Community Guidelines

Cultivating a respectful and constructive online space

Cultivating a respectful and constructive online space

Image for Post

The Quad is your space for conversation and debate, and you share the responsibility for cultivating a respectful and constructive blog space. The conversations that take place on this site are for and belong to the whole University of Alberta community. Every member of this institution, whether faculty, staff, or student, should feel welcome to share input.

When leaving a comment, you will be asked to identify yourself using either your G-Mail, Twitter, or Facebook account. You are not required to use your account to post, but we hope that you feel comfortable doing so as we strive to create a place for conversations that are respectful, engaging, and collegial.

The following community guidelines will inform our moderation decisions:

  • Please be relevant and present your point clearly. Be aware that sarcasm can be difficult to convey with text alone and might easily be misinterpreted. If fellow contributors do misunderstand your comment(s), please consider clarifying or restating your point(s).
  • Academic freedom will be upheld. As the blog exists at a public institution of higher learning and research, we welcome thoughtful dialogue, debate, criticism, and dissent. However, the following will not be published:
  • Personal attacks or persistent trolling.
  • Demonstrable inaccuracies and misinformation.
  • Comments that bear the risk of legal jeopardy. For example, comments that appear to be libellous and/or defamatory or appear to breach copyright or privacy laws will be withheld from publication.
  • Comments that could be interpreted as racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other form of hate speech.
  • Items that contain cursing and YELLING (use of caps) will not be published.
  • No spam, thank you!

Moderation Aims

The University of Alberta strives to provide its faculty, researchers, staff, and students with opportunities to celebrate, discuss, and debate the topics that are central to the university community. We are proud of the wealth of knowledge that exists at the U of A and look forward to many lively, passionate, and intelligent conversations here on The Quad.

Given that the university is, like the internet itself, always evolving and moving forward, the standards laid out here will also continue to be subject to regular review. Our aim is to ensure that we are following best practices while upholding the values of the U of A.

As moderators, our aim is to ensure that this online space is inclusive, safe, and above all, collegial. When participating in conversations or posts, members of the university community — including staff, students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty — are governed by the university’s IT use policy, social media guidelines, and other pertinent conduct and ethical behaviour guidelines.

All comments are moderated before posting.

Ultimately, it is our responsibility for fostering the collegial environment of this site. As moderators, our main goal is to allow for a free, respectful exchange of ideas where everyone in our community can interact. We actively review all comments that are submitted to ensure that they uphold the community guidelines.

We strive to moderate with as little intervention as possible. However, please be aware that active moderation of the blog is limited to normal university business hours Monday to Friday.

If we determine that a comment or question has contravened the community guidelines, we will delete the comment without notifying you. We will not collect or store deleted comments, nor will we collect attached personal information. If one of your comments is not published and you wish to know the reason for its rejection, please feel free to contact us at and we will provide an explanation.

We will not alter your comments.

We will not edit your comment, so everything that you write will be just as you’ve typed it. The bad news is that any grammar or spelling errors will live on as your own.

We will try to answer, or find the answer, to all questions asked (except for questions we determine are rhetorical or are best answered by other members of the online community).

We ask for your patience as it can sometimes take several days for us to get the answer you need from the most knowledgeable and reliable sources within our community.

Let us know when you have concerns.

If you do have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the moderation of this site, we ask that you please direct them to us at

We reserve the right to close comments.

Notices, corrections or clarifications, and statements will be closed to commenting.

Corrections or Clarifications

As a part of the University of Alberta’s commitment to accuracy and transparency, the Clarifications section of The Quad will be used to correct, clarify, and share any misinformation that might appear on this or any other publication.

Corrections and clarifications will be posted in quick response to any misinformation that has been published, and where possible, links to the original material will be included.

The Quad is committed to ensuring that the U of A community has access to the most accurate information possible, and the Clarifications section of this blog will be our means of doing so.

To report any items that might require correction or further clarification, please email Please include the word “Clarifications” in the subject line of your message.

The personal information requested for posting a comment is collected under the authority of Section 33 © of the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and will be protected under Part 2 of that Act. It will be used for the purpose of communication on this blog. The University of Alberta does not collect personal information for commercial marketing or distribution to any private organizations. Please be aware that messages sent via the Internet can be intercepted. Information collected will be transmitted to and stored on servers outside of Canada. Please direct any questions about this collection of information to:

The views expressed in the comments on this site do not necessarily reflect or represent the collective views of the University of Alberta, its faculty, researchers, staff, or students.