Collegewide Social Media Guidelines and Policies

St. John’s College Social Media Guidelines and Policies

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.

Purposes of Social Media

For the college as a whole

  • To foster the development of social, professional, and learning communities within the existing network of the greater college community
  • To support recruiting, retention, and alumni relations
  • To enhance the reputation of the college
  • To build institutional loyalty and pride
  • To stimulate involvement with the college by the sharing of information on news and events
  • To draw friends of the college more closely into the community

For Admissions

  • To promote community development among admitted students
  • To reach out to prospective students
  • To show student life on campus

For Student Groups/Activities

  • To communicate with and recruit members (for events, meetings, pictures, etc.)
  • To foster conversation and friendship between members

For Alumni Relations and Reunion Organizers

  • To share information, develop relationships, and encourage participation

Violation of College Policy

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.

Privacy on Social Media Sites

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.

Posting Photos and Videos

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.

Items of concern

  • Photos/videos of children – Photos of children should be avoided and personally identifiable shots should not be posted without written permission from the child’s parents
  • Photos/videos of those who might object – This includes photos of people who have expressed that they do not wish to have their photo posted, and specific photos that reflect negatively on person to which that individual might object
  • Potentially offensive or inappropriate photos/videos – photos/videos portraying controlled substances, nudity, obscenity, medical patients, graphic scenes, etc.
  • Professional photos/videos – Proper credit and treatment must be given with regard to photos/videos in cases where the copyright is not owned by the person posting the material


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).

Use of the St. John’s College Name and Logo

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.

Administration and Updates

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.

Content and Management

  • The Communications Office manages all content posted on the college’s official social media accounts. Other offices are encouraged to submit potential content to the Communications Office for posting.
  • Profanity and hostile commentary is not allowed and will be hidden or removed if found. Users who post unacceptable comments or content will be warned and then blocked if the behavior continues.
  • The Communications Office reserves the right to check affiliated social media accounts to review content daily and make changes or suggestions as needed to be in compliance with the college’s guidelines.


Contact:, St. John’s College Communications Office


Updated: January 2017