Policy Name: Blogging and Cyber Communities
Responsibility for Maintenance: Human Resources, Student Services
I. Policy Statement
As members of the Onondaga Community College Community, actions of Onondaga Community College employees and students reflect on the actor, and to varying degrees, depending upon individual circumstances as a student, employee, etc., of the College, reflect on affiliated organizations and departments, and the College. In the age of cyber communities, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Snapfish, and so on, it is increasingly important that members of the College community recognize that blogs and cyber communities are open to the public, often in ways that are unintended. With regard to this emerging medium, Onondaga Community College urges its employees, students, and affiliated individuals to practice thoughtful discretion and maintain the highest standard of professionalism when participating in cyber communities. Although Onondaga Community College will not systematically monitor cyber communities, the College may investigate if an issue regarding compliance with College policies, procedures, and/or standards is raised with respect to the participation of a student, employee, or affiliated individual in a cyber community or conduct as reflected in the cyber community.
By way of further guidance, the following guidelines are recommended to members of the College community who participate in cyber communities:
- Know and follow College policy and the law.
- Recognize that blogs and other forms of online discourse are typically individual interactions. Members of the College community are personally responsible for their posts.
- Identify the posting individual – name and, when relevant, role at Onondaga Community College – when blogging about Onondaga Community College or Onondaga Community College -related matters. Posting individuals should make it clear that they are speaking individually and not on behalf of Onondaga Community College (unless speaking on behalf of Onondaga Community Collegewith appropriate authorization).
- Recognize that postings are the personal, legal responsibility of the posting individual. Postings made by members of the College community without specific authorization to speak on behalf of Onondaga Community College are without any actual or implied authority to bind Onondaga Community College and Onondaga Community College accepts no responsibility or liability for the action or content of such postings.
- If a blog or posting to a blog has something to do with Onondaga Community College or subjects associated with Onondaga Community College, a disclaimer such as this should be used: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the College’s positions, strategies or opinions.”
- Respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
- Don’t provide confidential or other proprietary information of Onondaga Community College or others without prior authorization.
- Respect your audience. Don’t use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc., and show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory – such as politics and religion.
- Remember that content is posted on the web, a public medium. Posting individuals should protect their own privacy by being careful with personal details.
- Remember that information posted online may stay on the web even after that information is erased or deleted from profiles or blogs.
- Remember that future employers, undergraduate/graduate colleges and universities, and campus organizations may use information gathered from online communities when they are making decisions.
II. Reason For Policy
To ensure compliance with applicable College policies and laws regarding privacy, copyright, and computer and internet usage. To provide guidance to members of the College community on blogging and cyber communities.
III. Applicability of the Policy
This policy applies to all College employees, students, and members of the Collegecommunity.
IV. Related Documents
||Title or Position
| Questions regarding policy
|| Human Resources
||Vice President of Human Resources
|| (315) 498-2743
| Student Services
for Student Services
| (315) 498-2990
Any employee, student, or member of the Onondaga Community College community who feels that Onondaga Community College policies or applicable laws have been violated by blogging or cyber community activity of another member of the College community may file a complaint with the Director of Human Resources or the Associate Vice President for Student Services. Complaints will be directed to appropriate College officials for investigation and additional action as appropriate.
VII. Forms/Online Processes
Approved by the President September 26, 2006