Appendix E: Safe and Responsible Use of Online Networking Sites

Missouri State University and the Department of Athletics do not have a specific policy covering the use of sites such as Facebook and MySpace. However, individual teams and coaches may have their own policies.

The Achievement Center’s policy is that these sites should not be accessed while in the Center’s computer labs. If you are on these sites, you will be asked to leave and your hours for that session will not count. Any information needed from sites such as these should be retrieved before coming to the Center.

While using these sites, please consider the safety and security aspects involved. The content of your site, or your friends’ sites, can have far-reaching effects, as demonstrated by situations occurring across the country.

  • As a Missouri State student-athlete, you not only represent yourself and your family, you now represent your team, the Department of Athletics, and Missouri State University as well as hundreds of thousands of student-athletes at over 1000 NCAA member institutions.
  • Photos posted on these sites may be used (and have been used) as evidence in campus judicial proceedings as well as by law enforcement for legal situations.
  • Law enforcement officials have been known to check the sites for posted events that could potentially lead to violations of the law by underage students
  • Student-athletes have faced sanctions from their teams and schools for inappropriate photo content. These sanctions have ranged from suspension from competition, loss of scholarships, and dismissal from the team.
  • Posting of information such as birthdates, email addresses, and phone numbers can lead to unwanted attention, stalking, physical attacks, and/or identity theft.
  • Opposing fans have been known to seek out information from these sites to use as chants or cheers during competition.
  • Potential employers have been known to check applicants’ profiles before or during the interview process. Information found on these profiles can negatively affect the chances of getting the job.
  • Recruits and their parents have been known to check profiles of current team members to find out more about the character of the team when making decisions about choosing a team and school.

Anyone choosing to use sites such as these is strongly encouraged to use the privacy and security settings made available by the sites. You should also exercise caution when adding friends to your profile or joining groups.

It is your responsibility to maintain your profile in a safe and proper manner. If you have questions or concerns about the use of these sites, feel free to ask.