Use these guidelines if you're a student administrator of a CU Discord server. Topics covered include:
- Encouraging CU Boulder Membership & Joining the Server
- Benefits of Creating a User Agreement
- New User Introductions
- Moderate Unwanted Behavior
- Moderating Non-Community Members for Official Student Organizations
- Moderating Non-Community Members for Other Uses
- Promote Your Server/Directory
- Keep Your Discord Server Going Year after Year
As you start to build out membership to your server, consider how widely you want to target your membership outreach when sending invitations to join. Outward facing Discord servers might experience interference from outside members. Trying to limit access to your server to CU Boulder-affiliated users could result in a better experience long-term for the community you’re trying to build.
As you set up your Discord server, you’ll see there are varying levels of verification that you can require for new members, including verification of email address, and at a higher level, a verified phone number. (Note that requiring phone number verification might disqualify a fair number of users.) An intermediate approach is to require that an account has been registered on Discord for a certain period of time, since brand new user accounts are more likely to be associated with trolls or unwanted members. You can also take the precaution to restrict new members to a specific channel until moderators have vetted the individuals and given them access to the full community.
Benefits of Creating a User Agreement
Create a user agreement for all new members to agree to as part of the process to join your server. User agreements allow each server to clarify expectations to new users. In your agreement, be sure to include information about how you will handle unwanted behavior if users violate the agreement so that you are clear up front about possible repercussions.
If your server is in support of a CU Boulder club or organization, consider including reference to CU’s Student Code of Conduct and the Colorado Creed and clarify how your server will handle users who violate that. See this example of General Discord Community Rules adapted from the CU Boulder Gaming community’s Discord Server.
One way to help filter out unwanted members is to require new members to introduce themselves as they join your server. This will help your moderators know if the new member is really a CU Boulder student or an external user who might not have your best interests in mind.
You will likely find it helpful to have multiple people supporting the moderation efforts of your server so that you can take action quickly when you start to see unwanted behavior from a user. You can use Discord’s various user roles to grant moderation access to multiple people. As your server grows, you will need larger and more active moderation teams, especially for a server that is not restricted to CU Boulder community members.
You can also encourage server administrators to be accessible to your users by allowing users to contact them to report unwanted behavior as soon as possible. To facilitate this process, server owners should make it clear who the Moderators are so users know who to contact when they need help or need to report something. Some servers help point users to Moderators by using a specific emoji (like a hammer) in their display name. That way your users can easily see who is a Moderator and reach out. To allow users to anonymously message the account, you can enable infrastructure such as a ModMail bot, which allows users to make anonymous reports to server staff.
If you see a user abusing their privileges, pestering other users, pinging lots of users, or sharing statements not in alignment with CU’s Student Code of Conduct and the Colorado Creed, you should take action to address this unwanted behavior.
Here are some suggested ways to take action against unwanted behavior specifically for Discord servers that are supporting official CU Boulder student organizations:
- Start by reaching out to the user through Discord to let them know that they have violated your user agreement. In your message include specific reference to the user agreement so the person sees how their actions have been violating that agreement. Give the user a chance to respond in case they’re a legitimate member of the CU community.
- Then, follow through by taking action against the user to mitigate future abuse. You can remove the comment, give the user a verbal warning, mute, kick, suspend or even ban the user as recommended by the user agreement. (See Discord Features for more information).
- If the malicious behavior continues and it seems clear that the user is a member of the CU Boulder community, consider documenting the mis-conduct (take screenshots, log your email exchanges showing how the user violated your user agreement), and share that information with CU’s Center for Student Involvement via your club advisor. You can also report the misconduct to Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.
If your Discord server is not an official CU Club or Organization but you see that someone is being especially malicious or attacking members of the CU Boulder community, reach out to the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance to report it.
Promote your server to other CU Boulder students by adding it to Discord’s Student Hubs list. To do so, follow our instructions to access Discord’s Student Hub for CU Boulder.
Official CU Boulder student organizations can include Discord server invitations on their Buff Connect page.
Because of the cyclical nature of the college experience, Discord administrators should set up their server in a way that will allow for an easy transition to a future student. One approach is to create a secondary email address that is affiliated with your server so that you can easily pass the server’s credentials along to another student.
Students can request a secondary CU IdentiKey email (a utility account) and use that as the primary email of the server. This ensures that the Discord server can be handed down after the original owner leaves CU. If the Discord server will be used for a student organization, you should first register with the Center for Student Involvement (CSI).