Social Media Guidelines

 

These guidelines were developed for faculty, staff and administrators at the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District who create and administer social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube on behalf of the district or its colleges. The district supports the use of social media as a valuable tool to disseminate information and create a thriving online community.

Social media activity reflects on the district and its colleges and should therefore be written and structured in an appropriate, ethical, professional and lawful manner. If activity on a social networking site is offensive or violates district policy, it may result in disciplinary or legal action. Using the district’s official media sites and approved accounts indicates that you have read and will abide by these guidelines.

Setting up and monitoring social media pages

1.      Before setting up a social media page representing a college or the district, employees must contact Michele Clock, Director of Public Information, Government Relations and Community Relations, at michele.clock@gcccd.edu; Christianne Penunuri at Cuyamaca College at christianne.penunuri@gcccd.edu; or David Ogul at Grossmont College at david.ogul@gcccd.edu.

2.      Consider your objectives before creating a social media page. Ask yourself:

  • What do you plan to achieve with this social media? What kind of information do you want to share or receive on the page?
  • How will you measure success? What statistics will be meaningful to you? (Number of hits, event attendance, brand recognition, links, "likes," or comments.)
  • Who will be reading and commenting on your social media site? Who are you trying to engage? How will you identify them and attract them to your networks?
  • Which social media networks will you be using? Who will establish the networks? Who will be administrators?
  • Who will maintain the page? How often will it be updated?

3.      The page should be used only for college or district-related purposes.

4.      The employee responsible for posting to the social media site must regularly monitor the page. 

5.      Personal information should not be posted on social media sites, including but not limited to: student identification numbers, employee identification numbers, Social Security numbers, personal addresses or phone numbers, or driver’s license numbers.

6.      Social media sites are not private, and the expectation of privacy is not conveyed to you as a user or administrator of the site.  

Photo guidelines

Photos posted on social media pages should favorably portray the colleges and district and the persons depicted in the photos. The following guidelines should be used when posting photos:

  • Photos of children should not be posted without express consent from their parents, except photos taken at public events. Even then, use great caution when posting photos of young children.  
  • Photos of public events can be posted on social networking sites, but they must be appropriate. As a guideline, they should be photos that could be posted on the district's official website. Examples of photos that should be avoided include but are not limited to: photos involving alcohol, nudity, medical and hospital patients, and graphic scenes.
  • Photos taken on occasions that are not public, such as a workshop or class, must have a model release form  signed by each person in the photo.

Logo and titles

The name of the college should begin the title of any social network page associated with a single college. For example:

  • Grossmont (or Cuyamaca) College XXXX Department
  • Grossmont (or Cuyamaca) Class of XXXX

The college or district logo cannot be used on Facebook pages except on the official college page. 

Administration

At least two site administrators are recommended. For student organizations, outgoing and incoming administrators should be overlapped to ensure a smooth transition.

Best practices

Freedom of speech must be exercised responsibly. These recommendations provide a roadmap for constructive, respectful, and productive use of social networking sites.

  • Be respectful
  • Respect your audience and your colleagues. Take care not to engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in the workplace. 
  • Get your facts straight
  • Ensure that you are providing accurate information so that you are not misrepresenting the colleges or the district.
  • Be mindful of your public image
  • Consider the image you want to portray to the public. Be mindful that what you post may be viewed by parents, students, administrators and community members, and may stay public for a long time.
  • Use your best judgment
  • Remember there may be consequences to what you post, so consider your content carefully. If you are about to post something that makes you the slightest bit uncomfortable, review these guidelines and think about whether to post the material.

Standards for appropriate conversation

Although online conversations on social media sites are often casual, they must remain professional and respectful. Comments on the colleges’ official pages are monitored to ensure compliance with the social networking guidelines. Inappropriate comments will be removed.

Content that will be deleted includes:  

  • An advertisement for a commercial business
  • Libelous, slanderous, inflammatory or defamatory comments
  • Vulgar, racist or sexist slurs
  • Obscenities
  • Comments pertaining to violence
  • Incorrect information
  • Information that violates student privacy under FERPA
  • Comments that are not respectful
  • Comments that are not relevant to the topic
  • A commenter who is misrepresenting himself/herself
  • A single person dominating the conversation

Press inquiries

Postings may generate media coverage. If a member of the media contacts you about a social media post or requests information, contact Michele Clock at (619) 644-7842, Christianne Penunuri (Cuyamaca College) at (619) 660-4039, or David Ogul (Grossmont College) at (619) 644-7842. You should also confirm that any information you post has been publicly disclosed.

Questions?

Questions about the social media guidelines should be sent to Michele Clock at michele.clock@gcccd.edu