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Official Social Media Accounts Policy 4.6-3


Public Relations & Communications
Authorizing Body:
Executive Vice President for Administration & Business Affairs – EVP-ABA
Responsible Department:
University Communications
Applies To:
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Adopted Date:
Print Policy


Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) recognizes the importance and utility of social media in communicating with students, prospective enrollees, alumni, employees and others.  Further, social media is a means for all employees to further the University’s mission and vision.  The University requires students and employees to demonstrate commonly accepted professional standards and uphold the existing legal and university policies while using social media.

SVSU has established that a student’s university email account is an appropriate mechanism for official University correspondence (Student Email Communication Policy); social media is an auxiliary, unofficial means of information exchange.


Official Social Media Channels 

Official social media channels are defined as those that represent the university and have oversight by university employees. Official social media channels are approved by University Communications and may be listed on any webpage under domain, or in any print or electronic publications. See . These include, but are not limited to, accounts for colleges, offices and departments; and include social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. 

Rights and Responsibilities

This policy is for employees and students who, as part of their defined job responsibilities/role, are administrators or are expected to post content (pictures, video and text) to official Saginaw Valley State University social media channels.

This policy DOES NOT pertain to social media channels of registered student organizations.

Administrators of official social media channels have the right and responsibility to:

  1. Protect the confidentiality of students, alumni, faculty and staff in accordance with rights to privacy of personal information under applicable federal and state laws and regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) and university policies;
  2. Make a good faith effort to be accurate in the dissemination of information, and use correct spelling and grammar;
  3. Refrain from using University social media to disseminate personal views; see Employees'Personal Use of Social Media Policy.
  4. Respect copyright, fair use standards and protocols for crediting content not generated internally by authorized university representatives such as the University Communications Department or users of SVSU-affiliated sites;
  5. Keep secure and private any information that would endanger a member of the campus community, for example campus building blueprints, vehicle license plates and personal telephone numbers and addresses.
  6. Report to University Police or the Dean of Students social media content that appears threatening, harassing or portrays individuals getting hurt, attacked, humiliated, or otherwise may disrupt normal campus operations;
  7. Know prohibited content — SVSU reserves the right to delete any social media content posted on SVSU affiliated sites and will do so when information depicts illegal activity, is obscene, defamatory, threatens the welfare of any individual, or contains advertisements from third party sites; and
  8. Refrain from using SVSU’s brand to promote or endorse any product, cause or political party unless approved by the Dean of Students or University Communications.


Violations by students will be subject to discipline under the appropriate student policies and Code of Student Conduct .

Employees who use social media improperly may be subject to discipline by the appropriate supervisor who has the authority to make use of progressive discipline measures pursuant to university policy, up to and including suspension, dismissal and termination. Existing university grievance and review processes shall apply to any such action.


Criteria for obtaining and maintaining official status: 

  1. Assignment of at least two content managers for each social media account — one of whom is a benefit-eligible SVSU employee  — responsible for keeping accounts active and current;
  2. Registration with University Communications, the name and contact information for the account manager of such account(s)
  3. Agreement to (on occasion) coordinate postings and messages with the main SVSU channel;
  4. Assurance that the channel’s contact information uses a general email address and phone number, not contact information directly tied to an individual;
  5. Postings are professional, appropriate, and in good taste, and support SVSU’s mission and vision;
  6. Adherence to the proper Use of University Symbols and logos.  Also refer to Graphic Standards or Contact University Communications for additional guidelines.