Social media use in higher education comes with a multitude of legal concerns. Today’s students may be digital natives, but that does not mean they will always use social media appropriately or professionally. Institutions need to be ready to respond immediately to specific incidents, such as students who are threatening to harm themselves or others. And since social media are constantly evolving, institutions also need broad-spectrum policies and codes of conduct capable of addressing emerging legal issues.
Under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), the term “sexual violence” includes dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking—and colleges and universities are now required to train students and employees to prevent and respond to all these offenses.
Even though attending college is a special time in an individual’s development, college days aren’t always “the best years of your life” for everyone. The combination of academic, social, and financial pressures students experience can be overwhelming, and multiple studies have shown just how emotionally challenging higher education can be.
We all want campuses where safety and mutual respect rule the day—and that’s the heart of the guidelines from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding Title IX, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. And that’s where we stand…