Revisions Approved by President’s Cabinet 5/14/16; 1/27/20; 1/25/22
Approved by President’s Cabinet 12/16/14

Introduction

EGSC utilizes various social media platforms as communications and recruitment tools using targeted messaging and advertising. EGSC’s social media platforms provide an opportunity to communicate with the EGSC community including students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and other interested parties. EGSC recognizes the importance of academic freedom and the use of social media to promote academic instruction, research, and other scholarly activities. EGSC acknowledges that all faculty, staff, and students have the right to speak on matters of public concern as private citizens. In all venues, the college encourages responsible use of social media.

Definition

Social Media is a term used to describe web-based tools and platforms that enable a group of individuals the ability to share and communicate ideas with each other quickly and publicly. Examples of popular social media include, without limitation, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Tumblr. Social media also includes discussion forums, online collaborative information and publishing systems (i.e. Wikis), video sharing, as well as the proprietary platforms listed above. This policy applies to social media platforms owned and maintained by EGSC.

Users

When creating or utilizing an official EGSC social media presence, users must be current college faculty, staff, or students and must use their@ega.edu email address where applicable. Former students or faculty/staff must not have administrative, editorial, or contributing access to EGSC social media.

Log In Information Management

All log in information for EGSC social media presences must be provided to the Communications Coordinator. Failure to do so may result in revocation of access to EGSC social media. Log in information must be updated as administrators change—this will be handled by the Office of Institutional Advancement. Any password changes MUST be submitted to the Communications Coordinator immediately. Users must contact the Communications Coordinator prior to changing passwords.

Establishing New Social Media Accounts

To create an official EGSC social media account, a request must be submitted to the Communications Coordinator by the department head of the person requesting the account. The Communications Coordinator will decide if the page is warranted based on the college’s overall communications plan. For new accounts, the Communications Coordinator will work with the designated person in the department to create the account/page, and, if needed, the socialmedia@ega.edu email will be used to create the account.

The Communications Coordinator must be listed as administrator on all pages represented as college pages and have all relevant login information. If any EGSC social media page becomes stagnant or dormant, it may be removed by the Communications Coordinator.

Social Media Training

EGSC employees who are authorized to post content on an EGSC social media account should complete Social Media Training with the Communications Coordinator prior to posting any content. This mandatory training ensures that applicable policies, procedures and best practices are followed. Social Media training will be coordinated and conducted by the Communications Coordinator.

Submitting content for consideration on EGSC’s social media accounts

Every department is encouraged to utilize EGSC’s social media platforms to share information and communicate with various audiences. If a department does not have a designated person to post on social media, information can be sent to the Communications Coordinator to post using the following steps:

    • Email a request to socialmedia@ega.edu.
      • Please send information at least 24 hours in advance of the time it needs to be posted unless special arrangements have been made with the Communications Coordinator.
    • Address the following information: o Is a graphic or photograph needed for the post?
      • What EGSC social media page(s) do you want the information posted to?
      • What timeframe does the post need to be promoted? o Is there any other information that would be helpful for us to know that relates to the social media post?

Club/Organization Social Media Usage

The Office of Institutional Advancement does not oversee the use of social media accounts of clubs and organizations at EGSC. Club and organization leaders are, however, encouraged to take social media training through the Communications Coordinator if they utilize social media.

An exception to the Club/Organization Social Media Usage rule is a club or organization that is part of credit class at EGSC, such as for the Hoopee Bird. These social media pages will be overseen by the instructor of the course, and he/she will monitor student use. The Communications Coordinator must have access to the account.

Naming

As a page or account representing the college, EGSC social media accounts must have either East Georgia State College or EGSC in the title, depending on screen name limitations. The Communications Coordinator will assign all page names using proper naming conventions and ensure that page descriptions contain, “Official Account of East Georgia State College ____” wherein the “blank” is the name of the organization or group.

Content

Posting online is public speaking. Do not post anything that would not be said to the media or at a public meeting. The standard conventions of written English, including proper spelling and grammar, must still be followed. Digital shorthand or abbreviations should be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. Accounts should not engage in using non-EGSC affiliated, created, or branded files (images, emojis, GIF animation files, etc.). If you need something of this nature created for a specific use, please contact the Communications Coordinator.

Social Media Activities

Posts and other content specifically added by administrators of the EGSC social media account are official EGSC content. All content posted on an EGSC social media page by an account administrator is subject to this policy. Content posted to an EGSC-owned social media page by a faculty/ staff member or student’s non-EGSC computer or personal device is also covered by this policy. Your online activity may be subject to other applicable policies and laws including, but not limited to, the EGSC Student Code of Conduct, the EGSC Employee Handbook, the EGSC Faculty Handbook, the EGSC Information Technology Policies, the USG Board of Regents Policy Manual and the USG Human Resource Administrative Practice Manual.

EGSC does not monitor social media content 24/7 and thus cannot immediately review every comment posted on its page. User provided content is not screened or evaluated during the submission process. Opinions expressed by other users do not necessarily reflect the opinion of EGSC and EGSC cannot verify the accuracy of such posts. Users are encouraged to report content that violates the social media platform’s Code of Conduct, EGSC and/or USG policies and the law to theCommunications Coordinator. The college reserves the right to remove content and to revoke the user’s privilege to post to the EGSC social media page.

All social media pages created for EGSC are the property of the college and should not be deleted or altered without first contacting the Communications Coordinator.

The college is committed to academic freedom as stated in the EGSC Statutes and any violation of this policy will be evaluated consistently with the college’s policy on academic freedom.

Social Media Usage During Crisis

During a crisis or emergency, users must immediately cease all activity on all EGSC-affiliated social media platforms. The Office of Institutional Advancement and the Emergency Response Team will identify the message and distribution strategy for EGSC’s social media sites and inform account administrators when and how to resume social media communications.

Media Relations

All news media inquiries received through social media must be referred for coordination and guidance to the Communications Coordinator.

Responding to Direct Messages on Social Media Platforms

The Communications Coordinator will answer and address all messages on social media platforms. The Communications Coordinator will direct the person to the information needed or direct them to call or email the appropriate department.

Social Media Activities Violating the Law or Policy

Use of social media that violates the law, including but not limited to federal, state, local, and, when applicable, foreign laws and EGSC and/or USG policies will result in disciplinary action and may result in criminal or civil penalties. In addition, content posted on a social networking site may be used as evidence of activity that violates the law.

The following guidelines highlight several activities that violate law or policy and are not intended as a comprehensive list:

    • Acceptable Use Policy and Campus Computer Network and Usage Policy: Social media users must abide by the college’s Acceptable Use Policy and Computer Network and Usage Policy when posting content on EGSC social media accounts.
    • Confidentiality of Student and Applicant Records: Federal laws (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), Georgia law, EGSC policy and USG policy governing the confidentiality of student and applicant records apply to social media use. Information such as academic records, disciplinary records, and e-mail correspondence should never be released through social media without the express written consent of the student or applicant that includes consent to the disclosure through social media.
    • Release of Restricted Data: Release of social security numbers, financial information, faculty/staff or student medical information, and any other confidential records held by the college is strictly prohibited.
    • Adhere to Applicable College and USG Policies: Use of social media must be in a manner that complies with EGSC and USG Policies, including but not limited to policies concerning discrimination, harassment, bullying, information technology policies, conflict of interest, and USG Ethical Code of Conduct. The college will address, through appropriate disciplinary procedures, the social media activities of faculty, staff, or students that are defamatory, discriminatory, harassing, violate FERPA, violate ethics, represent a conflict of interest, and/or violate the law, USG policy, or EGSC policy. Disciplinary actions will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the violation, the severity of the violation, and prior violations by the student or faculty/staff member. Disciplinary actions may include, but are not limited to, issuance of a written warning, revocation of the user’s access to the EGSC social media page, and/or termination.