NIU Statement regarding “watch list” rumor
January 26, 2018
A rumor began circulating today on social media alleging that Northern Illinois University (NIU) has a “watch list” where university officials monitor the social media accounts of our students. This is inaccurate, and we want to put an end to this rumor with facts.
One of our priorities as a university is to support the safety and well-being of our students during their education.
NIU is one of approximately 800 colleges and universities across the nation that uses Maxient software to record incidents specifically related to student misconduct, discipline, academic integrity, care-and-concern records and Title IX matters. Documenting these types of incidents not only assists the university in complying with its legal obligations, but it enables us to better identify students in distress, to coordinate the efforts of various departments to provide assistance and support, and to reduce outcomes that could negatively impact our students or community. This software does not monitor any form of social media.
While all NIU students are held to the standards outlined in the NIU Student Code of Conduct, groups such as NCAA athletes, fraternities and sororities, or students participating in particular support programs, have different compliance requirements or protocols related to reporting and responding. To manage this, Maxient utilizes “watch lists” strictly to notify appropriate campus administrators of incidents that involved students or organizations for which they have oversight responsibility. These administrators include compliance officers and counselors. This notification aids in our proactive efforts to support students, helping to identify those in distress and coordinating the efforts of various departments to provide follow-up.
We respect the privacy of our students, and are committed to using best practices to ensure a safe and responsible learning environment.