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Feedback on draft requested by social media group

The work group in charge of offering revisions to the Kansas Board of Regents’ social media policy met at Emporia State Feb. 28 to continue talks about how to improve the policy and discuss their draft for the revision.

Richard Muma, associate vice president for academic affairs for Wichita State and member of the work group, said KBOR was prompted to revise the policy they submitted last December after it met widespread negative opinion.

“The policy had been approved without any input from (university) faculty or staff,” Muma said.

This was the work group’s third meeting regarding the policy. It is composed of two representatives from each of the six regent schools – one faculty representative and one staff representative – and one representative from the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Julia Keen, faculty senate president at Kansas State and member of the work group, said organizing the revision process was the focus of their first meeting on Jan. 24.

“(In) the second meeting, we started to talk about what was needed in the new policy,” Keen said.

During the meeting, the group paid close attention to the language used in the policy in order to cut down on vagueness and remove sentences in which the tone was too negative.

“We wanted to set a tone that specifically acknowledges First Amendment rights – the right to speak. That right is not changed because we do it through social media,” said Kevin Johnson, general counsel for ESU and co-chair of the work group. “We didn’t want to make it a threatening or intimidating policy. We wanted to make it a reminder to use social media responsibly.”

In the policy draft, the group defined social media as “any facility for online publication and commentary.” The draft for comment gives guidelines as to what proper use of social media looks like and serves as a reminder to faculty and staff to use it responsibly.

The goal of Friday’s meeting was to finalize a revised draft of the policy to present to KBOR. The group will bring the policy to KBOR on April 16, after they have received comments from the public about the revision.

The next meeting is April 4. The work group will revisit the comments that faculty, students and staff from the regent schools posted and review the draft based on the comments they received.

To comment or view the draft of the work group’s revised policy, visit emporia.edu/socialmediapolicy.

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