FSU's Policy on Self-advertising through Canvas

FSU policy strictly prohibits solicitation for financial gain both in-person and online using a University account. FSU policy also strictly prohibits using IT resources for the propagation of spam. Therefore, FSU-owned resources like Canvas and Webmail should not be used to solicit others for the personal sale of class notes, study guides, textbooks, apartment leases, etc.

Before sending a message like this, know that FSU reserves the right to suspend a user's access to its online systems and more for violating this policy.

If you notice anyone sending inappropriate emails or posting inappropriate material through Canvas, please send these to canvas@fsu.edu so we can take action. If an inappropriate email was sent directly through Webmail, please forward it to abuse@fsu.edu.

What constitutes a violation of FSU's solicitation and spam policies?

The use of any university IT resource for financial gain is in violation of FSU policy. This includes:

  • Sending a message to students at their FSU email address to let them know you are selling something. This includes using your FSU webmail account or Canvas account to send this message to fellow students.
  • Sending an email from a private, non-FSU email account to other students' FSU email addresses.

In-person solicitation of buyers anywhere on the FSU campus is prohibited without a written contract with FSU. Violations of this policy include and are not limited to:

  • Offering to sell your notes or study guide answers while standing outside the classroom, or anywhere else on campus.
  • Passing a sign-up sheet around the classroom for classmates to share their contact information so you can email them for the purpose of selling your notes.
  • Announcing during class that you are employed by a business that facilitates the buying and selling of notes, and anyone interested should contact you.

For more information, see FSU's Information Security Policy and FSU's Commercial Solicitation Policy.

Keep in Mind

Appropriate collaboration is both encouraged and beneficial

This policy should not discourage instructor-approved collaboration, such as participating in study groups or working together on group assignments. It is often beneficial for students to study together and test one another on course material. Similarly, sharing class notes free of charge with a classmate who was absent or was unable to take good notes during class does not violate FSU's policies. This collaboration does not apply to items being turned in for a grade unless the instructor has directed you to collaborate on a group assignment. Selling or buying answers to assignments that are to be turned in for a grade that are not group assignments is a clear violation of the FSU Honor Code.

Note-taking on behalf of a student registered with the SDRC is not the same thing as buying and selling notes

When students are in need of academic accommodations that include receiving course notes, instructors usually make an announcement requesting an official note taker. These announcements and email requests from the instructor do not violate FSU policy.

FSU does not condone the buying and selling of class notes on any platform, even if you don't use any campus resource or location to do it

Some companies that facilitate buying and selling notes may give the impression that they are FSU-approved and a legitimate partnership exists. They may also promise you that you are not violating any policies by selling your notes. This is not the case. StudySoup, in particular, is very misleading in the information they communicate to students. StudySoup is using FSU’s logo without permission and we are concerned that students are being duped into thinking a legitimate partnership exists, and that instructors approve of the practice of students selling notes to classmates. FSU is not affiliated with this company in any way, nor does FSU condone the selling of study notes through this company, or others like it. FSU has taken steps to have StudySoup remove the FSU seal from their website to avoid further legal action against the company.

As a student, why shouldn't I buy notes or study guides? Surely they will help me get a better grade

A number of businesses hire students to sell class notes and study guide answers. While it is undoubtedly tempting to purchase these "study aids," they will not necessarily help you to do well in your classes regardless of what they and fellow students may claim. Instructors do not recommend the purchase of these notes as they are not official course materials and the efficacy of study notes uploaded to these sites is not monitored. FSU students should not be influenced in any way to purchase these items as there is no mechanism in place to monitor quality or accuracy.

If you are concerned about your academic success, we recommend the following:

  • FSU’s Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), including tutoring. These services are sanctioned and monitored by FSU.
  • Attending class regularly.
  • Meeting with instructors during office hours.
  • Forming study groups with classmates - participating in a study group is very different from buying and selling notes.
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