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General Forum Behavior

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Staff member
Dec 21, 2002
Since these message boards have become so popular lately (closing in on 20,000 messages!) I want to take a few minutes to go over a few things regarding the forums. First of all let me be clear that I am not referring to any one person in particular, and I will be locking this thread to avoid any public confrontations. If you want to discuss this with me personally please use email or PM.

I have noticed a couple things happening on the boards over the last few months. First, we seem to have more people showing up and just posting a homework problem or two or ten and expecting an immediate result. Doing this is unlikely to result in a quick answer, or any answer at all, and furthermore doesn't help you learn the material very well. Your best bet to receive help is to discuss what you have done to try and solve to problem, or at least try to explain why you don't know how to start. Also, it never hurts to say thanks. Some of these volunteers spend several hours every night helping students they will never meet out of the kindness of their hearts. As such, getting upset when they don't answer soon enough will not help anyone.

This issue, however, is not just limited to students asking questions. I feel like sometimes tutors here can be a little rude and confrontational with students who don't mean any harm. I'm getting a little tired of seeing a student post a math question and then a couple of tutors jumping on them for not posting any work. Look - I am very thankful for all the wonderful help that everyone provides here everyday. However, sometimes I think the old rule of "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything all" applies. I have heard from a number of students who have been upset by the greeting they have received here. I don't want anyone to feel they are obligated to answer a particular question, so if you don't feel it's worth your time then please just don't post at all.

Basically I just would like for everyone to be civil to one another. We're getting to the point where we have hundreds of posts every day, so it's easy for conflicts to erupt and threaten the whole community. However, I think if students try to be respectful of the sheer amount of time and effort that tutors are giving away on here, and tutors try to be a little friendlier to new users we can all get along a lot happier.

Thanks to those of you who are still reading at this point and Happy Holidays! :)
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