higher learning

today i learned that it's basically illegal (read: against university policy) for me to have a button on my messenger bag promoting my presidential candidate of choice. we got a letter detailing all of the "political activity" that is/not acceptable, and a lot of it i can understand, such as: we're not allowed to solicit campaign funds from our students. okay, fine, duh. but honest to god, we can't have a sign up in our office or a button on our messenger bags. i find this completely and utterly ridiculous. my office (as you know) is covered in messages about animal rights and/or veganism (both inside and out), and i also have safe space magnets and leaflets posted in my office. i sport one of these nifty support love stickers, too. these are all statements about my moral, ethical, and political leanings, and no one is mad at me for it. 

but a button on my messenger bag that shows who i'm voting for? evidently that is going too far. i'm totally exasperated. and i'm keeping my button on my bag, so there.


  1. it must be a power thing…since your relationship with students is supposedly an influential one…well, if you influence them who to vote for, that is illegal. but if you influence someone to not eat animals that is not. the same reason why teachers are not supposed to sleep with students, unbalanced power levels.
    though, that seems a bit extreme. just put it on your car instead or does that count against you too?

  2. You’re technically a state employee, right? Most states have rules about its employees, of any department, explicitly supporting a candidate. I would bet that you could get away with a button saying which candidate your union supports, though. It’s a strange thing, the intersection of politics and state government…

  3. we’re allowed to have bumper stickers (i think because car ownership isn’t immediately apparent), but still, meh. and yep, stegan, i’m technically a state employee, although i don’t see it that way 99% of the time. ari, never fear, i’m rocking it! i’m just going to lean on my sabbatical and pretend i’m not really employed right now, so the rules don’t apply to me. 😉

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