Social Media

Approved by:  Office of Student Affairs

History: Issued: August 1, 2013

Related Policies: Community Expectations and Code of Conduct | Copyright and the Fair Use Exceptions Policy and St. Catherine University Intellectual Property policy | See Social Media section of the St. Catherine University Student Organization Handbook

Related Forms, Procedures and References: 

For Questions Contact:  Office of Student Affairs | 651.690.6778 | studentaffairs@stkate.edu

Purpose:  Social media are defined as media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and available publishing techniques. Examples include but are not limited to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blogs, chat rooms, Instagram, D2L, email and Avatar, Snapchat, and Flickr® to name a few. The purpose of this policy to help clarify how best to enhance and protect institutional, professional and personal reputations when participating in social media.


This policy applies to all St. Catherine University students who use social media to represent or discuss matters concerning the University including students who are members of University chartered clubs and organizations, whether or not such use involves the University’s network or other computer resources.  (Faculty and staff of the University should refer to the Social Media Policy in the St. Catherine University Employee Handbook.). The use of Social Media at or concerning St. Catherine University is governed by the same laws, policies, and rules of conduct and etiquette that apply to all other activities at or concerning St. Catherine University. Activities of a private nature conducted away from the University can subject you to disciplinary action if those actions reflect poorly on the University or interfere with the conduct of University business.

1. Remember that laws and St. Catherine University policies including the St. Catherine University Community Expectations and Code of Conduct, including sexual harassment, harassment, discrimination, defamation, infringement of copyright and trademark rights, and unauthorized disclosure of student records and other confidential and private information apply to communications by St. Catherine University students through social media.

2. Do not post confidential or proprietary information about St. Catherine University, students, employees and alumnae. 

3. Respect copyright and fair use. When posting, be mindful of the copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of the University.  For guidance, refer to the St. Catherine University Copyright and the Fair Use Exceptions Policy and St. Catherine University Intellectual Property policy.

4. Do not use St Catherine University logos for endorsements.  Do not use the St. Catherine University logo or any other university images or iconography on personal social media sites. (See Social Media section of the St. Catherine University Student Organization Handbook). Do not use St. Catherine University’s name to promote a product, cause or political party or candidate.

5. Comply with the Terms of Service of any social media platform utilized.

6. Posts must be consistent with the mission of the University. Posts on social media sites should protect the university’s institutional mission and voice. Appropriate etiquette includes using language that is professional in tone, taste and content.  No individual St. Catherine student or organization should construe its social media site as representing the university as a whole.  This means taking into consideration:  naming pages or accounts, selecting a profile picture or icon, and selecting content to post – including names, profile images and posts. Content should be clearly linked to a particular club or organization, or unit rather than to the institution as a whole.

7. Whenever possible and appropriate, link back to the St. Catherine University web site. Posts should be brief, directing the reader to content that resides within the St. Catherine University web pages. When linking to a news article, photo, video recording, etc. about St. Catherine University, check first to see if you can link to a release on the St. Catherine University Headline News site instead of to a publication or other media outlet.

8.  Know that the St. Catherine University Student Code of Conduct and Community Expectations identifies misconduct online as follows: “Students are cautioned that behavior online, such as harassment delivered by email, can be subject them to university conduct action. Students must also be aware that blogs, web pages, social media devices such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and similar online postings are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online. The University does not regularly seek to discover this online information but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of university officials.  Should a student be found in violation of misconduct online, she/he may be charged and a sanction(s) determined.

9. Always be truthful, accurate and complete in describing St. Catherine University programs and services.

10. Strive to be accountable to St. Catherine University audiences via regular updates and prompt responses when appropriate.

11. Always sign your post with your real name and indicate your relationship to St. Catherine University.  Do not use pseudonyms or post anonymously.