SUNY Plattsburgh Campus Handbook


Social Media Policy

Approved by Executive Council June 4, 2013
Reapproved by Executive Council June 9, 2014

Policy Number Policy Owner
3005.2 Marketing & Communications

1.0    Purpose

To create clear, shared expectations for the acceptable use of social media by faculty and staff of the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh. Its intent is to permit a high degree of freedom for individuals to employ social communication platforms for the benefit of the college while ensuring appropriate protections for the college’s overall brand, image and reputation.

2.0    Revision History

Date Version Change Ref Section
6/4/2013 1.0 New Document  
6/9/2014 2.0 Major Revisions  4.0
10/9/2015 2.1 Minor Revisions  
1/4/2017 2.2 Minor Revisions  

3.0    Units and Persons Affected

All SUNY Plattsburgh Employees

4.0    Policy

SUNY Plattsburgh encourages the appropriate use of social media as a method for communicating ideas and information to the public and for receiving responses and commentary from the public in support of the educational mission of the college and its campuses.

  • The use of social media on behalf of the college may be assigned as part of an employee’s duties and should be noted within his or her performance program. 
  • Employees of the college are not authorized to represent themselves as an official spokesperson of the college without prior approval from the Office of Marketing and Communications. 
  • Content and information released on social media is equivalent in stature to content and information released to the press and the public in any other format. It is therefore subject to review, revision or removal at the request of the Office of Marketing and Communications.
  • The use of social media will adhere to the SUNY Plattsburgh graphic standards, writing and usage guide, and web standards, which collectively govern proper use of the college logo, seal, name, tag line, and other elements of the college’s branding. 
  • Content and information released to the public over social media should be accurate and comply with all applicable laws (including, but not limited to, copyright, trademark, privacy statutes and defamation law) and the policies of SUNY Plattsburgh and the SUNY system.
  • Personal use of social media on personal time is not governed by this policy. Members of the campus community are encouraged to remember that social media activities are, by definition, visible to others and may be shared in unpredictable ways with unintended audiences. In cases where personal and professional boundaries are blurred, college employees are encouraged to exercise discretion. Actions or statements over social media with a nexus to state employment may be governed by SUNY policy.

Personal use of social media on state time is governed by the New York State Public Officers Law and other federal, state and local laws; the State University of New York Acceptable Use Policy as issued by the Office of Administrative Systems; SUNY Human Resources policies; and the SUNY Plattsburgh Responsible Use of Technology policy. The substance of these policies is that personal use of social media should be reserved for personal time. 

On social media platforms that allow only one official presence per institution, the Office of Marketing and Communications will be the campus office tasked with ownership and maintenance of the college’s presence.

The college reserves the right to remove posts or comments that are obscene, defamatory, offensive, threatening, abusive, spam, advertising or are unrelated to the content under discussion. SUNY Plattsburgh also reserves the right to remove posts or comments that interfere with individuals' dignity and rights to privacy; violate applicable laws including, but not limited to, copyright and trademark, or those that violate the use policies promulgated by the applicable social media provider. 

The college will act to protect its intellectual property, including official marks and copyrighted material, from misuse or abuse. 

The college will act to prevent any person or group from misrepresenting their affiliation to the college. 

Usage of social media is governed by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides a safe harbor for Internet Service Providers and Web sites for activity that takes place on said sites, provided that the site or domain takes certain actions when legally required. 

5.0    Definitions

Social Media: Internet or mobile digital tools and systems that are available to the general public and that are used to share and/or receive information or conversation.

6.0    Responsibilities

All SUNY Plattsburgh staff will comply with this policy.

The Office of Marketing and Communications will act on behalf of the college to monitor social media for misuse or abuse and to take corrective action when necessary.

7.0    Procedures 



Contact Information

For questions about the Campus Handbook, please contact:

Management Services Office
Office: Kehoe 710-11
Phone: (518) 564-2538
Fax: (518) 564-2540
Email: [email protected]