2023-2024 Policy Library 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Policy Library

Policy Governing Official CMC Social Media Platforms

Category: Governance/Legal
Approved: President’s Executive Cabinet
Date Approved: January 22, 2018
History: Effective Date: January 22, 2018
Related PoliciesCivil Rights Policy  (Harassment) 
Web Policy   
Use of Internet Services and Network Resources   
Responsible Official: Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications

Policy Statement

Social media allows the Claremont McKenna College community to communicate, collaborate, and interact not just with one another, but also globally.  Consistent with our commitment to the freedom of expression, we encourage students, faculty, and staff to use social media to spark dialogue within and about CMC. 

At the same time, social media can blur the lines between personal and institutional voices.   The College has therefore designed this Policy to: 1) help community members make appropriate decisions when using College-hosted website/social media platforms; and 2) advise staff and faculty who indicate an institutional affiliation on their personal social media profiles on how to balance their public CMC affiliation with their personal discussions.

The College has many other policies which may also apply to the content posted on social media, including but not limited to the policies on Non-Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity and Related Laws, Harassment, Intellectual Property, Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct.  Community members who use social media platforms are expected to know and abide by all College policies.


Entities Covered

All units of the College.



Questions about this Policy’s interpretation may be addressed to: 
Office of Public Affairs
(909) 621-8099



Social media: an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos or still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.   


Guidelines for Participating in CMC-Hosted Websites and Social Media Platforms

These guidelines are intended to help student employees, staff, and faculty create and manage an online presence as College representatives.  As these platforms are an official College online presence and not personal platforms, CMC retains the right to remove or block content which violates these guidelines, other College policies, or CMC social media platform guidelines and polices (described on the social media sites).

  • Protect confidential and proprietary information.  Do not post confidential or proprietary information about CMC, students, faculty, staff, or alumni.  Follow the applicable federal requirements such as FERPA and HIPAA and adhere to applicable College privacy and confidentiality policies.  If you are unsure whether content is confidential, please contact the Office of General Counsel and/or the Office of Public Affairs and Communications.
  • Refrain from posting personal contact information (home and cell phone numbers, mailing or home addresses, personal email addresses, etc.) on social media sites.  There is no expectation of privacy in social media postings.  Remember that social media posts may be replicated quickly (without your knowledge or consent), be taken out of context, and can remain public for an unknown length of time. 
  • Follow the laws governing copyright, trademark and intellectual property, including CMC’s own copyrights, trademarks and brands.  Please review and follow the CMC Identity Guidelines for the appropriate use of CMC logos. 
  • Advertising, solicitation, or endorsements of third-party products and services is not permitted. 
  • The Colleges values inclusivity and respectful dialogue, and its social media platforms are expected to reflect these values.  Before creating online content, consider the content carefully.  Be professional and deliberate with your comments and be fair and respectful at all times.  Avoid using statements or images that could be reasonably viewed as obscene, threatening, or intimidating.    
  • If you suspect that a College-hosted website or social media platform has been compromised in any way, contact the Office of Public Affairs and Communications immediately.

All departments or offices interested in maintaining an online presence for the College are invited to contact the Office of Public Affairs and Communications with any questions and for assistance in building and maintaining an official College social media platform. 


Guidelines for Participating in Social Media Platforms When a Personal Profile Indicates a CMC Affiliation

When you personally engage on social media, a CMC affiliation on your profile has the ability to affect the College as a whole. If you identify your affiliation with CMC in your profile or comments, other users will naturally associate you with the College.  Therefore, the guidelines below are intended to help staff and faculty create and manage an online presence when a personal profile also indicates a CMC affiliation.  Staff and faculty may also find the guidelines listed above as helpful in maintaining a professional, legally-compliant, and safe online presence.

  • Identify your views as your own.  If you reference the College, be clear that the views expressed are not those of CMC.  
  • Personal social media platforms may not use CMC logos, seals, or other campus trademarks.
  • Refrain from using personal social media while on work time, unless it is work-related.  Do not use College email addresses to register on social networks, blogs, or other online tools utilized for personal use.


Special Rules Regarding Personal Social Media Accounts

California law (California Education Code 99121 and California Labor Code 980) prohibits CMC employees and representatives from requiring or requesting a student, prospective student, student group, employee, or applicant for employment to do any of the following:

  • disclose a user name or password for accessing personal social media;
  • access personal social media in the presence of a CMC employee or representative; or
  • divulge any personal social media information.

CMC cannot suspend, expel, discipline, or threaten to take any of those actions, or otherwise penalize a student, prospective student, or student group in any way for refusing to comply with a request or demand that violates this law.  CMC cannot discharge, discipline, threaten to discharge or discipline, or retaliate against an employee or applicant for not complying with a request or demand that violates this law.

However, California law does not impact CMC’s existing rights and obligations to protect against and investigate alleged student or employee misconduct or violations of applicable laws and regulations, nor from taking any adverse action against a student, prospective student, student group, or employee for any lawful reason.  CMC can request an employee to divulge personal social media reasonably believed to be relevant to an investigation of misconduct or violation of laws.  Nor does this law preclude CMC from requiring or requesting an employee to divulge a username, password, or other method for accessing employer-issued electronic devices.  This law does not prohibit CMC from accessing or using any publicly-available social media content in student or employee disciplinary proceedings, or from receiving social media content from others who voluntarily provide it during the course of a disciplinary proceeding.