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A Forum like this...SIUE Web Forum

Started by anguyen, 2005-08-26T11:47:00-05:00 (Friday)

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Hi everyone,

I'm new in this forum. I have recently found this forum and really like it. Forums like this one allow individuals to express themselves freely.

This summer, before I found this forum, I had a similar idea that SIUE students should have a forum like this. I had a litle project that was trying to rally support from SIUE students for such forum. I wrote a draft of the proposal for the project and talked to the Kimmel Leadership Center and the Student Government. I also planned to write to the Alestle and people in charge of the university website.

I post the draft of the proposal here in this forum so you could read and comment on it. Everything in the draft is just ideas and certainly can be changed, deleted, or added.

If you like the idea, you could join me to get the word out to gather more support of SIUE students. I think if we are successfull in asking university to install such web forum for everyone to use, it would provide many great benefits for everyone here at SIUE.

I feel lucky to have found your forum. As you can see, I've already taken this opportunity to write about SIUE parking policy and I really enjoy reading others' comments.  Thank you.

Note: I already emailed the draft of this proposal to Ms. Heard of the Kimmel Leadership Center, Ms. Holesko and Ms. Benedict of the Student Government.

I've also talked to Mr. Benhoff, the person in charge of the university website.  He asked me that if we had such forum, who would be responsible to run, monitor, and maintain the site.  Since now I know about this forum, we can ask the university to put a link for this forum on the main page of the school website...  What do you think?  

Proposal for a SIUE Internet/ Virtual Chat Room and Bulletin Board

Project â€Ã...“Speak Freeâ€Ã,


The project is to provide free services and facilitate the exchange and flow of information among the students, faculty, and staff here at SIUE, and between them and the world via internet connections.  


There is a great need for SIUE students, faculty, and staff to express and exchange their ideas, opinions, information, and knowledge among themselves, friends, families, colleagues, and the outside world.  In our Information Age, the great tool that accelerates the advance of knowledge is the internet.  There is not yet a better tool than the internet to serve as the means for people to express ideas and to exchange information among themselves and the world.

This idea using the internet to do such jobs is not new.  Many others have successfully promoted, commercialized this idea, and even profited from it.  Examples are AOL Chat/Instant Messenger, Yahoo Chat/Messenger, MSN Chat/Messenger, etcâ€Ã,¦  Recently, there are many websites are popping up all over the World Wide Web that allow people to chat, post, and exchange messages and comments.  Examples are blog websites and many more.  Online chat room, instant message, online forum are real and popular.

SIUE students have the need for those services.  In fact, when we explained our project and asked for signatures for our petition to the university, approximately 60 percent of our class (Phil 106/Dr. Fields/Summer ’05) signed the petition (note: the figure does not include people who were absent on that day.  My professor of the class, Dr. Fields also signed the petition).  We are continuing to rally for SIUE students’ support for the project but on the larger scale.  If 60 percent of SIUE students support the project, one can easily imagine how popular such a site is likely to be.

In this Internet/Information Age, the communication channels we have now at SIUE are too small and restricted.  We currently have the Alestle newspaper paper edition but the avenues for students to express themselves are limited to letters to the editor.  Even those few students who write articles for the paper are limited by the number of printed pages in an issue.  Furthermore, a printed periodical is a slow means of communication and does not allow students to quickly share information, ideas and opinions.  Finally, it is expensive for students to use the Alestle as a venue for their ads looking for housing, roommates, books and so forth.

The Alestle has an online website and it does have a forum.  Yet there is nothing being developed there.  If a student wants to create a forum, they have to write to the editors of the Alestle to create such a room for them if the topic is approved.  This procedure is time-consuming, thus discourages any desire to go there in the first place.  Also, as in the case of the paper edition, the Alestle charges students to place online ads or messages.

There is a demand for an independent website at SIUE to centralize and focus human, technical, and financial effort, support, control, and development for such services.  If our project could stay independent, it would be more focused, centralized, empowered, and developed.  The Alestle focus is on being a newspaper reporting and delivering news and our project is not competing with them in this area.  Instead, our project is complementing their effort of reporting and delivering news by specifically supporting the free, instantaneous and spontaneous sharing of information among SIUE students and the world by online chat rooms, instant messengers, and bulletin/message boards and blogs.

The Beneficiaries:

The students, alumni, faculty, and staff of SIUE would all benefit from this free service, which would serve as one of the centers at SIUE to connect members of the SIUE community and the world via the internet.  The world would know that this is the place to talk to people at SIUE.  For example, prospective students, faculty, and staff could come to the website to get acquainted and exchange information with the SIUE community.  

Academic learning at SIUE could be positively stimulated by the website, which would serve as the virtual stage for debating in-class topics and holding educational discussions for many courses in Philosophy, Sociology, Government, History, Economics, Mathematics, English, Biology, and many more.  Students would not have to limit themselves to assigned topics, class schedules, or their classmates.  The website/virtual stage is there online for them to take on any topic, share their thoughts, and exchange comments with anyone on or off-campus, be they SIUE students, professors, or the public anytime they want to or anywhere they have access to the internet.

Students could also use the website as a centralized place to look for or exchange other information, such as information about housing, classes, or jobs.  They could also use the site to take advantage of university services.  For example, students could utilize university online tutoring services if offered by the student resources department in the form of tutor chat rooms and/or instant messages.

Students could benefit from the scholarship awards likely to be generated and funded by commercial advertising and private donation, which would also support part of the total operation cost of the website (note: the project would be run by student volunteers).

Professors and staff, likewise, could have the public digital space to hold professional discussions with their colleagues, students at SIUE, and the public around the world.

SIUE alumni would be able to actively stay connected with the university community and form alumni support groups.

Prospective employers could look for potential job candidates by going to the website to look at the posted resumes, or hold online interviews or conferences.  It would be convenient for them as well as for the students.

Business enterprises, locally as well as nationwide, could place advertisements to the SIUE community to enhance their businesses.

University organizations could take advantage of the free services to keep their members informed and connected.  Their members would not have to be on campus; all they would need is a computer with an internet connection.  They could hold their meetings online anytime and maintain their group’s privacy, or if they wish, the public could participate in, watch, or listen in, just as one could watch cable TV covering the floor of Congress.  The public could find out the information, or learn about the way that the organizations are operating just by going to their online meetings.  The organizations could also more easily convey their messages out to the world.

The university could benefit by attracting the attention of the world by opening its doors via this website to let in prospective investors, employers, employees, students, professors, and governmental and private funding agencies, to mingle with the SIUE community.  Already, it would be the first university in the U.S. to offer such services.  This would help building a positive image and reputation for SIUE as a premier metropolitan university and one of the centers of advanced knowledge and education around the globe.

Communication among members of the SIUE community would be facilitated by the new channels of communication to quickly bring current and emerging concerns at the university to the public spotlight for democratic debate and discussion.  Thus this would healthily promote the multilateral exchange of ideas and aid in the resolution of conflicts.

The public could take advantage of the information they have learned from the community at SIUE and the free access to the services provided by SIUE, which is a taxed-supported, state university.  They could provide SIUE with ideas, input, and constructive criticism on various topics that would help SIUE to further grow.

The potential beneficiaries and benefits are countless.  Everyone wins.

Proposed services:

1.   Chat rooms and instant messengers: for anyone with a registered screen name linked to a personal profile or an anonymous account.

-Chat rooms/forums would be categorized by pre-assigned general topics.  Under those, there would be general chat rooms and sub-topic rooms created by the website patrons themselves.  They could even create private rooms only shared among members invited by the room creators.  For example, we could have Chat room sections for Students, Faculty and Staff, Employers, University Organizations, Alumni, Professors, etc.  Underneath those, we could have public rooms and private rooms branched out and grouped according to their posted topics.
-Instant messenger: the website patrons could select online members to send and receive instant messages when they are in any chat room.  They could have a Buddies List of their favorite online friends, which would tell them who is online and offline, and would allow them to select their online friends to send and receive instant messages from even if they are not in any chat room.
-The ability to share digital files and programs should be included in chat rooms, instant messengers, and bulletin boards/forums/blogs to enhance the usefulness of the services.  For example, imagine that the president of the pre-pharmacy organization could hold an online meeting and distribute online handouts and pictures.  Online tutors could share study files or programs.

2.   Bulletin Board/Blog:

-The BB/B would also be categorized in a similar way to the chat rooms, dated daily and organized into archives.
-Anyone could come to the site to read messages in the BB/B and have the option of posting messages/comments there with a pre-registered screen name linked to a personal profile or an anonymous account.

3.   Miscellaneous:
- The site could host useful links to other information resources.
- The site could host an online magazine with articles contributed and submitted by website patrons and edited by the editors of the website.
-Advertisements would be free for SIUE students and staff (SIUE active status would be verified by their registered profiles and email addresses) and charged if not, (e.g. commercial businesses).

Proposed Operating Structure and Support:

The project would be operated by the students and for the students at SIUE.  The website would have an Editorial/Control Board that would have members nominated for an entirely new board annually from various sources of students on campus such as student government and students organizations.  The advisors of the E/C board would come from university departments such as the university student activities department, the university legal services, and so on.  Only the E/C board members would have the right to vote with 3/4 being a winning majority.  The members of E/C board should vote one president and two vice presidents to serve as the main representatives and speakers and to vote for the board if the board were unable to reach a winning majority for a vote three times.  If this still failed, the president of the E/C board would make the final decision.  The number of the board members is not yet decided but should be limited to a small number perhaps ten.

The website’s main purpose is to support the exercise of free speech and information by offering the proposed services described above for everyone to use.  The website patrons, not the website or SIUE, are the sole individuals, who would be fully held responsible for their messages and actions on the site according to laws.  

The operation of the website would conform to university rules and regulations but would not restrict free speech.  The website would accordingly have specific rules for the website patrons to follow.  These rules would be voted into effect by the members of the E/C Board, which would be advised by the university.  

The support for the operation of the website would come mainly from SIUE funding and technical assistance, and also from non-university resources such as private donations, sponsorships, commercial ads, etc.  The remaining money could be used to support one or more student scholarships.

The staff would be entirely recruited from student volunteers who would carry out tasks such as running the supporting equipment for the website, designing web pages, editing articles, monitoring or serving as moderators for chat rooms, etc.

William Grim

Well, I didn't quite read the short story you wrote, but CAOS already has a web forum.  Our group doesn't really need another, and technically, this forum is open to all kinds of discussion already.

SIUE will probably never approve a forum, because moderating it would require too many man-hours.
William Grim
IT Associate, Morgan Stanley


Well, I never knew that forum like this one was in existent before I luckily and accidently discovered it by a web search.  So I know now that CAOS already has a web forum and it is open to all kinds of discussion.  I think that most people here, who have ever used it, would admit that this forum is a great service.

My feeling is that the majority of SIUE students would like to have such forum.  I talked to couple of people, who liked the idea of SIUE web forum and were not computer or engineering major, and they never knew about the CAOS forum before I mentioned it.

You are right in saying that SIUE will probalbly never approve a forum like this for a variety of reasons.  But if the majority of SIUE students requests one, the university might listen and approve one.  I do not know how to get the word out so that anyone here at SIUE, who is interested in the idea, to jointly petition the university for such web forum, except that I already wrote to the Kimmel Leadership Center, the Student Government, and talked to Mr. Benhoff, who is in charge of the university website.  I might have to eventually write to the Alestle, the student newspaper.  Here in this forum, I think there might be someone who have similar idea and together, we could get the words out and successfully petition for a SIUE web forum.

It might be true that CAOS won't need another forum and SIUE might never approve one.  In that case, if there were a web link on the main page of the university website linked to the CAOS forum so that everyone would know and use it, in my opinion, it would benefit CAOS members as well as others here at SIUE.

A web forum is a great powerful tool to share knowledge and information among us, especially in this Internet/Information Age.  Knowledge is power, right?  I think the more knowledge and information we share with others, the more powerful we become.


OT: How long did it take you to type this epic post? :-o

I am AFRAID to start reading, because I know I wouldn't finish without falling asleep! That keyboard can really leave a mark on the ol' noggin!


2 words... cut and paste... Sorry if I cause any damage to your body...jk... :-P I'll try to be brief next time...


I want to update this post by an email that I sent to Ms. Rakers, the editor of the Alestle, the student newspaper.

Dear Ms. Rakers,

Thank you for printing my letter ot the editor "SIUE PArking Policy" in today issue of the Alestle.  I found that it is interesting that the change in VC lot from red to brown was actually suggested by the Student Senate, yet we, students, did not have a clue where it came from.  Should we have an instant communcation channel, e.g. a SIUE web forum, there would inputs from the general SIUE students to the Student Government and SIUE Parking Service,
therefore, there would be no surprise when the parking policy is in place and working.  This could be generalized for many situations and issues.  Thus there are more compelling reasons for a SIUE web forum that I have proposed.

Please read more in CAOS forum regarding the update information Dr. Weinberg of the Computer Department, School of Engineering, SIUE found on recent change
in SIUE parking.



Anh Nguyen


  I think that a forum of the sort Anh is suggesting would be a wonderful asset to SIUE.  This very forum is tremendous - I would like to see it given more publicity.  I have already made an announcement about it in one of my classes and will be making similar announcements in my other two classes.  However, it would be ideal to have an official student forum that is not affiliated with any particular campus organization.  Certainly, students who are not interested in computers are not likely to turn up here.

  How hard would it be to find volunteers to run a new forum?  I honestly don't know.  Perhaps, as has been suggested, it is impossible.  I do think it is worth looking in to in a serious way.

Dr. Greg Littmann
(Department of Philosophy)

bill corcoran

i believe that SIUE used to have a web forum for general use.  it was called "Cougar Boards".  i vaguely recall having visited it, but i think it was even lower volume than the caos board.  i noticed that it went offline in late 2004.  it ran on the events.siue.edu server, which is still in use.  anyone else remember this?

$ host cougarboards.siue.edu
cougarboards.siue.edu is an alias for cougarboards.isg.siue.edu.
cougarboards.isg.siue.edu has address

$ ping cougarboards.siue.edu -c 3
PING cougarboards.isg.siue.edu ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from cougarboards.isg.siue.edu ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=63 time=0.206 ms
64 bytes from cougarboards.isg.siue.edu ( icmp_seq=2 ttl=63 time=0.212 ms
64 bytes from cougarboards.isg.siue.edu ( icmp_seq=3 ttl=63 time=0.207 ms

--- cougarboards.isg.siue.edu ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 3 received, 0% packet loss, time 2002ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.206/0.208/0.212/0.012 ms


I never knew about that "Cougar Board" either.  

Quotei vaguely recall having visited it, but i think it was even lower volume than the caos board. i noticed that it went offline in late 2004. it ran on the events.siue.edu server, which is still in use. anyone else remember this?

My guess is that if it seems that nobody used it or even noticed its disappearance maybe it was due to the fact that very few people knew about it.  Maybe the university did not do a very good job advertising and informing the student about the Cougar Board.  If CAOS forum is successful in providing the place for discussing and exchanging information for the students of the School of Engineering, and of the Computer major, a SIUE web forum such as the Cougar Board could be a success too.



Hi everyone,

As I said in this forum before, I strongly believe that a web forum like this one is good for everyone here at SIUE.  I've just found an opportunity to speak out about that tomorrow, Thursday, there is an open forum in the Goshen Lounge, Moris University Center from 1100am to 1200pm, named "Got Somethin' to Say" sponsored by the Raise Your Voice Association at the Kimmel Leadership Center.  You could read more by following this link:


It is an open forum, i.e. everyone could go there and participate in.  I already talked to Ms. Leah Gorwig at the Kimmel Leadership Center, one of the people in charge there about the idea of a SIUE web forum and told her that I will speak there about the idea. I am asking any of you, who think a SIUE web forum is a good idea, to go there if you can, to ask questions or show support, or if you cannot make it, write your support right here in this very forum.  

Another opportunity is on Friday.  The Student Government is sponsoring another open forum also at the Goshen Lounge, MUC from 2 to at least 300pm.  I'll also try to make it there to talk to people and the Student Senate there about the idea of a SIUE web forum.  If you could not make it to the meeting on Thursday, go to the Friday one if you can, or as always, write your support here.

I thank the CAOS and this web forum for the opportunity to speak here.


Anh Nguyen

P.S. my email is anguyen@siue.edu, in case anyone would like to email me.



The Raise Your Voice Association had a change of heart and refused to let me speak to the students today about the idea of a SIUE web forum in their open student forum "Got Somethin' to Say" in the Goshen Lounge, Morris University Center, which was held from 1100am-1200pm.

Their official reasons given to me this morning were that my request to speak there was sent to them too late (and they told me I should put such a request a week in advance; yet they did not told me that until this morning.  I emailed them over the weekend and have talked to them since Tuesday) and that my topic was not consistent with the theme of their forum today of "getting to know", or "ice breaker" for new students.  It was a little odd since I still had the impression that I could speak there up until this morning.  

I am still coming to the Student Government meeting on Friday as soon as I get out of class, which should start at 200pm and last at least until 300pm, to present the idea to the Student Senate and students there.  I was told that it is a open forum, i.e. anyone could go there to participate.  If anyone of you could come there to show your support or write your support comments for the idea here, you could help to realize the idea of a SIUE web forum and that would in turn do good for our community here at SIUE.

Thank you.



Peter Motyka

Ah, nothing like taking a grassroots student organization and turning it into an ineffective bureaucratic jalopy that pretends to be interested in the concerns of the students.

I ran into similar obstacles when seeking representation to petition for more diverse vegetarian options (besides salad) in the food court.  I was consistently faced with 1 week notice crap, written statements and such.  As a fulltime student/part-time employee, I didn't have time for such nonsense.

SIUE student government is a farce.
SIUE CS Alumni 2002
Grad Student, Regis University
Senior Engineer, Ping Identity


I am so happy to hear a voice in here!  We all know there are many obstacles in our quest to better our community here at SIUE.  Yet should we give up?  This is a question I am thinking now myself.

I'll try to pursue this to the end and see how it'll turn out despite a heavy study load I'm having for this Fall semester. I'll certainly keep you guys updated on this matter.




I'm sure that "open" forums such as Student Government ones leave themselves plently of outs so they are not forced to actually be open.  One week notices are just the beginning.  I bet they have other lesser known policies in place to protect themselves even further.

Catch 22's are pretty crazy.  I've heard people say before about cops searching vehicles.  They cannot search without probably cause or a warrant.  However, if they ask to search your car, and you refuse, they now have probable cause to search your car because why else would you refuse if you weren't hiding anything (and I've "heard" that this holds up in court pretty consistently).

Freedom of speech is the right to tell someone something they don't want to hear.  How free do you think these "open" forums really are?
Retired CAOS Officer/Overachiever
SIUE Alumni Class of 2005


Thank you for your comments.  And I'm hoping to hear more of us to voice ourselves here.  I'm happy to know that I'm not alone and I'm empowered by that.  Surely, obstacles are there, yet the questions, I think, are:

Do we want to do something about it?

Are we going to do something about it?

If we are all sitting there and just complaining, we all train ourselves into the habit of submitting ourselves or yielding to things that we think that are doing unfairness or injustice to us.  There would not have been America today if our founding fathers had not fought for themselves dearly.  America has become the leader of the world ever since because it always takes action to fight for itself and the world.

I almost graduate from this university and nothing is here for me to gain from doing this.  The idea of SIUE web forum just happened to me when I took a Critical Thinking course this summer.  I am so happy to have found CAOS web forum.  And I want to share this treasure with the rest of SIUE community.  It is sad that most of our students do not know that we could have a service like this, which the students and members of the School of Engineering and Computer major have been enjoying.

I want to emulate our founding fathers' spirit.  Maybe by doing so something good could come out as the result to benefit everybody here at SIUE.  Please, if you can, join me in this endeavor!