The purpose of this policy is to provide a clear set of guidelines for student-athletes to follow to help them make the best possible judgments and safeguard their personal privacy as well as protect the integrity of StFX Athletics.
Remember, playing and competing for StFX University is a privilege. The student-athletes, coaches, and staff represent StFX Athletics both on and off the playing surface and are seen as role models on campus and in the community. As leaders, we all have the responsibility to represent our teams, our schools and ourselves in a responsible and positive manner.
As technology continues to rapidly evolve, it presents many new and exciting opportunities for social interaction and communication with people from around the world. However, online social networking can impact your life offline.
Student‐athletes should be aware that third parties - including the media, fans, future employers, AUS and U SPORTS administration - could easily access your profiles and view all personal information. This includes all pictures, videos, comments, posts and tweets. It is important to understand that once something is posted online, it never disappears. Inappropriate material found by third parties affects the perception of the student-athlete, the athletic department and the University.
This can also be detrimental to future scholarship opportunities, employment options and/or professional relationships. There is no expectation of privacy within social media communities, anything you post online can potentially be used in a negative light against you, your team or StFX University. Think before you post and anticipate how all the third parties that will see that post may react to it.
Examples of inappropriate and offensive behaviors concerning participation in online communities may include the following:
• Photos, videos, or comments showing the personal use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco i.e., no holding cups, cans, shot glasses, etc.
• Photos, videos, and comments that are of a sexual nature. This includes links to websites of a pornographic nature and other inappropriate material.
• Pictures, videos, or comments that condone drug-related activity. This includes but is not limited to images that portray the personal use of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
• Any inappropriate or offensive language in comments, videos and other postings. This includes threats of violence and derogatory comments against race, gender, team affiliates or any other organizations, as well as unsportsmanlike or demeaning comments towards any other individual or institution.
• No posts should depict or encourage unacceptable, violent or illegal activities (i.e. hazing, sexual harassment/assault, discrimination, fighting, vandalism, academic dishonesty, underage drinking, illegal drug use).
The information you post is vulnerable to context, circumstance and interpretation and comes with the same rights and responsibilities as your offline actions. It is also important to note that while the department does not regularly police social networking communities, you may still be held accountable for any online behavior that contravenes the code of conduct of the University or Athletic Department. If a student‐athlete’s profile and its contents are found to be inappropriate in accordance with the above behaviors, he/she will be subject to the following penalties:
1) Written warning
2) Meeting with Director of Athletics and Head Coach
3) Penalties as determined by the athletic department, including but not limited to possible suspension from his/her varsity team.
For your own safety, StFX student-athletes are strongly encouraged to keep the following recommendations in mind as you participate in social media websites:
1) Use your privacy settings on your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) to restrict access to your account and set your security settings so that only your friends can view your profile and/or posts. StFX fans, including many youth who view StFX athletes as role models, should not have access to your private life.
2) Set similar privacy settings for posting pictures and videos, only your friends should have access to view any pictures/videos you post, as well as your status updates and news feed. Be cautious when joining networks or groups and ensure privacy settings are restricted.
3) Be aware of who you add as a friend to your Facebook page, Instagram account, Snapchat friend or follower on your Twitter account. Many people are looking to take advantage of student‐athletes or to seek a connection with student‐athletes.
4) Protect and enhance the value of the StFX brand. Avoid making derogatory comments about StFX athletics, students, faculty or employees and remember that as a StFX student-athlete you not only represent yourself but also your team, the athletic department and StFX University.
5) Refrain from posting pictures or videos reflecting inappropriate or offensive behaviors (as previously outlined), especially if the individuals in them are branded with StFX apparel. We do not wish to associate the X-Men and X-Women names with these types of situations.
6) If you intend to blog about your StFX sporting experience, please notify your head coach and/or the Sports Information Officer prior to posting so as to ensure accurate and appropriate distribution of information.
7) If you are ever in doubt of the appropriateness of your online public material, consider whether it upholds and positively reflects your own values and ethics as well as those of StFX Athletics. Remember to always present a positive image and not do anything to embarrass yourself, your team, your family or the University.