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Index > Student Life Policies > Social Media: Student Clubs and Organizations

Social Media: Student Clubs and Organizations

Purpose

One of the very impactful ways RISD recognized student clubs and student organizations ("orgs") supported by The Center for Student Involvement ("CSI") can further their respective mission and goals is through utilizing social media. Using social media comes with a responsibility to engage in a respectful, professional manner befitting the students, the community and the institution.

Scope

All student clubs and orgs are responsible for adhering to these policies as well as the RISD Code of Student Conduct.

Policy Statement

Please read through RISD’s Social Media Account Policy as well as these guidelines. Any posts from a club or org account that is in violation of these guidelines or policies will be subject to the student conduct adjudication process. Additionally, all institutional policies apply to the club/org's use of social media. Following are guidelines designed to help navigate social media spaces with a high level of ethics and consistency with RISD's community values.

Policy

Student clubs and orgs that wish to have social media accounts must have at least one agreed upon administrator who is a member of the active student org, with access to the credentials of the student org account. Organizations with social media accounts must use a club associated @risd.edu account and register it with CSI during student org training at the beginning of the semester. RISD student org social media accounts may not be routed to personal or @otherdomain emails. In addition, all student clubs' and orgs' social media accounts must list csi@risd.edu as the recovery address. Student organization leaders can reach out to csi@risd.edu to request a student organization email if the organization does not already have one. All social media login information must be shared with and accessible to CSI.

Only the one social media representative should be posting on behalf of the student org. This representative should understand that if another member of the student org posts on the social media account, the social media representative will be held responsible for all posts including any relevant student conduct associated with inappropriate content. Only active members of a RISD student org can be a social media representative and should be members or the respective org whose social media account is being managed. Graduating members must designate and pass over the login information for all social media accounts and update CSI on who the new representative is. Individuals who are not members or an active student org should not be given student org social media login information.

When creating a social media account, student orgs are responsible for monitoring and updating it regularly to ensure it contains the latest, most accurate information. This includes acknowledging mistakes and correcting errors as soon as possible, as well as warning and, if necessary, blocking users who violate the college’s social media policy.

Procedures

Account Management
RISD-branded or RISD-affiliated accounts (e.g., student club/org social media account), are not for personal social media use and are instead affiliated entirely with the RISD student organization. With that in mind, student orgs should work as a group to come to a consensus before posting content. While it’s acceptable for content to have one person’s voice or tone, the overall message should be agreed upon by your peers before posting.

When posting on social media, social media reps should be mindful that all posts align with the student orgs’ values, beliefs, and image. Be especially careful when permitting account “takeovers,” and no login information should be shared with anyone who is not a member of an active student org.


Make sure to understand the policies and terms of use of any social media platform the student organization uses. Read the terms of service before using a platform. Displaying behavior that violates federal and/or state law could have serious consequences that could affect your future.

Be mindful of other accounts that the student organization social media accounts follow, engage with, and share posts from. A "follows" list can be interpreted as a statement of the values and sociopolitical positions of the club/org.

Posting Guidelines
Whether posting for a student club/org, employer or personal social media activities, assume that everything being posted is public and will be available to the public forever. Keep in mind that posts, comments, and engagements can be screen-shotted, forwarded and/or copied.

Post accessibility is key! At minimum, all information that is included in an image should also be described in a caption or other descriptive text on the post, and videos should be captioned. (Check out this resource for suggestions to make posts accessible to everyone.) When the content of a post relates to the college, keep in mind that this post is representing the official stance of RISD and, therefore, should align with RISD’s policies, values, and statements.

Respect Copyright and Fair Use Laws
When posting content, honor the copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of the college. Do not post content, photo, video, music recordings or otherwise if you are not the rights holder. If you are using an approved image or video, make best efforts to credit the photographer/videographer when space allows or through the use of a watermark or lower-third. Student groups and clubs should be careful to not use copyrighted music in their projects unless they have explicit approval – many social media platforms mute or remove such content, and some may deactivate your account if this is a recurring issue. Violating copyright could result in heavy fines for the student club/org. Please review the RISD Intellectual Property Policy for more information.

No Posting of Nudity
With the very narrow exception of physical (non-live-action) works of art, such as a painting, drawing, or sculpture, no images of nudity or graphic depictions of a sexual nature should be posted on the channels which choose to associate with the college.

No Posting of Alcohol or Drug Use or Other Illegal Activity
The topic of alcohol and alcohol usage among college-aged young adults is a particularly sensitive subject. Even if the content shows only students or staff of legal age (21+) drinking, students should refrain from posting such content.

Be Accurate and Check Sources
While social media makes it easier to share ideas, it should never be used to spread false or misleading information. Check and double-check facts before posting, and cite a verifiable source for data, information, and points of view that are likely to be controversial. If the purpose is to educate, always provide the audience with resources to engage with.

Safeguard Personal Information
Do not share confidential or proprietary information about RISD students, faculty, staff, or alumni. This includes, but is not limited to, financial, recruitment, student conduct and/or human resources data, reports, and conversations, date of birth, phone numbers, social security numbers, banking information, home or residential addresses, class schedules, or any other personal contact information. Do not infringe on the privacy of friends, peers, staff, faculty, or other community members. Never put personal information of others that could be embarrassing and/or damaging to them. If posting photos, obtain the consent of those depicted before posting.

Moderation
Social media is designed to create conversation. Many platforms’ algorithms are currently designed to elevate conflict generated by that conversation. Be prepared for negative reactions; and have social media representatives respond (or not respond) to all posts and comments directed at the student org. If choosing to respond, social media reps should respond with a calm, thoughtful demeanor. If the org wishes to have more stringent moderation rules, this should be discussed with the members, and students should feel free to reach out to CSI if in doubt about how to engage with or react to a specific comment or post.

Navigating Conflict
For complaints related to a peer, club, organization, classroom or coursework, etc., the first step in attempting to resolve the issue would be speaking directly with the person, if possible, and/or with a trusted supervisor or faculty/staff member who can provide further support and guidance.

Do No Harm
Do not use statements, photographs, video or audio that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating, that disparages any member of the college community, or that might constitute harassment, bullying or accusation. Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion or any other status protected by law or college policy.

Revision history

This policy was last reviewed/modified on: 5/10/2023

Responsibilities

Issuing Office

Center for Student Involvement

Responsible Officer

Associate Vice President, Student Affairs

Individuals/offices required for review and changes

Director Center for Student Involvement

Director, Marketing and Communications

Director, Student Conduct and Community Standards

Associate Dean of Students