Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Leslie Shelton

Committee Member

Michael Hevel

Second Committee Member

Mary Ramey


College, Facebook, Higher Education, Severe Weather, Social Media, Twitter


This study explores how college campuses are using social media during severe weather events. This topic surfaced after a tornado devastated Moore, Oklahoma in May 2013 and those displaced flocked to the University of Oklahoma campus after a post made on Twitter went viral prior to an official message being sent out by the university. In order to further explore this topic, a qualitative phenomenological case study was conducted at the following sites: University of Alabama, Missouri Southern State University, University of Oklahoma, and Florida State University. This study included observations of social media posts on Facebook and Twitter on various parameters at each of the sites, document collection of social media and communications policies at each of these sites, and interviews with key people on each campus, including social media managers, university police, and various other student affairs personnel. Through the study, themes emerged, and a series of best practices were identified to allow college campuses to better serve their students during severe weather crisis situations that may impact their campuses.