The Dangers of Social Media?

Charles (Chuck) Keefer, NASPA IV-W Technology KC Coordinator

October 31, 2017

It was just a regular Thursday morning…catching up on emails, preparing for a student activity later that night, etc. It all changed so quickly when a resident assistant showed me a video posted to a Snapchat feed. What I soon witnessed was a group of students making gestures and threats with a handgun. The video and incident caused panic across campus and among faculty, staff, and students.

Sadly, three students were dismissed from the institution because of the decision that was made to post this video on social media. As the incident and investigation comes to a close and the campus continues to heal I am left wondering what we can do as an institution to educate our students about their digital footprint and the dangers of social media.

The students on our campuses have grown up in the social media culture. They continually know about the newest and greatest social media platforms. However, as a social media user myself and after an incident of this impact I am left asking the question has the dangers of social media and having a digital footprint been discussed with today’s social media users?

We have just begun the conversation on campus to explore the social media culture of our students and how we as student affairs professionals can better educate our students on social media usage. One of the ways in which we are looking for answers is by having the remaining students involved present on the social media culture on our campus. We have also asked that the students provide 2-3 recommendations about how we can do a better job of addressing the social media culture and educating our students.

Another way I am personally seeking out answers is serving as your KC representative and as an active member of the Technology Knowledge Community (TKC). I have been a part of the TKC for 4 years and have been a part of some amazing projects and initiatives to address technology and students affairs.

If you are passionate about social media or the role technology plays in our daily professional lives I would encourage you to get involved. While on the NASPA website you can add the TKC on the edit your profile page under the community and groups section by clicking on the +add additional sections button. I would also invite you to join the conversation on Facebook ( and Twitter (  

In addition I hope you are going to be joining us at the NASPA IV-West Regional Conference in Lincoln, NE on November 7th-9th. For more information about the conference please visit: If you would like to meet and discuss social media and/or any other technology related topics in Lincoln please reach out to me via email. I would also encourage you to attend our annual KC presentation during Session 5 on Wednesday, November 8th at 1:45 pm.

TKC Current Projects and Initiatives

Technology Knowledge Community Awards

We are seeking nominations and applications for our technology awards and grants that will be awarded at the Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA. The deadline to submit a nomination, or application is November 10th. The following awards and grants are available.

1.      TKC Small Research Grant Award: a small grant to promote and encourage research focused on technology-related topics and concerns.

2.      Technology Research, Assessment and Evaluation Innovation Award:  annual award to recognize and honor our NASPA colleagues who are innovators in the field of Student Affairs through the application of research, assessment, and evaluation of technology related tools and practices.

3.      Student Affairs Technology Emerging Practice Award: recognizes the contributions of members who are transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services, and effective administration in technology.

4.      TKC Outstanding Graduate Student Award:  awards a deserving member of the graduate student community, within or outside of the KC membership, who has showcased excellence in the promotion and use of technology within the student affairs community.

You can find a list of our awards and grants here:

Technology and Higher Education: Emerging Practice Compendium

At the 2017 NASPA Annual Conference the Technology Knowledge Community announced the launch of our newest project. Technology and Higher Education: Emerging Practice Compendium is a new research and practice compendium that the TKC under the umbrella of NASPA Publications will be published digitally each semester. To learn more about the project please visit: To learn more about submitting an article, or research paper please visit:

I hope you will consider becoming a member of the Technology Knowledge Community and join the conversation.

See you in Lincoln!

Charles Keefer
Region IV-West TKC Representative
[email protected]

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