Special Campus Memo: Social Media and UGSDW

November 06, 2018

Administration has learned that some College employees are keeping up with the activities of the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers through social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. We know it is common for members of the Grinnell family to use social media to stay abreast of developments on campus. However, this is a slightly different matter. The UGSDW is a union and it is currently engaging in protected concerted activity attempting to organize student workers on campus. There are some fairly technical rules that apply under the federal labor laws. It is important that Grinnell College take precaution to avoid even the appearance that it might be attempting to influence the outcome of a vote by surveilling the activity of students and the union. 

 
Obviously, the union leadership has the ability to "block" anyone with access to their Facebook, twitter or other social media accounts. Even if the union doesn't mind members of the Grinnell family keeping up with their activities, the College asks you to pay attention to this communication and take appropriate measures. 
 
If you are a member of the College support staff, you are free to follow the union on Facebook and twitter as you see fit. On the other hand, if you are a manager, supervisor, director or have any administrative responsibilities, the College asks you to refrain from following the union on social media. Though, probably benign, your activity may be perceived as threatening. 
 
Faculty members are somewhat unique. Faculty are members of the campusfamily but traditionally considered independent of administration. If faculty members supervise the work of students in campus jobs, we urge you to refrain from engaging in any activity that gives the appearance you are monitoring or "surveilling" the activities of the UGSDW. This would include following the union on social media. 
 
Please contact Keith Archer, Vice President for Finance and Treasurer of the College, if you have any questions. Thank you for your cooperation.

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