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Interactive Content Guidelines

Heriot-Watt University Students Association exists for the benefit of all Heriot-Watt University students. It’s run by students for students. The same goes for our website, www.hwusa.org, and the ‘myUNION’ community and ‘Ask a Question’ features which are part of our website.

The website is a place where Heriot-Watt students should feel free to discuss, debate and disagree on whatever the issues of the day - from how the Students Association is run to what’s happening in the news. We want it to be a fun and widely used place and somewhere we can use to consult students, gather opinion and feedback so that we can better serve, represent and provide for Heriot-Watt students. In order for it to work like this, there has to be some structure, some ground rules.

It isn’t rocket science, but here are some things to bear in mind when using the website:

  • Keep it clean, keep it civil: If you must make personal attacks on people, please do it elsewhere. Treat other website users in the same way as you would if you were speaking to them face-to-face.
  • Stay on-topic: Sure, this is sometimes difficult, but please try to stick to the subject of a thread. Off-topic threads may be locked if they get too out of hand or the posts just deleted. For general off-topic conversational sillyness, use the messaging features of myUNION.
  • Post in the right place: Please only post comments / questions under the relevant article. If you are unsure, leave your comment / question in the general ‘Ask a Question’ section, accessible on the Homepage.
  • The thing about Sarcasm: It’s funny and we all love to use it is. But it doesn’t really word in email, text message or online. It’s ambiguous and people could well take remarks you mean in jest at face value, because how are we meant to know the tone in which you are saying it?


If you want to criticise the Students Association, The Union or any of our Office Bearers in a constructive manner, you are free to do so via our website. Of course you have a right to freedom of speech. It’s a democracy! But as well as rights, we all have responsibilities. So don’t go name-calling or start making personal attacks. Staff do not have a right to reply and any criticism made will be deleted. If you have a complaint about a member of staff, please contact the President (email below).

While posting questions and comments on our website can be done so without logging in or providing your real name, the IP Address of all posts is logged and stored for the purposes of preventing spam and blocking frequent offenders of these guidelines.

In some cases, it may be possible to connect 'annonymous' posts to those made by logged-in users. In such cases, you may be contacted to follow up on your comments.

If you are concerned about your anonymity and do not wish to be identified when giving us your comments or suggestions, please put them in writing to us using the details on the 'Contact Us' page.


To make sure all is well on the website, it is looked over and moderated by a small team of Moderators:

  • If a comment / question is in the wrong place, the Moderators will move it to the right place.
  • If a post is inappropriate, as defined by the Terms & Conditions which Users agree to, then the Moderators will delete it.

This is obviously not an exact science, it’s a judgement call. So please bear this in mind!

If a Moderator deletes a post, a copy of it will be kept by the Students Association so that there is a record of every deleted post. In addition to moving and deleting posts, Moderators can warn Users that they are making inappropriate posts, ban users on a temporary basis (for 3 days or one week) or ban them permanently. Don’t worry, this would only be in extreme cases and most users will have nothing to worry about.

If you read a post and think it is inappropriate or offensive to you, either click the 'Report This Post' next to the offending post, or contact the Moderators (email addresses below). They will have a look at it asap and decide what action to take.

The Moderators of the Interactive Content Sections are the three Sabbatical Office Bearers of the Students Association. For 2009/10, this is:

  • Invalid Member! (Invalid Member!): Invalid Member!
  • Invalid Member! (Invalid Member!): Invalid Member!
  • Invalid Member! (Invalid Member!): Invalid Member!

In addition, the Association’s Business Services Manager & Webmaster: J.Nutter@hw.ac.uk, who is a member of staff, also has the authorisation required to moderate the website.

Enjoy using the Interactive features of HWUSA.org!

Student Executive Committee
July 2009