Professionalism Standards in Social Media

Social media is a term that describes any of the various applications and web-based networking sites that students use to communicate and connect in a private or public venue. The most popular examples are GroupMe, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and X (formerly Twitter), but other applications are applicable. Any communications about course notifications or information should be through official LMU email or the learning management system.

The LMU-CVM recognizes the major advantages of social networking sites. Not only do they connect students quickly and widely, they also provide valuable exchanges of information and the ability to comment, to critique and to carry on dialogue. Any engagement in social media should be framed in professional, mature and reflective discussions and interactions. Unprofessional postings include profanity, discriminatory statements, personally directed abuse of any individual, alcohol/substance abuse, sexually suggestive material and violations of patient/client confidentiality. Additionally, posting of material relating to any veterinarian, staff, client, or patient at a clinical site is strictly forbidden without explicit written permission from the client and clinical site owner. Signed media release forms should be submitted to the Director of Alumni Engagement and External Affairs.

(While quick and far-reaching, social media posts are also fairly permanent. Although you may think you have deleted an inappropriate post, it is probably archived in someone's file. As a rule of thumb, if you would be embarrassed if your Dean read your statements, then you are better off not posting them. Prospective employers, residency directors, and future clients use social networking sites to check out your background, interests, and professional standards. Do not post inappropriate photos that provide unflattering references. Remove any unprofessional postings as soon as possible.)

No photos, videos or digital recording of LMU-CVM animals should ever be posted on social media. Cameras and cell phones are strictly prohibited in the anatomy and clinical skills labs unless specifically approved by the LMU­ CVM. Failure to follow this policy will be considered a violation of the Ethics and Honor Code.