As an institution of higher education, members of the DCCCD community are encouraged to fully and freely exercise their constitutional right to vote, and to express their opinions regarding political candidates and key issues affecting local and state initiatives. However, in keeping with the role of the community college as a public, community institution, there are certain restrictions on exercising those rights on DCCCD property and in a manner that suggests endorsements of a particular cause or candidate by the College District. This document outlines important guidelines for DCCCD faculty, staff, and students regarding political activity on College District property.
Texas law and DCCCD Board Policy and Procedures prohibit any and all uses of College District resources to advocate political positions, including advocacy for or against a candidate. College District resources are intended to be used to help meet general educational, cultural, and recreational needs of the community and to conduct DCCCD business in furtherance of that goal. College District resources include, but are not limited to, funds, facilities, time, staff services, space, campus mail (including electronic mail and listservs), vehicles, computing equipment and any other equipment, including telephones, fax machines, copiers, paper, and, supplies.
Considerations for the use of College District resources are as follows:
Pursuant to DCCCD Board Policy and Procedures, DCCCD facilities may be made available to community groups and members whenever such use does not interfere with the instructional program and is consistent with the educational and community service objectives of the college. Should any outside group, whether community members or students, seek to use DCCCD facilities for activities related to an election, these guidelines and any fee requirements prescribed by DCCCD Board Policy and Procedures shall apply to all groups equally, without regard to the political viewpoint of the groups involved.
The College District is committed to fostering open dialogue and encouraging the civil exchange of a diverse array of ideas, opinions, and viewpoints. To that end, the College District permits political candidates to speak at events or public forums as long as all candidates are provided equal access and opportunities to speak.
However as a public entity, DCCCD is prohibited from participating in, fundraising for, intervening in, or endorsing any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
To eliminate any appearance of endorsement or sponsorship by the College District, all student or employee organizations sponsoring or hosting an appearance by a political candidate or candidates on College District property must comply with, and advise all speakers and staff of the following guidelines:
If the candidate is an incumbent seeking reelection to the DCCCD Board of Trustees, the same guidelines apply. Election Code Section 255.003 prohibits the use of public funds in a campaign for election o reelection to the Board.
Further, DCCCD Board Policy and Procedure BBF Local prohibits a board a member from engaging in any political activity while on College District time or to utilize College District resources for any political activity.
Therefore, for purposes of his/her reelection campaign, a Board member shall have only the same access to College District resources as other candidates and shall be constrained by the same guidelines.