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SLU Social Media Guidelines

The Saint Louis University Office of General Counsel, along with representatives from Marcom, Human Resources, Student Development, ITS and the Faculty Senate, has developed the following guidelines for using social media consistently and effectively.

Those colleges, departments, schools, centers, programs and other institutional extensions of Saint Louis University that maintain or plan to develop a social media presence to create a profile, blog, or status updates, photos and video should review these guidelines. Marcom also must be notified prior to establishing a new social media account representing a SLU school, department, division or other official source. Contact Anne Marie Apollo-Noel, director of digital content and social media, with questions.  

Executive Summary

Generally defined, social media is the use of a website or mobile device to connect with people who share personal or professional interests. With communities numbering in the hundreds of millions of members, social media sites have become important venues where individuals or groups can share their knowledge and opinions, express creativity, connect and collaborate with others that have similar interests and are readily accessible. Examples of social media include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and web-logs or blogs. Many organizations, including Saint Louis University, have their own social media sites and also actively participate in social media on a corporate or organizational level.    

The University takes no position on an individual's decision to start or maintain a blog or participate in other social media activities. It is important to the University, however, to ensure that its staff, faculty, and students are aware of challenges presented by social media and to ensure that the University and its stakeholders are protected from the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information.  

The University encourages employees and students who use social media to do so responsibly, in compliance with the law and institutional policy.  

While the following policy and guidelines have been developed to provide practical advice for employees and students who use social media, they are in no way intended to be exhaustive. The guidelines are intended to assist you in understanding how University policies apply online so you can participate with confidence. The guidelines include general recommendations and best practices for employees and students using social media, and outline basic policy principles which apply to social media sites.  

Social media is rapidly changing and with that change brings new opportunities and challenges. These guidelines were last updated in January of 2013.  When these guidelines do not address specific areas of conduct, use your best judgment. When in doubt, consult your supervisor, department head or appropriate vice president.