Office of Legal Affairs



11-16-12: UW System Guidance on Holiday Displays

As the holiday season approaches, questions naturally arise concerning the permissibility of displaying Christmas trees and other holiday decorations on campus. The concern is that certain types of holiday and religious displays may violate constitutional restrictions respecting the separation of church and state.  Please see the UW System memorandum to clarify what types of holiday displays are permissible on university property, including in employee offices and cubicles. If further clarification is needed, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of the General Counsel or your campus legal offices.

10-15-12: UW System Guidance Available on Political Activities

UW System has recently updated its document providing guidance on political activities at UWM and all other UW System institutions.  The policy statement  provides easy-to-understand examples of what is and is not allowed.  As explained in the document, university employees may not use work time or UWM resources (such as university phones, computers, email systems, listservs, letterhead or office supplies) to engage in political campaign activities.  Students, employees who are not on work time and members of the public are free to engage in political campaign activities in public spaces, such as Spaights Plaza.  

 08-08-12:  All UWM Employees Required to Report Child Abuse and Neglect

On December 19, 2011, Governor Walker signed Executive Order 54, which requires all University of Wisconsin System employees to report incidents of child abuse or neglect that, in the course of employment, they observe or learn about, and have a reasonable cause to believe has occurred or will occur.  UWM has developed a informational materials and online training regarding the Order, which can be accessed on the EO #54 Website,  A draft policy is currently being reviewed by the UWM Policy Advisory Committee and will be released in the upcoming weeks. 

08-08-12:  Voter Photo Identification Requirements Suspended

In March, two Dane County courts enjoined, or suspended, the requirement in 2011 Act 23 that voters show photo identification in order to vote. While the Wisconsin Attorney General is appealing those decisions, it is not expected that the appeals will be resolved before the August or November elections. This likely means that voters will not need to show photo identification for these elections. For current voting information and information about the other provisions of 2011 Act 23 that are still in place, please check with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, the state agency which oversees Wisconsin elections. 

UWM and UW System also have webpages dedicated to student voting issues: UW SystemUWM.