appropriately.
  • Ensure that private opinions and actions of university personnel are not construed as university or LDS Church positions in political matters.
  • Preclude any candidate, party, or faction from exploiting a relationship with the university for partisan ends.



2.1.1. Political Values May Not Demean BYU–Hawaii Principles

No speaker will be invited to campus whose expression of political values would demean the principles of BYU–Hawaii or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2.1.2. Sponsorship

Political speakers or activities on campus may be sponsored by any of the following groups:

  1. The university or one of its schools/divisions or
  2. BYUHSA.

2.1.3. Clearance

Groups sponsoring candidates whose appearance is to be publicized beyond individual classes must obtain clearance from the Academic Vice President and observe the rules regarding guest speakers as outlined in this policy.

2.1.4. Maintain Fairness

To maintain fairness and avoid multiple invitations, sponsoring organizations may wish to wait until after the primary elections and invite only candidates running for office in the general elections.

2.1.5. Classroom Invitations

Where appropriate to the objectives of the course, faculty members may, under the guidelines stipulated below, invite candidates or their representatives into the classroom.

  • No publicity outside the classroom may precede or follow the appearance.
  • No attempt will be made to ensure equal time for other candidates except at the discretion of the faculty member.
  • The faculty member must obtain prior approval from his/her dean/associate dean.

2.1.6. Neutrality in Classroom

University classes may not be used to support specific candidates, parties, or political programs.

2.1.7. Forum Assemblies

Forum assemblies will not be used for partisan political events.


2.2.1. Running for Office

It is permissible for university personnel to run for public office if the following conditions are met:

Campaigning does not interfere with university duties. Permission

University personnel must obtain permission in writing from the appropriate BYU–Hawaii administrative officers, including the President, before he/she agrees to become a candidate for public office or makes an announcement to run.

a. A faculty member must obtain this permission from the school/division dean/associate dean, the Academic Vice President, and the President of the university.

b. Approval for staff or administrative personnel must be obtained from the Administration Vice President and the President of the university.

c. This permission may be revoked if campaigning interferes with the performance of regular duties at the university. Facilities

Candidates for office are not to use the facilities of the university to obtain lists of names or any information (except library research) for use in a political campaign. Campus Mail

Campus mail is not to be used to distribute campaign literature. Supplies and Services

University supplies, equipment, and personnel are not to be used in connection with the political activities of the candidate except those services available for hire to the general public.

2.2.2 Successful Candidates

If a person is elected to a public office, the following will apply: Full-Time Involvement

If the office requires the full time of the individual, then he/she should resign or request leave of absence before taking the office. Short-term departures from the university can be arranged as personal leaves without compensation under standard policy.

  • Since the university generally grants leaves of absence for only one year, a leave for two or more years would likely not be considered.
  • A leave for a two-year period might mean the return to the university would be dependent upon the existence of an appropriate position, and the return to the previously occupied position might not be guaranteed. Compensation for Part-Time Involvement

Upon the approval of the appropriate administrative authorities, if the office requires only part-time involvement, compensation arrangements will be made as follows:

  • Faculty members on regular contracts may receive full compensation from the university and the public office.
    1. Appropriate arrangements must be made to cover classes and responsibilities adequately.
    2. If additional help is hired to fulfill the faculty member’s responsibilities at the university, the cost of the additional help will be deducted from the faculty member’s paycheck.
    3. When approved, a letter of appointment may be written to require services to the university for semesters and terms during which the Legislature is not in session. Assignment to block plan courses may facilitate this contractual arrangement.
  • Administrative or staff employees, with employment on a 12-month basis:
    1. Continue to receive regular compensation from the university; however, the amount received as compensation for the public office will be returned to the university.
    2. If he/she chooses, however, the university salary will be reduced by the amount of compensation received for the service in public office.
  • The term “compensation” as used above is not intended to include any payments for items generally classified as “expenses.”


2.3.1. Campaign Materials

Campaign materials (flyers, posters, bumper stickers, pins, literature, films, etc.) may be displayed or distributed by prior approval of the head of Student Leadership & Service only under the sponsorship of registered university political clubs. No other groups or organizations may distribute or display campaign material on campus.

2.3.2. Location

  • The only approved location on campus for campaigning or for displaying campaign materials is an area in the Aloha Center designated by the Aloha Center manager.
  • Tables may be set up in this area by the approved organizations to distribute appropriate political material.
  • Political candidates may converse with students at the display tables but may not circulate through the Aloha Center or elsewhere on campus for campaigning purposes.

2.3.3. Functions of the University

The regular functions of the university should not be interrupted by campaign activities. Official tours of the campus may be arranged with university relations.

2.3.4. Photographs on Campus

  • Candidates should not arrange to be photographed on campus.
  • Photographs, video tapes, films, or other representations of the candidate taken on campus may not be used for campaign purposes.

2.3.5. Endorsement

Public announcement of endorsement of a political candidate by a university political club may be allowed with the following stipulations:

  1. Endorsement must be in compliance with the club’s constitution.
  2. In order to equally represent all student interests, candidates should not be endorsed until after primary elections.
  3. The official title of a campus club must be used. The university’s name or stationary may not be used as part of the title.

2.3.6. Off-campus Publicity

Campus political activities are not to be used as a base for off-campus publicity in a way that could reasonably be expected to lead to an implication of university bias in a partisan matter.


2.4.1. University Representation

No one affiliated with BYUH is authorized to speak for the university in political matters except the President or those authorized by him.

2.4.2. Questionable Non-Partisan Activities

Some non-partisan activities have such clear potential for merging with partisan politics or for conflict with the values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so as to be inappropriate for university administrators. In cases of reasonable doubt as to whether a contemplated activity would be inappropriate under this rule, the university administrator should seek counsel from the appropriate supervisor.

2.4.3. Courtesy Calls

Any candidate (incumbent or candidate) wishing to make a courtesy call on university officials must relinquish publicity of any kind in connection with that visit. This should be explained at the time an appointment is made.

2.4.4. University Appointment

When an elected or appointed political office is held by a person who is offered a policy-making position at the university, the person may refuse the university appointment without prejudicing future considerations or may take steps to resign from the political office within a year following the appointment.


The use of university resources and facilities for partisan political purposes is limited by the following:

2.5.1. Personal Expressions

Personal expressions of partisan political support by an employee should not list or imply university affiliation. Employees who are candidates for office may refer to their own affiliation to the university in their own campaigns, but should be careful to avoid any implication of university endorsement.

2.5.2. University Stationary

Personal political opinions or partisan support for political candidates may never be transmitted on university stationary.

2.5.3. University Classes

University classes and other institutional gatherings may not be used to support specific candidates, parties, or political programs.

2.5.4. University Records

Candidates for office may not use the records of the university to obtain lists of names or any information for use in a political campaign.

2.5.5. Campus Mail

Campus mail may not be used to distribute campaign literature or to promote votes.

2.5.6. University Supplies and Personnel

University supplies, equipment, and personnel may not be used for partisan political purposes except those few services which are occasionally made available for a standard fee on a restricted basis to outside organizations (e.g., computer services, printing services, media services, etc.).

2.5.7. University Buildings and Grounds

University buildings and grounds may not be used for partisan political purposes except as provided elsewhere in this policy.

2.5.8. University Name

The university’s name, symbols, and logos may not be used to support any candidate or partisan political issues.

2.5.9. Academic Credit

Some courses allow academic credit for student work in support of political candidates. The administrative procedures and teachers chosen for such courses must clearly preserve the neutrality of the university. Candidates or party organizers should not be assigned as instructors of such courses, nor should they use for their political benefit any other course they may be teaching.


Only the President of BYU–Hawaii may authorize exceptions to the provisions of this policy.




Policy Owner: Advancement Vice President

Executive Sponsor: University President

Approved by President’s Council: 01/10/2010

Modified: 01/13/2022

Full revision history maintained by Human Resources.