In the last few weeks, Matt, a senator on student government, has started to see a lot of videos on social media showing students drinking alcohol in creative ways and then challenging their friends to do the same. When Matt logged into his Facebook this morning, he noticed a video of John, one of his fellow senators, had been posted. John is not 21, and in the video, he is wearing his student government sweatshirt as he chugs several beers. Matt works hard to follow the rules and always represent student government professionally, and he feels that John has done a disservice to the organization. John is a very popular and effective student leader, and there is a tacit understanding in the organization that in college, people drink underage. John’s Facebook is also set to private, so only his friends will see the video.
Matt is afraid that if he comes forward, he’ll be blamed by other senators for telling on John, and excluded from the organization’s sense of camaraderie. He also feels what John has done is unprofessional and poorly represents the organization. Matt is torn.
What should Matt do? How do social media posts affect a person’s professionalism in an organization? Would your reaction be different if John weren’t wearing student government apparel? Does your student government have any regulations affecting social media presence?