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Social Media guidance for students

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In Student guidance

In Student guidance

At Staffordshire University, we put students at the heart of everything we do. When it comes to social media, your safety and security online are therefore among our top priorities.

Our talented academics and staff members play an essential role in delivering first-class student experiences for our community, so we want you to have easy and straightforward access to guidance, advice and support. To ensure consistency and transparency, please use official communications platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Blackboard and face-to-face appointments when connecting with staff.

Where to follow us

Staffordshire University has official representation for all Schools and Services on social media, including our corporate accounts. By following and engaging with these channels, you can stay up to date with what’s happening and immerse yourself in our University’s development.

To find out more about connecting with Staffs, visit staffs.ac.uk/socialmedia. If you do decide to connect with our University via social media, it’s always best to do so through our verified accounts.

New Students’ Facebook Group

Students who will be joining the Staffordshire University community during the coming academic year are invited to our New Students’ Facebook Group for that particular year. With representation from the Students’ Union and Services from across the University, this is a safe space for new students to learn more about Staffs and meet new friends before they begin their studies. Only ‘firm’ applicants are accepted into these groups and current students are not invited to join.

If you would like to apply to become a member of the 2020/21 group, please click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/freshfor2020.

Best practice when communicating online

Here are some helpful tips that you can use to help protect yourself when connecting with members of our University community online:

Keep your private life private

To avoid any awkward situations, please do not request or accept staff as friends on your personal social media profiles. Instead, you should ask your lecturer which of our formal channels they prefer to use for communications. Please keep in mind that if you’re contacting staff outside of their normal working hours, they may not be able to respond immediately.

We do appreciate that our students may sometimes require support outside of our usual working hours. If you do find yourself in these circumstances, it’s important not to feel that you have to deal with your situation alone. To access guidance, advice and support outside of typical working hours, contact our Student Hub by emailing studenthub@staffs.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)1782 294751.

Do not use private messaging apps to communicate with staff

With the rise of messaging apps, such as Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and direct messages on Twitter and Instagram, it’s easy to assume that this is the best way to contact your lecturers. However, please bear in mind the University is unable to monitor these channels.

When it comes to connecting with staff, you should therefore avoid the use of private messaging apps. Keep in contact through our many formal channels, such as University email, Blackboard, Collaborate, Microsoft Teams or face-to-face meetings. Discuss with your lecturers and personal tutors how you can keep in touch.

Avoid fraud and copyright issues when sharing content

You may not be aware, but what you share online can cause issues with copyright and fraud. These difficulties are more common when photographs of personal information, such as assignment and student ID, are shared with third parties. Please be aware of what you are posting and make sure your personal details are not included.

Take responsibility

If you wish to post about Staffordshire University on your personal social media accounts, please ensure your profiles and biographies state that your views are your own, and do not disclose personal or sensitive information publicly.

We are committed to the protection of open and honest dialogue among our University community and, as such, recognise the right of our students, staff and key stakeholders to post potentially controversial or politically sensitive ideas and theories on their personal social media channels. Such views, however, do not necessarily represent those of our University.

If you have any concerns regarding online content or posts shared by members of our University community, please let us know by writing to comms@staffs.ac.uk. You can also find useful information related to the UK Government’s ‘Prevent’ initiative by visiting: gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance.

Please note that you remain a representative of Staffordshire University at all times, even when posting in a personal capacity. Bringing the University into disrepute or criticising its facilities, staff or students may result in disciplinary action.

It is important that you adhere to The Student Code of Conduct, during and after your time at Staffordshire University. Posting inappropriate content on your social media channels, such as bullying, hate speech and racism may result in an investigation and could have immediate ramifications as well as long term implications.

If you wish to raise or escalate any issues related to your course, peers or our wider University, we encourage you to do so using the official channels. The Student Hub is on hand 24/7 to provide guidance, advice and support. If you wish to submit an official complaint or appeal, please follow Staffordshire University’s Complaints and Appeals Procedure.

Staffordshire University students who undertake professional programmes will also be expected to abide by other guidance around social media from professional regulatory and statutory bodies. Please ensure that you are familiar with these guidelines, and that you adhere to all third-party stipulations applicable to your specific circumstances.