Social Media/Technology Guidelines

Approved by the University Communications Committee on March 28, 2012 (changes in Direction Statement May 14, 2012).

Direction statement

As the influence and utility of social media continue to grow, these guidelines establish a deliberate social media strategy for Utah Valley University. They are based on the institution's current policies, which are binding to its activities. UVU recognizes social media as a method for personal as well as university dialog and information and values academic freedom. These guidelines seek to clarify how policy applies to social media and to distinguish between the university's activities and the activities of individuals.


  1. An official site is a site that is managed by university personnel on university time and represents the university or one of its departments, divisions or functions. Ownership is with the department or university.
  2. A UVU-associated site is one that is managed and maintained by an organization associated with the university, such as a chartered club, or other official organization, such as the alumni or foundation group. Ownership is with the organization and not with individuals in the organization.
  3. A third-party site is one that is managed and maintained by organizations or persons who do not represent the university in an official capacity outside of a teaching environment. Ownership is with the person or organization and not with the university or one of its associated organizations.
  4. Inappropriate content for social media sites is defined as content that promotes or condones behavior that violates university policies, student code, or local, state or federal law. Content with questionable language or material might not be appropriate in order to maintain the image of the university.
  5. FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which restricts access to information on students and their records.


  1. All social media sites are divided into the following four categories:
    • Official university-wide platforms (such as UVU YouTube channel, UVU Twitter account, UVU Blog, etc.);
    • Official department/area social media sites;
    • UVU associated sites, i.e. club sites, such as Rodeo Club blog;
    • Third-party owned sites (not owned by UVU, including personal sites or UVU instructor's instructional sites).
  2. UVU must have ownership of categories A & B, and their associated organizations must have ownership of category C. Ownership includes:
    • Access to the site by appropriate UVU employees (categories A, B & C).
    • Must use a email address for ownership during registration (categories A, B & C).
    • Usernames and passwords must be registered with University Marketing & Communications for categories A & B or their associated organization for category C sites.
    • The AVP or dean must approve of or be notified for all official sites (categories A & B). Associated organizations should know about the existence of category C sites.
    • All official sites (categories A & B) must have a registered gatekeeper no lower than a department head. Gatekeeper's signoff is required. Associated organizations may designate their own gatekeepers.
  3. UVU or the designated gatekeepers are responsible for the content of categories A & B.
  4. UVU will not actively moderate the content of category C sites, provided that content remains within the guidelines of institutional policy. Associated organizations may set their own guidelines for content within institutional policy for category C sites.
  5. Gatekeepers may delegate to others the day-to-day responsibility of maintaining sites, but are ultimately responsible for the site. Gatekeepers are responsible for the person maintaining the site and must be aware of changes in personnel.
  6. All UVU logos used must comply with university branding standards.
  7. All official sites (categories A & B) should be kept up to date and relevant.
  8. All official sites (categories A & B) should include at least one link to an official UVU site (category A or
  9. No private information as classified in university policy should be stored or available on the site, such as student records (FERPA) or Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as credit card, social security numbers, birthdates), etc.
  10. All official sites (category A & B) must bear on a visible portion of their site the following notice: "This site belongs to UVU (could include link here). Email [email protected] for any complaints." A visual stamp may also be displayed where possible and feasible.
  11. All currently existing category A, B & C sites must either conform to this protocol or they will not be recognized by the university. No inappropriate content is allowed (see definition above).
  12. All sites not owned by the university found in violation of university copyright, trademark, logo or university policy violations will be requested to correct those violations. All third-party sites (category D) must not represent themselves as representing the university.
  13. UVU is not responsible for content on category D sites and will only monitor them for the purpose of monitoring media chatter about UVU and for violations outlined in rule 12 above.
  14. UVU will not ask a prospective or current student or employee to disclose a password that allows access to a category D (personal) account, pursuant to Utah State law. (Utah H.B. 100, 2013)Any revenue, e.g. digital advertising, is governed by university policy for category A and B sites and by the policies of the associated organizations for category C sites.

Responsibilities of Areas

University Marketing & Communications

It will be the responsibility of University Marketing & Communications to:

  • Maintain an official university presence on social media platforms dictated by the University Communications Committee.
  • Assist certain campus groups in cultivating their own presence by providing best practices and training.
  • Create a list (to be displayed on of all official and associated sites divided into categories A, B & C and keep an internal-only list of category D sites for the purpose of monitoring media chatter about UVU.
  • Have available a visual stamp (apart from the UVU logo) for official sites to indicate that they are official UVU sites.

University Communication Committee

It will be the responsibility of University Communications Committee to:

  • Review sites when a complaint is submitted for violations of policies and protocols and work to correct issues.
  • Review yearly all official sites for misuse, lack of use and the above protocols.
  • Monitor sites that do not fall within the approved A, B or C categories, and sites that are misleading or purport to be university sites (unauthorized representation of the university by third parties), and/or follow up on complaints about such sites on university copyright, trademark, logo, or policy violations.

Information Technology

It will be the responsibility of Information Technology to:

  • In conjunction with the University Communications Committee, maintain database associated with ownership, username and passwords, email addresses and gatekeepers for A & B sites.

Gatekeeper (or designee)

The gatekeeper may designate the day-to-day maintenance of sites, but ultimately have the responsibility to:

  • Maintain the integrity of the site.
  • Monitor for inappropriateness of site content.

Associate vice presidents and deans

Associate vice presidents and deans have the responsibility to:

  • Approve the use of sites within their divisions.
  • Manage and control resources associated with the sites.

Associate organizations (or their representatives)

Associated organizations will be responsible to:

  • Maintain policies specific to their own category C sites and their own bylaws.
  • Maintain username and passwords, email addresses and gatekeepers for ownership of category C sites.
  • Respond to take-down notices of violations as outlined in rule 12 above.


Hashtags are words or phrases that, when preceded by a # symbol, become searchable terms on many forms of social media. UVU has established several official hashtags for use in organizing, promoting and searching content on social media. These include:


Social Media Comment Policy

The official UVU social media accounts are a great way for students, parents, alumni and others to keep in touch with what's happening at UVU.

We encourage our fans and followers to post, comment and interact with others, and expect that remarks will be on-topic and respectful of the rights and opinions of others.

UVU reserves the right, but is not obligated, to remove comments that are racist, sexist, abusive, profane, violent, obscene, spam, that advocate illegal activity, contain falsehoods or are wildly off-topic, duplicate, or that libel, incite, threaten or make ad hominem attacks on UVU students, employees, guests or other individuals. We also do not permit messages selling products or promoting commercial, political or other ventures unless we deem them related to the university, its members or its operation. All content and posts are bound by the Terms and Community Guidelines for that service:

Posted comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the university.

If you have any concerns about the content posted on one of our social media outlets, please contact University Marketing & Communications. We welcome all of your feedback and thank you for your help in creating a safe, vibrant and respectful online community.


Applicable policies include, but are not limited to:

110 - Contacting the Media

131 – Editing and Review of Official and Other Publications

133 – Compliance with Government Records Access and Management Act

135 – Use of Copyrighted Materials

136 – Intellectual Property

155 – Sexual Harassment and Consensual Relationships and Grievance

322 – Employment Responsibilities and Standards

441 – Appropriate Use of Computing Facilities

444 – Academic Freedom and Information Access

445 – Institutional Data Management and Access

446 – Monitoring and Review of Employee Electronic Communications or Files

449 – Private Sensitive Information

450 – Processing and Control of Distributed Administrative Data

532 – Associated Student Organization and Club Membership

541 – Student Rights and Responsibilities Code

542 – Student Records Access (Student Privacy/FERPA)

635 – Faculty Rights and Professional Responsibilities

House Bill 100, 2nd Substitute: Internet privacy amendments, 2013 General Session, State of Utah