TVUUC Email List (Tvuuc-el) Policy

August 22, 2009


1. Purpose 

2. Subscribers

3. Civility and Respectful Behavior

4. Guidelines for Posting

5. Posting of Events

6. Commercial Use

7. Protecting Intellectual Property

8. List Monitoring, Moderation, and Enforcement

9. Complaints

10. Responsibilities


  1. Purpose. The mission of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church of Knoxville, Tennessee (TVUUC) is "to create a welcoming community that nurtures spiritual growth and challenges us to transform the world through acts of love and justice." Consistent with this mission, TVUUC is a Welcoming Congregation. The purpose of the TVUUC email list (Tvuuc-el) is to support our mission by providing a respectful communication space for members and friends of TVUUC. To this end, a list monitoring team appointed by the Board monitors the list for adherence to the rules that are articulated below. By subscribing to and receiving email from the Tvuuc-el, you acknowledge and agree to these rules. Address questions about the rules or list to, not to the list.
  2. Subscribers. Any member or friend of TVUUC, and anyone interested in learning about and supporting TVUUC activities, may join the Tvuuc-el. For security reasons, subscribers must provide contact information (including real name, address, phone number, and association with the church) before they are added to the list.
  3. Civility and Respectful Behavior. By subscribing to this list, participants agree to treat each other with respect and compassion. Subscribers will not ridicule or belittle each other, either on the list or via private email, and will strive to act consistently with Unitarian Universalist principles online, as we would face to face.
  4. Guidelines for Posting. Posts to this list will be received by many busy people, so please consider whether a post will add to the discussion in an informative way that will be of value to others, or whether it is best to send it privately. Subscribers may be placed on moderated status if they send excessively large numbers of posts. Moderated status means a subscriber's email messages sent to the list must be approved by a monitor before they are released to the list.

a)      "Flaming" is not allowed. "Flaming" includes derogatory comments, ridicule, mean-spirited sarcasm, and belittling others. Respectful disagreement is not flaming. It is not a flame to post, "You stated that the new roadway will cost $10 per person. The local newspaper reports that the number is closer to $20 per person." It is a flame to write, "How can you be so stupid to post a number like $10 per person? If you'd read a little more, you wouldn't be so ignorant." Every subscriber must be treated with respect; no subscriber may be ridiculed or belittled.

b)      Include your full name and email address in all posts to the Tvuuc-el so that all subscribers can feel comfortable knowing to whom they are talking. For privacy, omit home or business addresses or telephone numbers.

c)      Use a short, descriptive subject line.

d)      Send posts intended for a single person privately (off-list) unless you have something substantial to say to the whole list.

e)      Send messages in plain text, without HTML formatting.

f)       File sharing: use a file-sharing website to share documents and photographs, and include the link in your post. Do not attach these kinds of files to your posts.

g)      Forwarding Tvuuc-el posts: please obtain written permission from the original poster before forwarding a Tvuuc-el post or personal content from it. If an email contains posts from more than one person, get prior permission from all posters. You may provide permission to forward your own post in the body of your post.

h)      Do not use the "reply to all" command on Tvuuc-el. If you wish to share your reply with all Tvuuc-el subscribers, change the address in the "To:" field of the reply to before you hit "Send".

i)        When replying, include only the relevant part of the original message.

j)        Do not post chain letters, virus warning messages, or spam.

k)      Do not add additional recipients to Tvuuc-el posts. Adding unsubscribed recipients exposes their addresses to the list, a possible violation of their privacy.

l)        Post either to the Tvuuc-el list or the Announce2tvuuc list, not both.

If you are not sure about posting something or have any questions, please ask the list monitoring team at

  1. Posting of Events. Please post information about church-sponsored and church-related events (TVUUC events) to the moderated Announce2tvuuc email list ( Non-TVUUC events (events hosted by individual church members or friends, or organizations outside the church) may be posted to the Tvuuc-el if they meet the criteria below. For all events posted, please include accessibility information for people with physical disabilities who use assistive devices such as wheelchairs or crutches or who can use only entranceways without steps.

a)      A political event may be announced so long as it is not a "political campaign intervention"--an activity that favors or opposes any candidate for public office. This protects TVUUC's status as a 501(c)(3) organization. See IRS Fact Sheet FS-2006-17 for more information.

b)      Non-TVUUC events (hosted by individual church members or friends, or organizations outside the church) may be posted if they are consistent with the stated purpose of the Tvuuc-el: to support the mission of TVUUC by providing a welcoming, respectful communication space for members and friends of TVUUC. Posted events must be open to all individuals who self-identify as fitting the event's stated criteria and must be consistent with TVUUC's commitment to being a Welcoming Congregation.

  1. Commercial Use. Subscribers may promote their own services or products if they are reasonably of interest to the whole church community, with such promotion limited to once per calendar month per subscriber. No other commercial use of the Tvuuc-el or its membership list is permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, using names, email addresses, or other information from the Tvuuc-el or the TVUUC membership directory to advertise or sell any product or service, or to assist another in doing so. Sending unsolicited advertisements or information of a commercial nature to other subscribers, whether through the list or privately, is a violation of these rules.
  2. Protecting Intellectual Property. Subscribers to the Tvuuc-el agree not to send posts that infringe upon copyrights and other intellectual property belonging to others. Subscribers agree not to post to the list any message or other text from outside the list without the author's express permission, unless the item is clearly for public dissemination (for example, a press release or public event announcement) or is within the "fair-use" limitations as set by international copyright conventions. Subscribers acknowledge that in most cases this prohibits posting complete articles from newspapers, magazines, or websites. To share an article, post 1-2 paragraphs and the link to the article. If there is no link, the article may be sent privately to list members who request it, so long as the sender complies with copyright and fair use requirements. The subscriber is responsible for ensuring compliance to these requirements. TVUUC takes no responsibility for such forwarding of materials.
  3. List Monitoring, Moderation, and Enforcement. The Tvuuc-el is a private email list. Participation in the Tvuuc-el is a privilege and not a right. By subscribing to the Tvuuc-el, subscribers agree to monitor their own adherence to these rules.

A list monitoring team will monitor posts for adherence to Tvuuc-el rules and not for point of view. Monitors will construe the posting rules liberally. When the list monitoring team deems that a violation of the Tvuuc-el rules has occurred, the team will take corrective action. This action may range from reminding subscribers of the Tvuuc-el rules to suspending or excluding repeat offenders from the list. The list monitoring team determines the appropriate action in each case. Corrective action may include placing a subscriber on moderated status. Under moderated status, a subscriber's email messages sent to the list must be approved by a list monitoring team member before being released to the list.

The list monitoring team may moderate or suspend an inflammatory discussion. Such moderation or suspension will be followed immediately by email notification to the president of the congregation.

If a subscriber disagrees with the actions taken by the list monitoring team, s/he may ask the list monitoring team to reconsider the decision. After this, if the subscriber disagrees with the team's decision, s/he may file an appeal by sending a letter to the TVUUC Board. The Board has the final determination concerning the Tvuuc-el.

  1. Complaints. Complaints about compliance with these rules should be sent to the list monitoring team at Do not send complaints about other subscribers to the Tvuuc-el. Complaints should include a copy of the message in question and should describe specifically the reason for the complaint. Following receipt of a complaint, the list monitoring team may use its discretion in determining whether a violation has occurred, whether further action is required, and how to implement that action. The list monitoring team will consult with the TVUUC Board as needed.
  2. Responsibilities. The opinions and information expressed on the Tvuuc-el are solely those of the email authors. TVUUC is not responsible for private email or other communications off list. Questions or concerns about the list should be sent to the list monitors at and not to the Tvuuc-el.