Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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National Policy on Electronic Communications
(November 2008)


(In addition to being able to read the document on line,
the entire document may be downloaded by clicking here)

The following policy is provided by the National Organization, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) to assist members in using new and emerging technologies in the electronic communication matrix.

I. PURPOSE OF POLICY

The purpose of this policy is to provide assistance and guidance to Departments, Camps, Camps-at-Large, and individual members as an increasing number of each take advantage of electronic communication to enhance the interchange of information and the promotion of service and program efforts nationwide.

II. INTERNET AND WORLD WIDE WEB

The SUVCW will establish and maintain a site on the World Wide Web ( WWW) at the domain name, http://www.suvcw.org (and .net, .info, .us, .biz) Within their budget and other considerations and limits, Departments and Camps are encouraged to establish and maintain sites on the WWW and other areas of the Internet structure to further the objectives of the SUVCW.

  1. National Organization : The site of the SUVCW on the WWW will be maintained primarily as a source of information about the programs and activities nationwide and as a means of communicating information about national activities. The National web site will also provide links to sites maintained by Departments and Camps that are in compliance with these policies.

  2. Departments: A Department site on the WWW should be maintained primarily to inform members and others about:
    1. important events occurring within the Department;
    2. programs and projects undertaken by the Department and the Camps within the Department;
    3. other special SUVCW related information about activities within the Department;
    4. links to Camps and Department officers who can respond to public requests for information or support. A Department must provide a link from its site on the WWW to the National web site. Each Department Commander is encouraged to appoint a Department Webmaster to coordinate the Department web site and work with the National Webmaster. Departments that do not maintain their sites by ensuring current listings of Department officers, Camp listings, etc., may have their return link established by and existing on the National WWW site deactivated. Such deactivation will remain until the Department has updated its WWW site and informed the National Webmaster that the site has been updated.

  3. Camps: A Camp site on the WWW should be maintained primarily to inform members and others about:
    1. important events occurring within the Camp;
    2. programs and projects undertaken by the Camp and its members;
    3. other special SUVCW related information about activities within the Camp;
    4. links to Camp and Department officers who can respond to public requests for information or support;
    5. the meeting time and place of the Camp. A Camp must provide a link from its site on the WWW to the Department web site and optionally to the National web site. Camps-at-Large must provide a link to the National Web Site. Camps that do not maintain their sites by ensuring current listings of Camp officers, Camp listings, etc., may have their return link established by and existing on the Department WWW site deactivated. Such deactivation will remain until the Camp has updated its WWW site and informed the Department Webmaster that the site has been updated.

  4. Allied Orders and Other Recognized Entities : A site on the WWW established by any of the Allied Orders of the Grand Army of the Republic, Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) or other SUVCW or SUVCW-recognized entities should be maintained primarily to inform members and others about:
    1. important events occurring within the entity;
    2. programs and projects undertaken by the entity and its members;
    3. other special related information about activities within the entity;
    4. links to officers who can respond to public requests for information or support. All such entities physically located on the National Domain (http://www.suvcw.org) must provide a link from its site on the WWW to the National web site. All such entities that only have a link established on the National domain are encouraged to establish a link back to the National web site.

  5. General Policy:
    1. Wherever possible, information will be available on the WWW at the site of the lowest level organization. However, where a Camp WWW site is not available, information on the Camp should be available at the Department WWW site and where there is no Department WWW site the National WWW site will endeavor to provide Department and Camp information consistent with the availability of financial, personnel and electronic storage resources. Conversely, national level information relative to the Grand Army of the Republic, Allied Orders, national histories and membership criteria, etc., will be maintained at the highest possible level. Departments, Camps and other entities wishing to provide access to these resources from their WWW site should link to the appropriate National page. Department level information should be maintained on the Department WWW site with Camps and other entities linking to the Department WWW site.
    2. Broken links (subject matter on web pages and email addresses) need to be taken care of (or deactivated with explanation on the website) within 48 hours of their discovery (by author, by National, or by the public that are reported to the National Webmaster) - otherwise the National Webmaster will deactivate their link on the National web site until the broken link is fixed and it is reported as such to the National Webmaster or the National Back up Webmaster.
    3. Camp/Department Officer/National Officer Contact information needs to be kept up to date.  Failure to do so also could result in the link or web page being deactivated.
    4. Inappropriate subject matter will also not be tolerated, otherwise the National Webmaster will deactivate the link on the National web site until the inappropriate material is removed and it is reported as such to the National Webmaster or the National Back up Webmaster.

  6. Use of Name and Emblems :
    1. The use of the name, "Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War" and the emblems of the SUVCW are governed by the SUVCW's Policy on the Use of Badges, Emblems, Seals and Symbols which was approved by the National Council of Administration August 11, 1994. This policy also applies to uses of such items on the Internet.
    2. Commercialization Forbidden: Any use of a site on the WWW by a Department, Camp, other entity or member of the SUVCW for a commercial purpose is forbidden. This includes providing links to commercial websites requesting links from SUVCW websites.
    3. The SUVCW'S name, emblems or other marks will not be used to point to any commercial WWW site or other location maintained for a commercial purpose. A Department, Camp, other entity or individual member may provide recognition in the WWW or other electronic site for the donation of that electronic site or associated services to the SUVCW by a commercial or individual benefactor.

  7. Membership Lists: A WWW or other electronic site of a Department, Camp, other entity or individual member should not contain the addresses (postal or electronic mail) or phone numbers of any individual member without the specific consent of the individual member. Listings of Department, Camp-at-Large, and Camp officers provided to the SUVCW by Departments, Camp-at-Large, and Camps will be considered as providing said permission.

  8. Circularization: A WWW or other electronic site of a Department, Camp-at-Large, camp, other entity or individual member should not be used to solicit financial aid or support from any other Department, Camp-at-Large, Camp, other entity or individual member unless and until it first secures the specific authorization of the National Encampment or the National Council of Administration. The National Council of Administration does not look with favor upon the use of electronic communications and sites on the Internet for such purposes. Membership in the SUVCW and other SUVCW entities (e.g., SVR) may be solicited provided that the amount of annual dues or other charges are clearly set forth in the solicitation.

III. ELECTRONIC MAIL (EMAIL)

A. Status: When using electronic mail for official business, the sender must be cognizant of the need to include all appropriate persons in the discussion. Where necessary, messages must be sent by post or facsimile transmission to persons who do not have electronic mail accounts.

B. Chain of Command: Electronic mail should not be an excuse to avoid the chain of command. For example, information for a national officer, which requires the approval of a Department officer, from a Camp officer should not be sent to the National SUVCW officer prior to receipt of that information by the Department officer. All electronic mail must include a complete list of persons copied (including postal or fax copies).

C. Cyber Pickets: The National SUVCW will maintain A WWW site listing of members of the SUVCW and other Allied Orders who so desire to have their name, affiliation, and email address listed. Such listings may be removed or modified at any time by the National Webmaster at the member's request or if the email address is no longer valid as verified by an electronic link validation program administered by the National Webmaster.

D. Netiquette

Do not use electronic communication methods to jump the chain of command;

Begin e-mail messages with a salutation;

End e-mail messages with your name - Many e-mail software packages do not include a method of adding a name to the "From:" line. Don't force the recipient to send you a "who are you?" message;

If you send courtesy copies (CC:), include the CC: recipients after your name at the end of the message as many e-mail post offices strip the CC: addresses from the copy that you receive and the recipient does not know that you have sent copies to others;

Be brief - Most e-mail messages can be handled in one screen of text;

Keep your lines short - Many screens cannot handle lines in excess of 70 characters, so try to keep your lines under 65;

Write short paragraphs - Two or three sentences are about right, anything more and you fill up the screen with boring type. White spaces make the message more readable;

Leave a space between paragraphs;

Type messages in standard upper and lower case type. Use upper case for EMPHASIS or **SET IT OFF** to get attention only;

Be polite and considerate - You are still dealing with people;

Remember the technologically challenged - Some people refuse to or are incapable of participating in the communication revolution. If they are in a position that requires them to participate in the subject of a message you MUST include them. Contact them by phone, fax or even snail mail, but include them where necessary; and

REd wat youe write? - Check your spelling and your content before you send it. Particularly ensure that each thought is complete. The mind still works faster than the fingers on a keyboard. Check before you send.

IV. DATABASES

A. Unless otherwise determined by the National Council of Administration, all National databases created for use by the SUVCW are and will remain the property of the SUVCW and all Database managers will adhere to these policies. The National databases currently include, but are not limited to:

1. Membership;

2. Graves Registration; and

B. The only technical requirement for SUVCW databases is that they be capable of importing and exporting data and structure using structured Query Language (SQL).

C: The National Databases need to be backed up often to minimize loss of data, the data backup is the responsibility of the individual Database Administrators.

D. The stored databases are subject to potential use as an Internet resource on the SUVCW'S web site at the discretion of the National Webmaster, in consultation with the National Signals Officer and the National Council of Administration.

E. National Database Managers will have authority over the dissemination of the data in their specific database unless such dissemination is under the purview of the National Council of Administration (e.g., membership database). National Database Managers are encouraged to work with the National Signals Officer to avoid potential confusion involving dissemination.

V. WEBSITE ASSISTANCE AND AUTHORIZATIONS

Limited space is provided on the National Web Server for subordinate units to maintain a home page if it is not possible to maintain one in their own locality. Contact: the National Webmaster (http://www.suvcw.org) for more information.

  1. Requesting webspace to host Camp or Department website:
  2. There are only 40 spaces available, so it will be first come, first served.
  3. Annual cost and allotted webspace will be set by the National Council of Administration
  4. NO email addresses will be provided with this space. Except for the Department JVC.
  5. The National Webmaster will need to interview the Department or Camp “Webmaster” to ensure that the individual has the knowledge of the Electronic and Communication Policy and other pertinent governing documents and to ensure that the individual has the knowledge to design, maintain their website.
  6. The Camp / Department Webmaster will be responsible for the posting (via FTP) and verifying web pages, to include changes.
  7. The format of the resulting URL for a Camp or Department purchasing space on the National web server will be a subdirectory of National's URL (suvcw.org/deptname) Those who own their own domain name can still have it point to their site on the National web server if they choose.

 

Original Policy - Approved August 19, 2000 - 119th National Encampment Policy
Amended – November 22, 2008 CofA Meeting @ Gettysburg
SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR


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