College political leaders, social media prove to be dangerous combination

Experts say student politicians should treat tweets like press conferences.

After a tweet and a viral video ended the campus political careers of two Texas college students, higher-education politicos have advice for their brethren: Adopt an official social media policy, and be more careful about what you post on Facebook and Twitter.

Concern over how up-and-coming campus political activists are using social media comes after a high-ranking Texas college Republican was caught on video using a gay slur, and two University of Texas (UT) Republican officials dispatched a message on Twitter about assassinating President Obama and another deemed racist by campus Republicans and Democrats alike.

Cassandra Wright, president of the UT Republicans, was the latest college political leader to draw national ire when on Dec. 18 she posted on Twitter, “My president is black, he snorts a lot of crack. Holla! #2012.”…Read More

Controversial social media rules spark student backlash

SHSU student groups might have to change their names in accordance with new school policy.

Sam Houston State University’s controversial social media policy is perhaps the only thing that could unite the campus’s College Republicans, College Democrats, and the Young Democratic Socialists: The groups have joined together to protest rules that could affect their presence of Twitter and Facebook.

SHSU, a 17,000-student public campus in Huntsville, Texas, rolled out a new policy for university-related social media this semester, creating a “social media universe” that student groups can join on popular social sites where students communicate and announcements are made and discussed.

The school’s policy stipulates that any student group that uses the university’s name or abbreviation must join the official SHSU social media universe or change their name.…Read More

Professor eMail controversy strikes higher ed once again

Conservative groups aren't happy about the way faculty members are using university-issued eMail accounts.

University of Iowa professor Ellen Lewin kept her eMail to the campus’s College Republicans short and not so sweet: “F*** YOU REPUBLICANS.” A week later, the message has prompted more questions about how–or if–faculty should use campus eMail addresses in political debates.

Lewin, a women’s studies professor at the Iowa City campus, sent her eMail to the university’s Republican student organization after the group announced its “Conservative Coming Out Week,” a four-day event that reminded right-leaning students that they were “not alone” in the university’s “liberal town.”

“Conservatives in Iowa City: it is time to come out of the closet!” said the eMail sent from the College Republicans to Iowa students.…Read More