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Part 15 - Policy on Social Networking Sites

The Department of Athletics understands the popularity and usefulness of social networking sites and supports their use by student athletes provided the following guidelines are followed: 

  1. Post only appropriate personal information to your profile.
    1. Eliminate phone numbers and addresses.
    2. List only appropriate e-mail addresses and nicknames.
    3. Don’t include a schedule, spring break plans, or any other information that will give away your whereabouts.
  2. Monitor your electronic photo albums.
    1. Don’t take photos that would be considered inappropriate**.
    2. If an inappropriate photo is taken, ask the photographer to refrain from posting the picture on the Internet or, at the very least, ask them to exclude you when tagging pictured individuals.
    3. Frequently check tagged photos. If you find an inappropriate photo tagged to your name, then un-tag it and ask the photographer to delete the picture from their album. 
    4. Set all personal photo albums to “visible to friends only.” This will help protect you from potential stalkers and will limit the exposure of any inappropriate photos that you may have unintentionally included in the posting process.
  3. Monitor postings.
    1. Delete inappropriate postings from your message board. 
    2. Do not post any message that is considered inappropriate.
  4. Allow only friends and acquaintances to join your group of friends. 
  5. Set parameters so that only people that you accept as friends may view your profile.
  6. Monitor social network usage among your teammates. 
    1. Your team is only as successful as its weakest link. Help your team to make positive choices so that inappropriate conduct does not result in team-affecting consequences.
    2. If you do not feel comfortable with confrontation, then discuss the issue with a coach or teammate and have him or her resolve the issue.
  7. Only join appropriate groups. 
    1. After joining an appropriate group, continually monitor it to ensure that the name or focus does not alter in a negative way.
    2. Do not create a group that is inappropriate.
  8. Use social networking sites in a way that is non-malicious.
    1. Do not use social networking sites to harm others, especially coaches or teammates.
    2. Do not use social networking sites to disrespect opponents.
  9. Stay current on new website features and make a consistent effort to ensure that these new evolutions do not compromise you or your institution. 
  10. Represent yourself in a professional manner while using social networking sites.
    1. As a student-athlete, realize that you are an ambassador to your institution, and because of this great responsibility, you must conduct yourself in a proper manner in all aspects of your life.
    2. Realize that potential employers graduate school program administrators, and others outside of your peer group may view your profile, and that what you post may have an effect on your future employment or professional reputation.
  11. Inappropriate use of any social media can result in the closure of your account for a period of time.

* - Electronic presence refers to a student-athlete’s involvement in an electronic community.

** - Inappropriate content is anything that is illegal, or that your institution and or athletic department may deem as inappropriate. This list may include but is not limited to: partial or total nudity, underage consumption of alcohol, hazing activities, tobacco use, obscene gestures, derogatory statements or vulgar language.

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