Social media policies at Cowley County colleges

It's a hot button issue that has drummed up a lot of controversy after the Kansas Board of Regents enforced a new social media policy.
It’s a hot button issue that has drummed up a lot of controversy after the Kansas Board of Regents enforced a new social media policy.

COWLEY COUNTY, Kansas – The Kansas Board of Regents is taking another look at its social media policy after some people claim its in violation of free speech.

The policy was approved back in December after a University of Kansas professor tweeted criticisms about the National Rifle Association.

With around 1,700 students attending Southwestern College including its satellite campuses, the private college considers social media just another form of communication that shouldn’t be restricted.

“Sometimes when you try to be very specific on what you’re monitoring and controlling,” said Sara Weinert, Vice President of Communications of Southwestern College. “You do more harm than you do good.”

The Kansas Board of Regents approved a social media policy in December stating that presidents at each state universities have the power to discipline or fire employees who have crossed the line.
“I think that’s probably what’s happening with the Board of Regents being very specific with what they’re trying to control,” said Weinert. “You can’t shut off one form of communication without shutting some good form of communication.”
Cowley Community College looks at it differently.
Faculty and staff are asked to use their best judgment and to reflect positively on the college.
KSN learned that student clubs and organizations much now have their social media accounts approved by the college.
We discovered that student athletes were also asked to sign a policy form.
“Our coaches talked to us at the beginning of the school year,” said Sarah Webb, Sophomore at Cowley College. “They were telling us not to post nudity, drugs, or alcohol.”
Some players on the women’s basketball team tell KSN News they know better than to tweet or post offensive or inappropriate remarks on their accounts.
“Our coaches do follow,” said Webb. “They follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.”
Recommendations are expected to be made to the board by April.

 

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