Political Activities and UC policy
January 7, 2020
As our life’s work is rooted in serving Californians and California communities, it’s natural that many UC employees are deeply invested and involved in political activities. But, it’s crucial to remember that many laws and policies prohibit the university from engaging in political activities in support or opposition to candidates, parties and ballot measures. These restrictions apply to the activities of the university overall, as well as to the activities of individual faculty and staff members — either while acting in their capacity as representatives of the university or while using university resources.
To help UC employees better understand and follow these rules, the Office of the General Counsel offers a number of resources:
- 2019 Advisory: Prohibition on Political Campaign Intervention PDF
- Restrictions on the Use of University Facilities and Resources for Political Activities
- Legal Guidelines for UC Participation in Ballot Campaigns
It’s essential for all UC employees to comply with these rules. There are potential criminal and civil penalties for misuse of public resources, and, in the case of the rules that apply to tax-exempt organizations, the university’s tax-exempt status could even be jeopardized.
If you have questions, or are not sure about restrictions on political activities within the workplace, please contact Government and Community Relations staff.
Advocacy Opportunities for UC Davis Students
Every year, graduate students from each UC campus gather in Sacramento to educate lawmakers about the importance of graduate research and its contribution to California’s economy and progress.
Legislative Advocacy Days
Annually, students join campus leadership for advocacy meetings at the State Capitol to advocate for UC and share student experiences with legislators and their staff.
- outreach to and engagement with officials
- state budget and policy
- other resources
Upper-class undergraduate & graduate students: Join us for a three-and-a-half-day program in DC to learn about Congress, the federal budget process, and effective science communication. Students will have an opportunity to meet with their Members of Congress or congressional staff.
Contact Federal Government Relations Director Brandon Minto.
- outreach to and engagement with elected officials
- travel to Washington, D.C. on university business
- the campus research and policy agenda
- federal legislation and budget