LETTER TO THE EDITOR: WKU should use social media to improve campus community

Sam Ford

As a proud alum of both WKU and the College Heights Herald — and as someone who writes regularly about digital communication and advises companies about their social media policies — I have read with intrigue the controversies happening on campus. 

The Herald’s coverage has shown that university officials are not of one accord about today’s communication environment, nor about what the university’s role should be in this new world. 

I agree with Ms. Biggs that WKU has made great strides in its use of social media. And I praise President Ransdell for being personally dedicated to having a voice online. His comments that students should think about their communication online because of its permanence is right. 

But suggestions are a different matter than censoring. The university can’t hide behind trademark laws to remove things they don’t like. 

I thought Mr. Skipper’s comments in Thursday’s Herald was particularly on the mark. University officials should not be using social media monitoring as surveillance on students or to find excuses to censor comments they don’t like. But they very well SHOULD be listening to what students say in social 


Rather than brainstorming legal means to censor comments, university officials should use the insights they glean from listening to make WKU a better place for its students, its faculty and staff, and its extended community. 

Let’s hope this conversation is one that helps to unify an appropriate understanding of social media across campus offices. We in the WKU community will be listening closely in our own right.



Sam Ford

2005 WKU graduate