Social media is an easy and convenient way to communicate with your classmates and friends—especially in situations where you don't know someone well enough to give them your phone number. If you wanted to organize a study group, what better way than DMs or a Facebook Group? Or, maybe you're just sharing pics from a fun fraternity or sorority party, and the photos happen to show underage drinking or another behavior that goes against your school's code of conduct. Maybe you've been using DMs to communicate with someone you went on a date with.
All of these things could get you into serious trouble with your college or university, believe it or not. Although many apps have this potential problem, in this blog, we're going to take a look specifically at Facebook.
Academic Misconduct and Facebook
Academic integrity is key to higher education, regardless of your institution. Schools may have different terms for it, but the intent is the same. Stanford University, for example, has an Honor Code which dictates its academic integrity standards. One activity that's listed as violating this Honor Code is “unpermitted collaboration.” Let's tease that out a bit. If you and your classmates make a Facebook group or a group chat on Facebook to discuss something that a professor assigned as an individual task. Your group, while seemingly harmless, might actually violate Stanford's Honor Code. Academic misconduct violations could lead to probation, suspension, or even expulsion—all of which could drastically impact your future success.
Title IX or Sexual Misconduct and Facebook
What about Title IX violations? Title IX violations can have rippling repercussions if you're found responsible for the behavior. Let's use Cornell University to take a look at what a violation involving Facebook might look like in action. Cornell's “Procedures for Resolution of Reports Against Students Under Cornell University Policy 6.4 for the Following Acts of Prohibited Conduct…” outlines their policies for Title IX. Let's say you share a post on Facebook that is anti-LGBT—if that post is seen and reported to your school, it could violate their Title IX policy which states that sexual harassment includes “… harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal, nonverbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.” (Emphasis added).
Talented Attorney-Advisor to Help With Your Academic Misconduct or Title IX Allegations
If you've received a notification that your school is investigating allegations into your behavior, you should take action quickly. Allowing time to lapse or thinking that perhaps you can navigate it yourself is a bad idea. Although the school's hearing process is not a courtroom, finding an attorney-advisor who can help protect your future is wise.
An experienced attorney-advisor will be able to advise you on critical steps and, if necessary, negotiate with your school on your behalf. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped numerous students and their families across the nation as they navigated similar allegations. They can bring their many years of experience to your case and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the best possible outcome. Contact the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888.535.3686 or reach out online to see how they can help.