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    Rules on Blog Comments


    The discussion begins with Rules of conduct.
    Rules or guidelines of conduct:
    We wish to present ground rules or discussion guidelines, and then work with participants to accept or modify them if required.
    Participants are those who have agreed to abide by these rules or guidelines of conduct.
    Each participant will agree to:

    Ground Rules for Assembly Discussions:

    1) Participate:
    Participants to these Assembly discussions are expected to contribute to the conversations. It is not enough to login and read the discussion thread of others, without participation. For the maximum benefit to all, everyone must contribute. This is a shared learning environment.
    Neither stalkers nor cyberspace lurks are allowed.
    A shared learning environment is only effective if everyone involved actually shares.
    Your ideas, feelings and opinions are as valuable as all others.

    2 ) Respect Diversity:
    This virtual discussion assembly should be, without question, a safe space for people of all races, genders, sexes, ages, sexual orientations, religions, disabilities and socioeconomic statuses. Derogatory and sarcastic comments and jokes that marginalise anyone are fundamentally and totally unacceptable.
    Offensive language—or language that could be construed as offensive—is not permitted. If this becomes an issue perpetrators will be removed from the discussion after a warning.
    Our ethnically rich and diverse, multi-cultural world should be highly celebrated in everyone's life. Know your own biases before you begin to participate so you can treat every person in the discussions with the respect and compassion that all humans deserve. The important word here is : Respect.

    3) No Tantrums:
    Argument does not mean Quarrel. The Assembly discussion environment expects conduct of an higher-order. Tantrums and ranting will not be tolerated. Criticism is a central part of our discussions, but it must be offered in a manner which is constructive, well-meaning, based on provable fact and well articulated. Criticism should be directed at proposals and not the individual proposing them. Profanities are not allowed.

    4) Cite Your Sources:
    If your contribution to the discussion includes the intellectual property (authored material) of others, e.g., books, newspaper, magazine, or journal articles—online or in print—they must be given proper attribution.

    5) Report Glitches:
    Discussion forums are electronic. They break. If for any reason you experience difficulty participating, please call, email, or otherwise inform the Assembly of the issue. Chances are others are having the same problem.

    6) Help Others:
    You may have more experience with online discussion forums than others in the discussion. If possible, give them a hand. Show them it’s not so hard. They’re really going to appreciate it!

    7) Be Patient:
    Read everything in the discussion thread before replying. This will help you to avoid repeating something someone else has already contributed. Acknowledge the points made with which you agree and suggest alternatives for those with which you don’t.

    8) Be Brief:
    You want to be clear—and to articulate your point—without being preachy or pompous. Be direct. Stay on point. Don’t lose yourself, or your readers, in overly wordy sentences or paragraphs, yet use proper writing style

    9) Emoticons and Texting:
    Social networking and text messaging has spawned a body of linguistic shortcuts that are not part of the discussion dialogue. Please do not use emoticons, :-) faces and c u l8r’s.

    10) No YELLING!
    Beware the electronic footprint you leave behind. Using bold upper-case letters is bad form, like stomping around and yelling at somebody (NOT TO MENTION BEING HARD ON THE EYE).

    11) Check before SEND:
    Remember: You Can't UN-ring the Bell. Language is your only tool in an online environment. Be mindful about the ways that others will perceive you. This is largely—as always—up to you. Once you've hit the send button, you've rung the bell.
    Review your written posts and responses to ensure that you’ve conveyed exactly what you intended. Hint: Read your post out loud before hitting the send button. This will tell you a lot about whether your grammar and sentence structure are correct, your tone is appropriate, and your contribution clear or not.


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