With these guidelines, St. John’s College aims to foster the growth of virtual communities, protect the reputation of the college and its community members, and provide for the cooperation of those who create and administer social media pages on the college’s behalf.
The St. John’s College website is the college’s official online identity, and the college community’s efforts in social media are not intended to replace or rival this vehicle for communication. Rather, social media pages serve as a less formal augmentation to the communication and community-building efforts of the college.
Activity on social media found to violate the Rules of the College Community, as outlined in the Student Handbook, will be handled accordingly. These policies cover such topics as civility, responsibility, citizenship, discrimination and harassment, as well as the possible penalties of infractions.
While the use of social media networks can give the user a sense of personal privacy, it is important to remember that none of these sites can offer complete protection of private information. St. John’s College therefore strongly urges users of social media within its community to be duly cautious about the type of information that they provide on these sites, and to familiarize themselves with the limitations and capabilities of the privacy settings of the social media sites they use. Information that puts oneself or another community member in danger, or confidential information about the college or its community members, should never be posted on these sites.
The regular practice of St. John’s College is not to request or require access to students’ private e-mail, social media, or other personal electronic accounts; this practice complies with the provisions of Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 26-401 (Personal Electronic Account Privacy Protection).
The college recognizes the public nature of social media and that the college has limited control over content that is posted on its unofficial affiliated pages. (See the website for a current list of the college’s social media accounts.) The college does not take responsibility for content posted on social media by those not employed by St. John’s.
Photos and videos posted o social media networks are subject to privacy and copyright laws. Community members should use utmost discretion in choosing photo and video materials to share.
St. John’s College encourages all community members, and expects administrators of officially affiliated web pages to be aware of copyright law as it applies to intellectual property online. All community members should be careful to abide by these laws. For more information, see resources on the United States Copyright Office website (Frequently Asked Questions).
Groups that choose to use the St. John’s College name in relation to their activity on social media networks should be aware that their actions and representations reflect on the reputations of the college as an organization and its individual members. Use of the St. John’s College logo and are reserved for official pages maintained by current St. John’s employees. For more information, contact the college’s Communications Office.
The administration of social media accounts affiliated with the college should be done under the general oversight of the college’s Communications Office If an office or individual wishes to start a new social media account relating to St. John’s College, the Communications Office must be notified before the account is public, and someone on the communications staff must be given administrator privileges and/or login information.
In the interest of professionalism and reputation, administrators on social media accounts should strive to keep content updated, fresh, and relevant. Accounts should have a lead administrator as well as additional supporting administrators to allow for good moderation at all times.
Contact: social.media(at)sjc.edu, St. John’s College Communications Office
Updated: January 2017