Email and Official College Electronic Communication Use (Procedure 7.0130)
|Authority:||F.S. Chapter 119; 1001.64; 1001.65|
|Date of Review:||10/19|
|Related Policy:||1.160; 7.010; 7.020|
Seminole State College’s official electronic communications are delivered through the College’s email, social media platforms, web site and applicable learning management systems (“communication(s) system(s)”) systems. These communications systems are variously available to students, faculty, staff, retirees, members of the District Board of Trustees, members of the public, and other authorized constituents to improve educational and administrative efficiency. The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidelines for the management and use of the College's electronic communications systems.
Refer to College Procedure 7.0001 Information Technology and Resources – Glossary of Terms for definitions of terms used throughout this procedure. Additionally, the following terms used in this Procedure have the following definitions:
“Official Account” means a social media platform or website that is approved and operated in accordance with this procedure and is actively managed by College employees in the Marketing & Communications department.
“Authorized Account” means a social media platform or website that is not an “Official Account” but is approved and operated in accordance with this procedure and is actively managed by a College employee outside the Marketing & Communications department.
A. Authorized Users
- Only College students, faculty, staff, retirees, members of the District Board of Trustees, and other constituents who have received permission under the appropriate College authority are authorized users of the College's communications systems.
- Seminole State College students will have access to email and learning management systems and can be reached by College faculty and staff as needed. Communications sent via the College-provided communications systems may include, but are not limited to, information regarding attendance, grades, admissions, enrollment services, advising, financial aid, emergency closures, changes to class schedules, etc.
- The Computing and Telecommunication Services (CTS) Department will remove a student’s email after three (3) consecutive terms of student inactivity. (e.g. no enrollment, no valid application, collections). Students will be notified via e-mail thirty (30) days prior to removal.
- Faculty, Staff, and Retirees
- Faculty will determine how email and the learning management system are used in their classes and will specify requirements in the course syllabus.
- This procedure will ensure that all students are able to comply with electronic communications-based course requirements specified by faculty. Faculty are authorized to use email for their sole communications of certain elements related to their classes.
- All Seminole State class information that is disseminated electronically must be sent through the College’s electronic system (e.g., email, the learning management system, or similar College-adopted programs.)
- The Computing and Telecommunication Services (CTS) Department will remove an employee’s email account upon notification that employment has been terminated.
- An email account must be requested for a retiree who wants access to the system.
- A retiree’s account will be removed if it is not used for six consecutive months. The email account may be reinstated at the College’s discretion.
- Members of the District Board of Trustees
- An email account will be established for all Board members.
- Communication sent via Seminole State email is considered adequate notification of College-related business.
- When a term of service has ended for a Board member, that person's account will be removed.
B. Email as a Public Record
- Email communications are protected by the same laws and policies, and are subject to the same limitations, as communications in other media. Likewise, users shall not use College email for any purpose that violates federal law, state or local law, or College policies and procedures.
- Email that is created or received in connection with the transaction of the official business of the College is considered a public record. Consistent with Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, and College policies and procedures, email communications may be subject to public inspection and/or copying. Retention laws and regulations, unless expressly exempted by law, may apply.
- Under some conditions, personal emails could become classified as a public record.
- Messages containing important or valuable information must be retained securely for future reference. (Refer to Policy 7.020 Data Classification and Security, and Procedure 7.0500 Data Classification, Security and Roles.)
C. Social Media Rules
- General Rules:
- All College Official and Authorized Accounts are subject to the standards set forth in this Procedure, and creation and maintenance of Official and Authorized Accounts may occur only as authorized in this Procedure. Only accounts created under this Procedure shall be considered Official or Authorized Accounts. All other social media posts or accounts shall not be considered Official or Authorized Accounts or represent the official position of the College or any of its trustees, officers, employees, or independent contractors.
- The College considers its Official and Authorized Accounts which accept comment to be moderated online discussion sites and not public fora. Content must be restricted to the posted topic and subject matter. In addition, the College reserves the right to remove posts and comments that contain:
- Profane language or content;
- Content that promotes, fosters or perpetuates discrimination against protected classes;
- Sexual harassment content;
- Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;
- Spam or comments that include links to external online sites;
- Solicitations of commerce or advertisements including promotion or endorsement;
- Promotions of particular commercial services, products or political candidates or organizations;
- Content that violates legal ownership interest of any other party, such as copyright or trademark infringement; and
- Information that may compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems, including the College’s information technology systems.
- Violators of this policy may have their posts and comments removed from the College’s Official and Authorized Accounts. Violations of this policy may prompt the College to further restrict an individual’s commenting on or access to the College’s Official and Authorized Accounts.
- Copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of the College shall be respected when posting information. Questions about fair use of copyrighted material shall be directed to the Office of Legal Affairs in advance of any posting.
- Social media users must obey the terms and conditions imposed by the social media website in which the user is participating.
- When an administrator of one of the College’s Official or Authorized social media platforms suspects a violation of this Procedure, they shall contact the Marketing & Communications department of the College, which will review and authorize removal of a post when appropriate. When appropriate and if possible, an approved social media administrator will contact the commenter regarding a violation of the College’s Social Media Comments Policy to notify the commenter and/or to request voluntary removal of the comment. Appeals regarding the Marketing and Communications department’s decision to remove a post shall be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Marketing and Communications department will respond to appeals within two business days. Posts shall be subject to removal pending appeal.
- Rules for College Employees using Social Media Accounts:
- College employees may not use social media accounts in ways that violate federal, state, local and, when applicable, foreign laws, as well as College policies or procedures. Employees who violate these laws, policies or procedures may face disciplinary action.
- Confidential, proprietary, or any other information protected or exempted by law about Seminole State College, students, employees, or alumni must be protected and may not be posted to any social media site. Employees must follow applicable federal requirements such as FERPA, HIPAA, Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes, as well as NJCAA regulations. Social media users shall adhere to all applicable College privacy and confidentiality policies. Employees who share confidential or proprietary information may face disciplinary action.
- Employees shall not use the Seminole State name, logo or any other College images or iconography to promote a commercial product, cause, or political party or candidate not authorized by the College.
- Rules for Official Accounts and Authorized Accounts:
- College employees shall not portray themselves as acting or speaking on behalf of the College or any part of the College, or create a social media account as an Official Account, unless authorized to do so by both the Vice President with jurisdiction over the requestor’s department (or designee) and the Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Communications (or designee). The request to create an Official Account shall include written justification. Even when acting in their College capacity, social media users shall not represent their own positions and opinions on social media as those of the College.
- Employees designated as administrators (or designee) of Official or Authorized Accounts are the only persons authorized to post, create, and manage Official and Authorized Accounts. Employees designated as administrators of Official or Authorized Accounts are responsible for all postings on accounts they manage.
- Official Accounts must be reviewed and approved through an application process. Authorization to present a social media account as an official College activity must come from both the Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Communications (or designee), and the Vice President with jurisdiction over the requestor’s unit (or designee). Each social media account will have a responsible administrator(s) assigned.
- Administrators must be an employee of the College at the time of appointment. The Marketing & Communications department will remove an employee as a social media administrator upon notification that employment has been terminated or transferred to another department. Managers of social media platforms will be removed by the page’s administrator upon notification that employment has been terminated or the employee has transferred to another department. Employees may also be removed by the Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Communications (or designee) as social media administrators or managers if they violate this social media procedure. Administrators and or managers who violate this social media procedure may request reinstatement via email to email@example.com.
- Each Official Account must include a disclaimer statement, in a form approved by the Marketing & Communications department, regarding content and opinions contained on the site.
- All Official and Authorized Accounts will be publicly listed by the College in a directory of official social media webpages maintained by the Marketing & Communications department.
- Student organizations shall not be entitled to create Official or Authorized Accounts. Student organizations shall not use any College trademarks, logos, or other intellectual property on their social media accounts, but may use the words “SSC”, “Seminole State” or “Seminole State College” in the name of their student organization if the organization has been recognized by the Office of Student Life. The College may require student organizations using the words “SSC”, “Seminole State” or “Seminole State College” to use disclaimer language approved by the Marketing & Communications Department on their social media accounts.
- All users are expected to read and appropriately respond to their College communications on a frequent and consistent basis. The College recommends checking communications at least once each work day since certain communication may be time-sensitive.
- Authorized users have the responsibility to use College communications in an efficient, effective, ethical and lawful manner related to College business. Users are expected to immediately report any misuse of College communications to the Office of the Vice President of Information Technology and Resources.
- All use of College communications must be consistent with College policies and procedures, including but not limited to, Policy 7.010Acceptable Use of College Technology.
- Official communication includes but is not limited to messages from the President, policy and procedure information, academic notifications, emergency notifications, and event announcements.
- An employee who represents an employee group, organization, association, etc. may be permitted to use the College’s email system to communicate with their membership and/or other College employees, as long as the individual or group has been approved to do so by the appropriate Vice President. Use of the College’s email system is a privilege that may be revoked at any time due to misuse or violation of Policy 7.010 Acceptable Use of College Technology or State Statute.
- All users are expected to protect confidential and proprietary information and such information about Seminole State students, employees, or alumni should not be sent via email. Users must adhere to all applicable College privacy and confidentiality policies and follow applicable federal requirements such as FERPA and HIPAA, as well as NJCAA regulations. Those who share confidential or proprietary information may face disciplinary action or termination.
- When sending email, users must be mindful of the copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of the College. For guidance, consult Copyright and Fair Use Resources at https://www.seminolestate.edu/library/services/copyright/copyright-faculty. Questions regarding fair use or copyrighted material should be directed to the Seminole State College library.
- The College can validate only those emails that are sent from a valid College email address. Messages from personal email accounts (e.g., cfl.rr.com, hotmail.com, etc.) might not be received, and the sender may be asked to resend the message using an official Seminole State address.
- Authorized users shall have no expectation of privacy in anything they store, send or receive on the College’s email system.
- Users should exercise caution especially when committing sensitive or confidential information to email.
- The College may monitor messages without prior notice or consent.
- The College may access email accounts for various reasons including, but not limited to, maintaining the system, investigating security or abuse incidents, investigating alleged violations of College policies or procedures, or circumstances where the account holder can no longer access the email system for any reason (e.g. death, disability, illness, or temporary/permanent separation from the College.)
- Users shall not misrepresent themselves or another person’s identity or affiliation in email communications.
- Users shall not alter, disable, test, reverse-engineer, or otherwise interfere with or circumvent any aspect of College email services to find limitations and vulnerabilities or to evade filtering capabilities.
- Email use that intentionally distributes or supports viruses, worms, Trojan horses, malware, corrupted files, hoaxes, snooping, spoofing, spam, phishing, spidering, or other activities of a destructive or deceptive nature is prohibited.
- Occasional and infrequent personal use is permitted, provided personal use is kept to a minimum and does not interfere with performance, productivity, or work duties and responsibilities.
|Recommended by||Executive Team/CAC||Date||11/17/2020|
|Signed by||President, Georgia L. Lorenz||Date||12/1/2020|