Several years ago, staff at the College of Staten Island identified civility as a key learning outcome for its orientation programming and the entire student affairs division. As a result, they created a dedicated orientation session to raise student awareness about civility. To ensure relevance, staff dedicate a quarter of the session to online etiquette and conduct.
Student orientation leaders perform skits about web-based conflicts that occurred on campus. One skit recreates a grade dispute between a faculty member and a student that played out on social networks and email. After the skit, the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and the orientation leaders engage the audience in discussion about what could have happened differently and questions students should ask themselves before posting on social media.
The session serves as a starting point for establishing expectations about student conduct and civility online. This approach is particularly suited to institutions with existing orientation sessions on civility, community standards, or conduct.