Online communities like Facebook and Twitter have helped students at Whitworth and other colleges and universities connect to people in many positive ways. Through these online communities, students have met other students with similar interests, formed groups to explore and celebrate specific interests, and transformed the ways in which they communicate with each other. We realize how important these communities can be. At the same time, there are some lessons that have emerged from those participating in online communities. Students should be aware of the following:
- You are posting content onto the Worldwide Web and you cannot ensure who does and does not have access to your information.
- Information you post online may remain on the Internet even after you erase or delete the information from your profiles or blogs.
- Current and future employers, graduate schools and campus organizations may use information gathered from online communities as they make decisions about employment and enrollment.
- Any person with an "@my.whitworth.edu" email address may gain access to the Whitworth University Facebook.com community; this includes access to individual student profiles, photos and groups.
- Your profile is a part of how others know you. Please keep that in mind as you use Facebook, Twitter and other online communities.
The Whitworth Student Life Office encourages students to become involved and connected to the community. The Internet has provided additional ways for community members to connect and communicate. However, with these additional means of networking and communication, extra care and diligence must be taken by community members to stay safe. Communications on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter will not be policed by student-life staff, but they can be turned into student-life officials when they are seen as derogatory or harassing in nature, as unsafe, or as evidence of a violation of a school behavioral policy. Our hope is that students will become aware of the benefits as well as the potential risks associated with these forms of networking and communication.