Student Forum Participation Guidelines

 
Version 1.0 - Updated July 2020

The heart of Techiegen is Students. We put Students first and do our best to recognize, appreciate and respect the diversity of our contributors. The Student Forum welcomes contributions from everyone who shares our goals and wants to contribute in a healthy and constructive manner within our community. As such, we have adopted this code of conduct and require all those who participate to agree and adhere to these Community Participation Guidelines in order to help us create a safe and positive community experience for all.

These guidelines aim to support a community where all people should feel safe to participate, introduce new ideas and inspire others, regardless of:

  • Background

  • Family status

  • Gender

  • Gender identity or expression

  • Marital status

  • Sex

  • Sexual orientation

  • Native language

  • Age

  • Ability

  • Race and/or ethnicity

  • Caste

  • National origin

  • Socioeconomic status

  • Religion

  • Geographic location

  • Any other dimension of diversity

Openness, collaboration and participation are core aspects of our work. We gain strength from diversity and actively seek participation from those who enhance it. These guidelines exist to enable diverse individuals and groups to interact and collaborate to mutual advantage. This document outlines both expected and prohibited behaviour.

Expected Behaviour

 

The following behaviours are expected of our members

Be Respectful

 

Value each other’s ideas, styles and viewpoints. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. Be open to different possibilities and to be wrong. Be respectful in all interactions and communications, especially when debating the merits of different options. Be aware of your impact and how intense interactions may be affecting people. Be direct, constructive and positive. Take responsibility for your impact and your mistakes – if someone says they have been harmed through your words or actions, listen carefully, apologize sincerely, and correct the behaviour going forward.

Be Direct but Professional

 

We are likely to have some discussions about if and when criticism is respectful and when it’s not. We must be able to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve. We cannot withhold hard truths. Doing so respectfully is hard, doing so when others don’t seem to be listening is harder, and hearing such comments when one is the recipient can be even harder still. We need to be honest and direct, as well as respectful.

Be Inclusive

 

Seek diverse perspectives. Diversity of views and of people on teams powers innovation, even if it is not always comfortable. Encourage all voices. Help new perspectives be heard and listen actively. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, it is especially important to step back and encourage other voices to join in. Be aware of how much time is taken up by dominant members of the group. Provide alternative ways to contribute or participate when possible.

Be inclusive of everyone in an interaction, respecting and facilitating people’s participation whether they are:

  • Remote (on video or phone)

  • Not native language speakers

  • Coming from a different culture

  • Using pronouns other than “he” or “she”

  • Living in a different time zone

  • Facing other challenges to participate

Think about how you might facilitate alternative ways to contribute or participate. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, step back. Make way for other voices and listen actively to them.

Understand Different Perspectives

 

Our goal should not be to “win” every disagreement or argument. A more productive goal is to be open to ideas that make our own ideas better. Strive to be an example of inclusive thinking. “Winning” is when different perspectives make our work richer and stronger.

Appreciate and Accommodate Our Similarities and Differences

 

Students come from many cultures and backgrounds. Cultural differences can encompass everything from official religious observances to personal habits to clothing. Be respectful of people with different cultural practices, attitudes and beliefs. Work to eliminate your own biases, prejudices and discriminatory practices. Think of others’ needs from their point of view. Use preferred titles (including pronouns) and the appropriate tone of voice. Respect people’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Be open to learning from and educating others as well as educating yourself; it is unrealistic to expect students to know the cultural practices of every ethnic and cultural group, but everyone needs to recognize one’s native culture is only part of positive interactions.

Behaviour That Will Not be Tolerated

 

The following behaviours are considered to be unacceptable under these guidelines.

Violence and Threats of Violence

 

Violence and threats of violence are not acceptable - online or offline. This includes incitement of violence toward any individual, including encouraging a person to commit self-harm. This also includes posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”) online.

Personal Attacks

 

Conflicts will inevitably arise, but frustration should never turn into a personal attack. It is not okay to insult, demean or belittle others. Attacking someone for their opinions, beliefs and ideas is not acceptable. It is important to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve, but such discussions must be conducted respectfully and professionally, remaining focused on the issue at hand.

Derogatory Language

 

Hurtful or harmful language related to:

  • Background

  • Family status

  • Gender

  • Gender identity or expression

  • Marital status

  • Sex

  • Sexual orientation

  • Native language

  • Age

  • Ability

  • Race and/or ethnicity

  • Caste

  • National origin

  • Socioeconomic status

  • Religion

  • Geographic location

  • Other attributes

is not acceptable. This includes deliberately referring to someone by a gender that they do not identify with, and/or questioning the legitimacy of an individual’s gender identity. If you’re unsure if a word is derogatory, don’t use it. This also includes repeated subtle and/or indirect discrimination; when asked to stop, stop the behaviour in question.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

 

Bad behaviour from any Member, including those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated. Reports of harassment/discrimination will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the people responsible for the safety of the space, event or activity. Appropriate measures will be taken to address the situation.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behaviour is expected to comply immediately. Violation of these guidelines can result in you being asked to leave an event or online space, either temporarily or for the duration of the event, or being banned from participation in spaces, or future events and activities in perpetuity.

Discussion Forum Guidelines

 

1. This discussion forum is for educational purposes. Shared knowledge helps us all to learn more. Please respect that this forum is for educational purposes only.

2. Please hold to a single topic for each thread. Be sure to list your topic in the message header/subject box before sending. This will aid the reader(s) in identifying the topic.

3. In responding to the discussion questions posted, please answer the question completely.

4. You can suggest ideas, but remember we should base our opinions with evidence, research, and scholarly writings. You are expected to support your comments with the literature. You are encouraged to post-internet links, articles in your postings to aid in understanding however you must also include a reference to scholarly literature.

5. Original postings and replies should be relevant and contain the substance. Please refrain from 'I agree' or 'yes' replies; this will aid in respecting your classmates time spent in the discussion board. 6. Please remember people are sensitive towards criticism or perceived criticism, keep responses positive and constructive.

7. If you read a posting and feel that the replier misunderstood your post, give the writer the benefit of the doubt. Communicating online is very difficult. Not everyone has the needed writing expertise to adequately express themselves.

8. Please post your questions regarding the topic rather than in email, many will benefit from the answers as well as the discussion.

9. I reserve the right to delete any inappropriate message or messages not in accordance with these guidelines. This is a subjective decision, but I will use common sense.

10. Please ‘sign’ your post by including your name on the post.

11. My expectation is that you read every posting and reply to a minimum of 3 posts in a manner that can lend further insight, and/or offer a different perspective. Your grade will include the quality and quantity of responses. (see grading rubric for more detail)

12. You must log on to the Discussion Board a minimum of 3 separate days during the time that the discussion is active. (in other words, you cannot do all your posts on one day)

13. ‘Spell check’ all posts prior to posting.