Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy

 Whether you are launching a club or organization, getting ready for the big game, teaching a class in Minnewaska, or attending Alumni Reunion, our New Paltz Social Hub lets you tell the New Paltz story. Our platform allows you to easily share photos or videos using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Be sure you tag your post with #NPsocial and check this social hub daily to see what's going on around campus.

This policy is intended to foster a thoughtful, responsible use of official University social media channels.  Further, the purpose of this policy is to protect and maintain professionalism in the workplace for all University faculty, staff and student workers.

Compliance with this policy is necessary for collaboration, justification and recognition by the Office of Communication & Marketing, and inclusion in the social media directory. These standards apply to all authorized social media accounts, accounts utilizing the New Paltz logo or an official University department, program or organization for the purpose of conducting official University business or sharing University messaging. 

  • All proposals to create an official SUNY New Paltz social media account must be presented to John Oles, marketing and social media manager, for justification, strategic review and assessment.
  • All social media accounts (both new and existing) must follow University branding and accessibility standards. The Office of Communication & Marketing reserves all rights to deny account creation that violates the guidelines, further fractures the brand voice and/or presents an increased opportunity for institutional risk.
  • All existing New Paltz Policies and Codes of Conduct applicable to University personnel extend to related social media activities.
  • Posting confidential or proprietary information about New Paltz, its students, its faculty or staff is prohibited.
  • Writing personal communications in a manner that could reasonably be interpreted as an official communication from SUNY New Paltz is not allowed per SUNY and UUP policies (SUNY policy 335.27 /UUP article 9.3: “In their role as citizens, employees have the same freedoms as other citizens. However, in their extramural utterances, employees have an obligation to indicate that they are not institutional spokespersons”).
  • If there is the possibility of confusion about whether you might be speaking on behalf of the University, it will be necessary to specifically indicate you are speaking as a private citizen and not as a representative of the University. The Office of Communication & Marketing can help clarify these situations, and administrators, faculty and staff are encouraged to contact us for advice and guidance.
  • Official University accounts must follow proper use of Information Security Guidelines: Campus Programs & Preserving ConfidentialityInformation Security Policy and Information Security Guidelines: Campus Programs & Preserving Confidentiality.

 Social media account managers are expected to:

  • Regularly communicate and share social media content with the University’s marketing and social media manager.
  • Create, maintain and monitor strategic weekly content on respective social media sites that is engaging, on-brand, and directly aligns with the unit’s overarching goals.
  • Actively engage with users, monitoring community conversations and moderating content that violates our policy. In the event that deleting account or community content is required, screenshots should be taken and recorded first.
  • Deliver timely customer service in a professional and conversational tone that encourages comments, encourages follow-up conversation, and moves the discussion to traditional methods of communications (phone, email, in-person) in order to reduce the risk of language being misinterpreted or shared widely via social.
  • Report and track account performance to ensure growth and active engagement that meets established University best practices.
  • Adhere to content strategies, goals, and objectives set forth by the Office of Communication & Marketing, unit administrators and leadership.
  • Contact the marketing and social media manager in a timely manner to communicate pending/predicted crisis or emergency response as needed.
  • Ensure all content related to an emergency or event impacting the University is disseminated in accordance with the social policy at
  • Respond to inquiries and posting content using official approved accounts; whenever possible do not use personal accounts to respond to inquiries or postings.


Official SUNY New Paltz accounts and administrators are prohibited from: 

  • Posting content that violates, city, state or federal laws and regulations.
  • Commenting on or posting anything related to existing or potential legal matters or litigation without appropriate approval.
  • Using the University brand or name to endorse any view, product, private business, cause, or political candidate.
  • Representing personal opinions as University-endorsed views or policies.
  • Sharing content that is profane, off-topic, violates copyright, or does not properly credit the original content source.
  • Deleting or moderating content beyond the best practices outlined in the social guidelines.

Posts may be reported or removed for any of the following reasons, at any time:

  • The use of obscene, threatening, discriminatory or harassing language.
  • Disclosure of information that is confidential by law or regulation.
  • Comments advocating illegal activity.
  • Posts violating copyrights or trademarks.
  • Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities or individuals.
  • Endorsement or opposition of any person campaigning for election to a political office or promoting or opposing any ballot proposal.
  • Duplicative comments by the same user or multiple users. In the case of identical comments, only the first submission will be approved.


The University welcomes reader comments on selected online features and social media outlets. Online comments are moderated by the marketing and social media manager.

Comments posted must pertain to the features they are linked to, and must comply with this policy. The views expressed in reader-posted comments do not necessarily represent the opinions of the SUNY New Paltz or its representatives.

In making the comment feature available, SUNY New Paltz reserves the right to hide or remove comments and/or limit those comments and commentators that do not adhere to this policy and/or create a risk of potential liability.

Prohibited comments include, but are not limited to, those which include material that is:

  •  invasive of privacy, defamatory, harassing, threatening or otherwise tortious
  • obscene or vulgar
  • sensitive personal information
  • inciting or advocating violence or prohibited discrimination
  • inappropriately sexual
  • illegal, such as confidential or copyrighted material
  • infringes on the intellectual property of others.
  • commercial in nature, including product descriptions or business URLs that could be viewed as an attempt to solicit business
  • off-topic
  • repetitive posts or spamming on several posts or stories, etc.

SUNY New Paltz retains the right to hide or report comments from anyone whom we believe has violated any of this policy. SUNY New Paltz may block user access, remove or take any other action with regard to its social accounts.

Any user who feels that a comment is objectionable may send a request for removal to  However, responsibility for what is posted or contributed to this site is the sole responsibility of each user.

Privacy Act Notice and External Sites

We collect no personal information about you when you visit this website unless you choose to provide this information to us. Links from this website to websites outside SUNY New Paltz are for the convenience of the user. Such links do not constitute an official endorsement or approval of any private sector web site, product, or service.


  • When social media content is broadly used by students, employees and/or the public to carry out or participate in its core educational and administrative activities, all available accessibility supported features of the platform should be utilized. These guidelines are not applicable when reposting or sharing content that is published by students, employees, non-university organizations, or external sources that do not conduct core University-related activities.
  • When social media platforms or aggregation tools such as HootSuite allow for alternative text descriptions on images, you should provide them. For best practices on authoring alternative text descriptions, refer to the alternative text description section of the Social Media Accessibility Toolkit . Such text descriptions of images will be read aloud to non-sighted or low-sighted users who rely on screen readers to consume social media content.
  • For video content, you should provide captions of the audio for the benefit of those without hearing, who are hard-of-hearing, and who are non-native speakers. Captions can be either closed captions (where a user can turn them on and off) or open captions (where the text is embedded into the video and cannot be turned on or off).
  • Check the social media platform’s accessibility support features to determine which captioning type (closed or open) must be employed for captions to appear when a video plays.
  • At this time, the animated GIF format has either very limited or no accessibility support on most social media platforms. This makes the animated GIF content difficult for individuals who rely on screen readers to perceive. Therefore, you should not rely solely on animated GIF content in a social media post. When using animated GIFs, confirm that the post can be understood through its text content alone.
  • Hashtags are an important component of social media posts. When authoring hashtags that are made up of multiple words, use initial capitalization, also known as CamelCase. Use #NPsocial or #NewPaltz which is easier to read for all users and is more consumable by screen readers since their synthesized voices can recognize and pronounce individual words, and won’t concatenate and garble them.
  • Emojis displayed on a screen will be described by a screen reader.


General recommendations for social media

  • The keys to success in social media are being honest about who you are, being thoughtful before you post, and respecting the community.
  • There's no such thing as a "private" social media site. Search engines can turn up posts years after the publication date. Comments can be forwarded or copied. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post.
  • You are legally liable for what you post on your site and on the sites of others. Individual bloggers can be held liable for commentary deemed to be proprietary, copyrighted, defamatory, or obscene (as defined by the courts). Be sure that what you post today will not negatively affect you in the future.
  • In personal posts, you may identify yourself as a New Paltz faculty or staff member. However, please remember that you are sharing your views as a member of the higher education community, not as a formal representative of New Paltz.
  • It is common to include a disclaimer on your social media site if you are discussing higher education. You may want to include a sentence similar to this in your “About Me” section: "The views expressed on this [blog, web site,or social profile] are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of SUNY New Paltz."
  • Make sure that you have accurate facts before you post. It's always better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly.
  • You are more likely to achieve your goals if you are constructive and polite while discussing a negative experience or disagreeing with a concept or person.
  • You are welcome and encouraged to provide a link to (or any other official New Paltz sites) from your social media page.
  • Do not post confidential or proprietary information about New Paltz, its students, its alumni, or fellow employees. Use ethical judgment, follow university policies, and federal requirements, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Do not use any official logos or other New Paltz images on your personal site. Do not use New Paltz's name to promote any product, cause, or political party/candidate. See also: New Paltz Policies on Political Campaign Activities.
  • If you need to discuss a situation involving individuals on a social media site or comments, contact John Oles. As a guideline, don't engage with individuals if the conversation or comments are not constructive.


Article ID: 144366
Tue 6/21/22 11:34 AM
Mon 3/11/24 10:16 AM