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Campus-wide political activity policy unifies department policies



Students and staff at IU are under the authority of the policies and codes that govern the University even as they get reviewed, changed and updated.

In addition to the university's policies, IU students have a code outlining their rights, responsibilities and conduct. The code states that some rights include engaging in discussion, expressing thoughts and opinions and assembling, speaking, writing, publishing or inviting speakers on any subject.

The student code also outlines responsibilities including behaving with dignity and respect and in a way that upholds academic and professional standards.

Faculty and staff also have outlined IU policies to abide by, but the Political Activities of Academic Personnel policy was recently rescinded.

After the policy was rescinded, a different policy, the Political Activities policy, covered the political activities of academic personnel.

Since early spring of 2019, political activities are in one central policy that covers all of IU.

“The evolution of the policy is to distinguish the line between an individual’s political activity and political activity that might implement the University,” said Brad Boswell, assistant director for government relations at IU. 

Boswell said that these efforts are to avoid stifling political expression of IU's affiliates. 

“The purpose of the policy is to protect the University interests from becoming entangled in private personal political activity,” Boswell said.

IU’s chief policy officer, Kip Drew, said in an email that the University encourages student involvement in policy implementation and review. 

“Students are important stakeholders, but they are not policy owners,” Drew said.

A recent example of student input affecting policies is the recent changes to the Sexual Misconduct policy. The recommendations for the policy changes were facilitated by the IU-Bloomington Sexual Misconduct student working group. 

Drew said in the future, policies will be reviewed at least every five years. The Policy Advisory Council, made up of members from multiple campuses and administrators, is tasked with reviewing new and revised policies and will continue to meet regularly. 

“In addition, students are always welcome to provide input on existing, new, or updated policies via the website, either through a dedicated email or our policy feedback form,” Drew said.

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