Hamilton College encourages discourse on a variety of topics through comments posted to our website and content in various social media. Comments on news stories must be “signed” and are limited to members of the Hamilton community (e.g., alumni, students, employees and parents) who must log in and be authenticated via My Hamilton. In order to best showcase individual viewpoints and uphold Hamilton ideals, please adhere to the guidelines below when posting and commenting in our communities:
Be authentic – Part of thinking for ourselves is taking responsibility for our thoughts and opinions. For this reason, all comments and content must be from named individuals. Do not post using an alias or an identity other than your own.
Be respectful – Comments should not defame, attack or otherwise disrespect. Profanity, obscene content and personal attacks will not be tolerated. In the same vein, do not post copyrighted or trademarked materials.
Encourage conversation – To keep dialogue on topic, comments that appear to be commercial or that could otherwise be viewed as ‘spam’ will be deleted.
Realize your posts are public – Whatever you post on a social media site instantly becomes public. Anyone with access to the web can view your activity on social media sites. Regardless of how careful you are in establishing privacy settings, your content can easily be made available to those outside of your preference settings. Be sure not to post personal information – yours or someone else’s – on the web.
Be transparent – It should be obvious that you work for the College if you are posting as part of your job. If you are posting about Hamilton on your personal time, please identify your connection to the College. You need to be authentic and credible.
Keep confidential matters private – Do not post proprietary information about Hamilton, including information about students, alumni or employees. All College and legal guidelines, such as FERPA, also apply in the social media space.
Represent Hamilton properly – Make sure that your supervisor has authorized you to post about Hamilton on College-sponsored sites (if your post responds to someone's concern and you're not sure about College policy, contact the Communications Office). Verify information, links, images, etc. before posting. Social media sites blur the lines between professional and personal relationships, so be careful when choosing profile photos and other images to upload.
Be a respectful community member – When you find yourself disagreeing with others, keep your comments appropriate and polite. If you find yourself in a position where the dialogue becomes antagonistic, avoid becoming defensive. Ask the director of social media for advice on handling sensitive issues and topics.
Know where to turn for help – If you encounter a question you cannot answer, or if you see incorrect information about Hamilton, contact the Communications Office for assistance.