SOIS Student Org Letterhead

Revised SOIS Virtual Student Loung Guidelines - Spring 2011

Article 1: PURPOSE
The Student Lounge forums are intended to promote the exchange of information and ideas among UWM School of Information Studies (SOIS) Students and to give students a chance to meet and socialize informally.

All students are invited to participate keeping in mind that the best posts are constructive, concise and to the point. The forum is actively moderated in accordance with the principles outlined in this document.

The usual guidelines apply for posting to a public discussion forum on the internet. They can be broadly summarized as follows:

3.1: Limit your post to only discuss one subject or several issues that belong naturally together. If you want to raise several non-related issues, post them as separate threads.

3.2: Make sure that the topic of your post falls within the subject of the forum in question. Notice that some forums are intended for announcements or questions only and thus have certain restrictions on who may post there.

3.3: When responding to a post, consider if the topic has drifted away from that of the original post and if so, consider posting your reply as a separate thread.

3.4: Before posting a question make sure to check if there is already an answer in the Lounge. Use the search button for this.

3.5: When disagreeing with another poster make sure that your response takes issue with the arguments rather than with the person behind them. Abuse and personal attacks will not be tolerated.

For a more thorough walk through of the general considerations to take into account when posting, please refer to internet document RFC 1855 "Netiquette Guidelines", section 3.0: "One-to-Many Communication":

The forums are monitored and moderated by the officers of the SOIS Student Organization and by the Assistant Dean of SOIS.

4.1: The Assistant Dean of SOIS will only get involved with moderation of the lounge if the SOIS Student Organization provides an expressed written letter of consent.

4.2: If the SOIS Student Organization is, for whatever reason, dissolved the Assistant Dean of SOIS or other appointed SOIS Faculty/Staff will take over all rights and responsibilities of moderating the Student Lounge.

4.3 If any SOIS Administrator believes that illegal actions are taking place in the Student Lounge then SOIS has the legal right to cease all lounge activity.

5.1: In case of a violation of the above-mentioned principles, a moderator may choose to issue a warning to the violator in question.

5.2: Repeated violations may result in a temporary suspension from posting to the forum, or in cases presenting severe circumstances of repeated, malicious breaches of the principles despite previous warnings, a moderator may issue a permanent ban of the violator from posting to the forum.

5.3: When a moderator metes out sanctions, she or he is encouraged to use his or her own good judgement and to be guided by the principle of proportionality and input from fellow moderators.

5.4: A moderator may proactively decide to delete, modify or lock a thread if it has drifted from its original topic, contains posts that are bordering on being in violation with this document or are in other ways deemed to be detrimental to the purpose of the forums.

It is in the interest of the community to give users a very wide-ranging freedom of expression to ensure that the relative merits and drawbacks of differing opinions are exposed. Moderators will generally strive to avoid handing out sanctions against posters for expressing their opinions or for discussions that take place under heated circumstances. However, contributors are asked to remember that words can cause damage. Moderators will therefore not hesitate to pass sanction on posters using the forums to cause harm or grief, which includes but is not limited to:

6.1: Abusing the forums by addressing issues that are a simple dispute between two parties. Contacting directly the individuals in question should solve these matters.

6.2: Making statements intended to defame a person or group or which can be construed as libel can put into jeopardy her or his standing within the community or to appeal to the sympathy of the forum in an on-going dispute, which is better solved through private conversation.

6.3: Abusing the forum by excessive posting of nonsense, messages purely advertising commercial services irrelevant to any on-going discussion, personal attacks or messages broadly defaming a specific group of people delimited by ethnicity, gender, belief, age or sexual orientation.

6.4: Posts containing extremely profane language.

6.5: Physical threats against or harassment of another member.

Article 7: APPEAL
7.1: The decision of a moderator is subject to review if so desired and the user affected by a sanction may therefore lodge an appeal through written notice to any officer of the Student Organization via the Student Organization’s email address,

7.2: Appeals will be reviewed by all officers of the Student Organization as soon as is practical. If the appellant is not satisfied with their decision, he or she may appeal to the Assistant Dean of SOIS. The Assistant Dean’s decision will be final.

Adopted Spring 2010
Modified Spring 2011