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Posted - 2007 March 27 :  00:13:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What is the purpose of St. Johnís Forum?

The forum aims to provide a place for open discussion about the college as well as to provide links to information about the college and its alumni throughout the internet.

Who created St. Johnís Forum?

St. Johnís Forum was created in January 2006 by current and former students of the Santa Fe campus concerned about policies of the college and how they were implemented.

How can the moderator be contacted?

The moderatorís e-mail address is Stephen Jablon, one of the creators of the site, can be contacted at

Who is the moderator?

The moderator is not any one specific person. The moderator is intended, rather, to be the voice of the site. The moderatorís role is to discuss issues related to the forum itself, open forum discussions with a brief introduction followed by one or more questions about the issues to be discussed, and quote relevant written material of members of the college community, who may or may not be involved in the forum. The moderator is intended to be impartial and may not discuss issues related to the college other than St. Johnís Forum. Founders of the forum may post as the moderator only when speaking as the voice of the site. When discussing issues unrelated to the site, founders must use their own aliases.

Why did the moderator open the cocaine investigation discussion with a lengthy summary of the investigation?

When the introductory section of the cocaine investigation section was written, the role of the moderator had not yet been established. When it was decided that the moderator would not introduce forums by providing a lengthy summary of events, the introductions were shortened, and one of the creators posted the summaries under his own alias. As there were already responses to the moderatorís introduction to the cocaine investigation section, it was felt that to change the introduction to this section would cause confusion.

Why do the founders of St. Johnís forum choose to remain anonymous?

Stephen Jablon, a former student who wrote a report to the Board of Visitors and Governors criticizing administrative policies and actions, has been banned from both campuses of St. Johnís College. The other founders of the forum decided that it was wisest to remain anonymous in order to avoid similar retaliation.

Do members have to post anonymously?

People may post openly or anonymously, in the first or the third person. Sometimes people post anonymously in order to avoid possible retaliation, in order to allow their arguments to be judged on their own merits rather than being associated with a specific individual, or to create a mood of detachment.

Do the founders of St. Johnís Forum hate St. Johnís College?

It is hoped that public criticism of the administrationís policies and actions may serve to alter the administrationís future conduct. Just as people who criticize their government do not hate their country, criticism of the college administration does not signify hatred of St. Johnís College.

Can the site be sued for libel?

There is always the risk of a lawsuit. However, steps have been taken to limit the risk of losing a lawsuit. The founders of the site, if necessary, can produce witnesses who can testify to the truthfulness of any charge that they make. The founders do not know the identities or sources of most members of the site. Consequently, the accuracy of every post on the site cannot be verified. However, if a serious charge is made on the site and determined to be false, a correction will be issued.

Do the sidebar and logo to the left of the forum violate the collegeís intellectual property?

The sidebar to the left of the forum links to areas of the official St. Johnís College Web site. While the design of the sidebar clearly establishes that St. Johnís Forum is a discussion forum for St. Johnís College in Annapolis and Santa Fe, steps were taken to avoid infringing upon St. Johnís Collegeís legal rights. There is a disclaimer on the bottom of the sidebar establishing that St. Johnís College has no affiliation with St. Johnís Forum. The logo of the forum, a set of slightly unbalanced scales surrounded by books, is similar to the St. Johnís College seal. However, the design of the scales is completely different. Also, the scales of the forum logo, unlike those of the collegeís seal, are unbalanced to indicate the difficulty of finding perfect justice. The founders of the site consequently maintain that there is no legal necessity to redesign the site, especially as the college has not made a formal complaint about the site design. However, it may be desirable to change the design of the site at some future time. Further comments about the appropriateness of the current design or suggestions for alternative designs are encouraged.

How can previous posts be found? Why is it sometimes difficult to find previous posts?

The site has been substantially reorganized. As a result, many categories have been combined and posts have been moved around. The search feature of the site can help you to find the post you are looking for. There was a technical problem with the site in which entire categories would sometimes not appear on the main page although the contents were visible when the search feature was used. At one time the site had eighteen categories; however, certain browsers would display no more than six of these categories. This problem has been remedied by limiting the site to six categories so that every browser displays the entire site on the home page. All forums have been organized into these six categories. After multiple reorganizations, the six categories have been named Comments on this Site, Croquet, Miscellaneous, Security and Administration, Words, and External Links. These categories have been divided into subcategories, all in alphabetical order. Hopefully, this organization will make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. Anyone with additional questions or opinions on the siteís organization can post their comments on the forum or contact the moderator.

What is the siteís policy on deleting objectionable posts?

Anyone who feels that a particular post is objectionable may contact the moderator with his or her reasons for advocating the editing or deletion of any post. The forum automatically replaces certain swear words with asterisks.

How has the forum dealt with objectionable posts in the past?

Deleting posts generally contradicts the open nature of the forum. With the exception of swear words, the moderator has not edited anyoneís post. Two topics have been deleted at the request of people mentioned in the topics. Forum spam is deleted, and the spammerís membership is revoked.

Why is it necessary to submit an e-mail address in order to register?

The submission of e-mail addresses permits the moderator to contact individual members of the site and allows members of the site to e-mail each other privately. The membership of the site has been mass e-mailed only once, to notify everyone that the site was back on line after the site was down for a few weeks. The e-mail list is neither sold nor given to anyone. Additionally, e-mail verification helps ward off forum spammers.
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