When election time comes full swing, UMD and its students often become part of the action. Voting booths are busy all of Election Day, rallies are held to support all sides of the debate, and the excitement of a new political season permeates the halls as students are encouraged to get out and vote. One thing that may be forgotten, during these times, is how hard people on campus work to keep everything fair and unbiased.
UMD does not officially host political candidates, but student organizations can sponsor events. Sometimes political campaigns rent UMD space, just as other community groups are able to rent space, and sometimes a student organization or a group such as League of Women Voters will host a candidate forum.
“There are a few different ways political groups may wind up on campus,” said Lisa Hansen, event coordinator for the Kirby Program Board. “Campus organizations are allowed to host events without paying for a room rental, so if they decide to host a candidate or organization then they can do so for free.”
“If a political party contacts us directly, and wants to come in on their own, then they go through the same process as any other external renter,” Hansen said. Whatever political party they are from, and whatever position they are campaigning for, they are charged the same and must follow the same rules as any other member of the community for their visit.
Three political events have been scheduled in Kirby Student Center this week and next week, all sponsored by student organizations.
Written by Zach Lunderberg, October 2014.
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