2021-2022 Catalog

Political Parties on Campus

Considering political activity on a Community College campus, the general rule is one of equal access.  If a Community College permits one political organization or candidate access to College property, it must provide equal access (upon request and availability) to other political organizations or candidates.  As a public institution, Berkshire Community College cannot deny access to its facilities because it does not agree with an organization’s or candidate’s political beliefs or message.  Such conduct would violate the free speech provisions of the First Amendment.  In the past the many of the Community Colleges have provided equal access to their facilities for political debates, campaign announcements, candidate speeches and political forums.  While hosting a political event is permissible, the following restrictions shall apply:

  • All organizations or candidates seeking to use college property for an event must comply with a College’s event registration process.
  • The College cannot endorse or oppose a particular party or candidate.
  • The event must be open to the public, regardless of the sponsor’s political affiliation.
  • Political campaign fundraising is strictly prohibited on state property by any person, whether a candidate, state employee or private citizen.  Prohibited fundraising activities on public property include asking for a political donation in person or electronically or including a solicitation to donate in campaign materials distributed at an event.
  • If there are any costs associated with a political event, including the need for additional campus police or custodial services, the political organization or candidate sponsoring the event must bear those expenses.
  • During work hours, a public employee may not engage in political activity, including supporting or opposing a ballot question or political candidate or organization.  Further, a public employee may not use public resources for political activities, including: staff time; office space and facilities; office equipment, such as computers, vehicles, copiers, and communications equipment; public websites and links to public websites; or office supplies, such as official stationery.  That said, a College employee may introduce and welcome a political candidate or organization to campus and public employees may attend a political event during routine breaks or lunch periods or outside of their work hours.