Communications and Marketing-Related Policies
(from the Employee Handbook)
All advertising opportunities sold to outside entities by Wallace State departments, programs or student groups for fundraising should meet guidelines for our student’s Code of Conduct and other college and employee regulations. No advertising supporting or containing references to alcohol, drugs, obscenities, gambling, lewd or offensive expression, threatened physical abuse, firearms, or discriminatory expression is acceptable. Business logos are encouraged, as well as expression of support for teams or individuals. All advertising sold should be approved by the respective coach, advisor, or program chair/department director, as well as the Executive Vice President and Director of Communications and Marketing before being accepted and published.
Any advertising placed to promote Wallace State Community College, its programs, services, events or activities must be approved in advance by the Director of Communications and Marketing. [This includes the purchasing of marketing materials or other promotional items displaying the Wallace State name and/or logo.]
In most cases events are added to the college calendar by the events office once an event form (accessible on the Intranet) is received and approved.
DIRECTORY INFORMATION (FERPA)
(from the College Catalog)
The following is a list of student information that may be made available by the College without prior consent of the student:
1. Student’s name;
2. Student’s address (local and permanent);
3. Student’s telephone number;
4. Student’s place of birth;
5. Student’s major field of study;
6. Student’s participation in officially recognized activities, clubs, organizations, and athletics;
7. Degree and awards received by the student;
8. The previous institution most recently attended by the student; and
9. The height and weight of varsity athletes.
Much of the information listed above is routinely published in College publications. However, if any student desires for any of the above listed information to not be published on the respective student, the College will refrain from making public such information on that student, provided that the student makes a request for the information to be withheld, and the request is made prior to the end of the late registration for the given academic term. A request for non-disclosure of directory information may be completed in the Admissions Office.
Students may also complete a request for non-disclosure of photographs that may be used for college marketing or information.
(from the Employee Handbook)
Effective relationships with the news media are important to the College and its employees. They provide excellent opportunities for sharing the story of the good things happening at WSCC and enable us to deal appropriately with difficult issues as they arise.
- The Office of Communications and Marketing coordinates all media relations and publicity for Wallace State Community College. Media representatives should contact Communications and Marketing prior to entering campus to speak to employees or students.
- All employees should contact Communications and Marketing prior to speaking with media representatives concerning college-related matters. Please notify this office if you become aware of unaccompanied media representatives on campus.
- The President is the only official spokesperson for Wallace State Community College, and only she may delegate this responsibility.
- Employees requiring publicity and/or photos for a campus event should contact the Office of Communications and Marketing at least two weeks prior to the event.
- Adherence to this policy will ensure the coordination of all communication to the media for maximum desired effect.
NON DISCRIMINATION POLICY
(from the College Catalog)
Photographs and/or video taken by the institution, or on behalf of the institution, remain college property and may be distributed for publications, newspapers, commercials, student newspapers or yearbooks, or other appropriate sources unless the student signs a request for non-disclosure form in the Admissions Office.
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY FOR EMPLOYEES
(From the Employee Hanbook)
The College recognizes that the internet provides unique opportunities to participate in interactive discussions and share information on particular topics using a wide variety of social media. The College further recognizes that employees and students have free speech rights to engage in speech on topics that are of public concern. At the same time, employees and students’ use of social media can pose risks to the Colleges’ safety, operations, confidential information, or reputation. To minimize those risks, the College expects its employees and students to adhere to the following policy regarding social media use.
Social media should never be used in a way that violates any ACCS or College policy. For example, employees and students are prohibited from using social media to violate confidentiality or privacy obligations, or to engage in unwelcome, harassing, threatening, or discriminatory conduct, regardless of forum.
True threats, intimidation, and stalking on social media directed at ACCS or College students or staff is prohibited. A true threat is (1) a serious expression of intent to commit an act of unlawful violence against a particular individual or identifiable group, if (2) the group would reasonably fear the threatened violence. This includes threats to self. Intimidation is physical conduct threatening a specific individual with the intent to place those individuals in fear of bodily harm or death. Stalking is (1) a course of conduct committed with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person that (2) places that person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to (3) that person, an immediate family member, a spouse, or an intimate partner of that person; or (4) causes, attempts to cause, or would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to a person listed above.
Employees and students shall not use College names, images, logo, or other branding in social media without the written approval of the appropriate College authority.
Employees should not post or otherwise comment on or to social media during the workday.
Free speech rights apply in the classroom, in all other programs and activities of our institutions, and to the speech of students and employees. Great care must be taken not to inhibit open discussion, academic debate, and expression of personal opinion, particularly in the classroom setting. Nonetheless, speech or conduct of a harassing, sexual, or hostile nature exceed the protections of academic freedom and constitute prohibited harassment.
Any speech by students or employees that prevent the College from (a) operating safely or effectively, (b) maintaining proper discipline, (c) that threatens the integrity and/or public trust of the College, or (d) causes reputational harm to the College as determined by the President can result in disciplinary action, including reprimands, suspension, or termination. This includes posts, comments, or likes that are or could be perceived as offensive to any current or potential student or employee of the college. The College may also require deletion, withdrawal, or apologies related to personal social media activity.
While the right to free speech applies to communication in all forms, including in social media, the College encourages civil and respectful discourse, especially by its employees. We are all responsible to one another and to the thinking and thoughtful community of which each of us is a valuable part. The College encourages and requires professionalism, maturity, and honesty in social media communications. The College believes that derogatory, incorrect, misleading, cruel, obscene, crude, vulgar, offensive, profane, threatening, harassing, hostile, racist, or sexist comments are unprofessional and have no place in the community or in public discourse.
The College encourages and requires its employees to use good judgment about what is posted on social media. Remember that anything you say can reflect on the College. Whether you identify yourself as a College employee or not in personal online social media profiles, even if such accounts are private or have otherwise restricted access, make it clear in your social media activity that you are speaking on your own behalf. However, be aware that making this statement will not shield employees from disciplinary action if the posts otherwise violates this policy.
This policy is not intended to restrict speech protected by state or federal law. However, unprotected social media speech that violates this policy can result in disciplinary action.
Social Media Guidelines for Employees
The college addresses the following guidelines to users of social media:
- Be Responsible. Blogs, wikis, social media and photo-sharing and other forms of online dialogue (unless posted by authorized WSCC personnel) are individual interactions, not corporate communications. WSCC staff, students and volunteers are personally responsible for their posts. Faculty who choose to communicate through various forms of social media, such as Facebook, may consider separating this account from their personal one, e.g., johnsmithwscc.
- Be Smart. A blog or social media post is visible to the entire world. Remember that what you write will be public for a long time—be respectful to the college, employees, and students, and protect your privacy. Also, remember that nothing is truly deleted on the Internet.
- Include a Disclaimer. If you participate in an online/social media forum in an unofficial capacity, make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of WSCC. If your post has to do with your work or subjects associated with WSCC, use a disclaimer such as this: "The postings on this site are my own and do not represent WSCC's positions, strategies or opinions." Note that this prescription does not exempt you from being held accountable for what you write.
- Respect Privacy of Others. Do not publish or cite personal details and photographs about WSCC employees, students, or vendors without their permission. Any disclosure of confidential information will be subject to the same WSCC personnel policies that apply to wrongful dissemination of information via email, conversations, and written correspondence.
- Write What You Know. You have a unique perspective on the college based on your talents, skills, and current responsibilities. Share your knowledge, your passions and your personality in your posts by writing about what you know. If you are interesting and authentic, you will attract readers who understand your specialty and interests. Do not disseminate gossip, hearsay, or assumptions that are detrimental to the college and its interests.
- Be Respectful. It is fine to disagree with others, but criticizing or insulting readers, employees, supervisors, and students is not. Respect your audience and do not use obscenities, personal insults, ethnic slurs or other disparaging language to express yourself.
- Work Matters. Ensure that your blogging/social media activity does not interfere with your work commitments. Discuss with your supervisor if you are uncertain about the appropriateness of publishing material during business hours.
- Don't Tell Secrets. The nature of your job may provide you with access to confidential information regarding WSCC, WSCC employees, or students. Respect and maintain the confidentiality that has been entrusted to you and mandated by FERPA. Do not divulge or discuss proprietary information, confidential materials, internal documents, or personal details about other people.
- WSCC has the right to ask you to remove or edit posts pertaining to the college. Posts include, but are not limited to, those that have misinformation or spelling errors, are inappropriate, or contain proprietary information.
See also Policy for Acceptable Use of Technology Resources.
SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS
(from the College Catalog)
Wallace State Community College recognizes the value of social media in communicating and engaging with students. The college’s social media sites promote college programs, services and activities and generally further the college’s mission. Students are encouraged to contribute constructively through posting on college-sponsored social media sites.
- Wallace State maintains official pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn, among others. These pages have the purpose of developing a Wallace State virtual community, supporting recruiting and retention, and fostering interactivity with the college.
- College-sponsored social media accounts are monitored by the WSCC Marketing Department. Questions and comments are welcome; however, inappropriate or uncivil posts will be removed.
- Public expression of opinion by students shall be in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the WSCC Student Code of Conduct.
- Public expression in conflict with the college’s Non-Discrimination Policy may contribute to a hostile educational environment and is thus prohibited.
- Disclosure of proprietary or confidential information is prohibited.
- WSCC may remove any posts that do not directly support its mission, programs, or services. Posts by third parties that appear to be advertisements for other companies or organizations may also be removed.
- If an area or student group wishes to have an item placed on a college site, send the request to the Director of Marketing.
If an area or student group wishes to create its own social media site:
- Obtain permission from a supervisor.
- Obtain permission from the Director of Marketing in advance of the site creation. Included in the request should be the name of social media site(s) the area wishes to use, target audience, and purpose of the social media site.
- Neither students nor employees may use a personal account (I.e., Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) to create Wallace State sites. In some cases, a generic Wallace State e-mail account (I.e., firstname.lastname@example.org) may be needed to create the social media site.
- The college requires administrative rights to any social media site that is sanctioned or sponsored by WSCC.
See also Policy for Acceptable Use of Technology Resources.
The College makes no guarantees that the services of the website will be error-free,
uninterrupted, or that it will meet the needs of the user. The College will not be
responsible for loss of service or data due to events such as computer failure, loss
of power, or security violations. By using the website, the user agrees to abide by
all college policies, state and federal laws. The information offered represents the
offerings and requirements of the current catalog, but the right is reserved to make
changes in course offerings, curricula, academic policies, when it is determined by
the college to do so. The material obtained from the College website is not intended
to create a contract between the user and the College.
The College website provides links to sites of interest and use on the Internet. The College makes no warranties about the accuracy or currency of any information on its web site or sites that may be accessed from its services.
Material accessed through news groups, chat rooms, bulletin boards, or unofficial web pages are not officially sponsored by the College therefore all liability is disclaimed for data, information, or opinions expressed in through these mediums. The College will not deny access to a medium that provides free speech as long as it does not infringe upon the rights of another person or violate any state or federal laws, or policies of the College.
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