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Alumni-Created Groups:
A Quick-Start Guide

So you think you might want to start a group, but you aren't sure where to begin. This is a quick-start guide to get you going.

With an online, alumni-created group, you can:

  • Connect with people who share your interests
    (Some of my best memories are from Law School Musical practices)
  • Send messages to all group members
    (Calling all rock climbers of El Paso; after-climb party tonight)
  • Maintain a discussion (How to survive and thrive as parents of twins)
  • Take polls (Which Stanford fountain is best for hopping?)
  • Add photos (Check out my new garden of native plants)
  • Blog (The latest from each alumni author's desk)

All while knowing that all of your group members share a Stanford experience.

1. Define your group.

WHICH ALUMS DO YOU WANT TO HANG OUT WITH ONLINE?

  • People who share professional interests: e.g., alumni who have worked at Apple, green-tech entrepreneurs, alumni in public interest, alumni in academia.

  • People in similar personal circumstances: e.g., alumni who care for aging parents, stay-at-home dads, MBA moms, people with rheumatoid arthritis.

  • People with similar hobbies: e.g., knitters, marathon runners, poker players, schnauzer owners, stamp collectors.

  • People who had similar experiences at Stanford: e.g., Environmental Law Clinic, Munger Three '11-'12, Stanford Law Review, SLA.
And more! You've got ideas for groups that would be good—add them to the mix.

DOES THIS GROUP ALREADY EXIST?

Alumni may have already created groups that have similar appeal to yours. In addition, Stanford provides a number of official clubs and groups, allowing alumni to affiliate by region, diversity interest, professional interest, class year, Sierra Camp week or Travel/Study trip, etc. We recommend searching groups and clubs to see what exists so far and what might be beneficial to add.

WILL THE GROUP REFRAIN FROM PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES?

All users of the site, including group administrators and members, are bound by our Terms of Use. Please review them to make sure you understand them, especially section 4, Rules for Online Conduct, and section 7, Online Alumni Communities.

In addition, groups may not:
  • Start or invest in any commercial enterprise.

  • Endorse an issue, cause or candidate. Any and all endorsements must be made by individual group members

  • Engage in Stanford-related fundraising. Please contact the SLS director of annual giving if you wish to establish a group related to Stanford fundraising.

2. Set up your group.

CHOOSE A NAME.

Select a name carefully that reflects the purpose of your group, so that interested alums can find the group easily.

To distinguish between alumni-created groups and official Stanford clubs and organizations, we have a few naming rules: If "Stanford" is part of the group name, you must also include the word "Alumni" —as in "Stanford Alumni Quilters." The words "association," "chapter," "club," "fund," "official," "CYA" and "Cardinal Young Alumni" may not be used.

UPLOAD AN IMAGE.

Choose an image that represents your group. The Block S, Block S with Tree, Stanford University Seal, Stanford Law School and Stanford Alumni Association logos are copyrighted and may not be used. View prohibited images.

DECIDE WHETHER YOUR GROUP SHOULD BE PUBLIC, PRIVATE OR SEMI-PRIVATE.

Once you make this decision, you cannot change it, so please make your selection carefully.

  • A public group is open to all alumni, and new members join without your involvement.

  • A semi-private group requires you or another group administrator to approve each new member. It may be open to all alumni, or may be open only to those who meet certain objective criteria that you set. You may not exclude alums who meet the criteria. (For example, if you start a group for alumni who attended Stanford in Berlin, you must allow anyone who attended to join.) Alumni can see contact information and a brief description of each group, but can't see the rest of the group's materials without joining.

  • A private group is by invitation only, from you or another group administrator. Alumni who are not members of the group will not see references to it on the website. A private group can be a good choice for highly personal subjects (e.g., certain medical conditions), but most people who would benefit from it won't know about it, and there may be duplicate groups on the same topic.

WRITE A DESCRIPTION OF YOUR GROUP.

Your description must clearly set forth any criteria required for membership.

ADD A SPOTLIGHT.

You can use the Spotlight feature whenever you want to highlight something prominently on the group's main page.

SAVE YOUR GROUP AS PENDING, OR GO AHEAD AND CREATE IT.

You can save your group as pending if you still want to add information and make changes before the group becomes visible to other alums. Select "Create Group" when you're ready to go.

ADD FEATURES.


Select options such as a discussion, poll or blog.

3. Understand and embrace your role.

AS THE GROUP ADMINISTRATOR, TELL PEOPLE WHO YOU ARE.

Make sure your alumni profile is up to date. Add a photo and information that reflects who you are today.

INVITE PEOPLE TO JOIN!

Even if your group is public, alums may not know about it until you tell them. Use our advanced search to find Class of '99, alums who work in real estate, alums in Milwaukee doing public interest work—you name it. We may also be able to help—contact us at alumni.relations@law.stanford.edu.

START CONVERSATIONS

In your discussion and blog, add topics and comments that group members can chime in on. Encourage others to do the same.

APPROVE MEMBERSHIP REQUESTS FOR SEMI-PRIVATE GROUPS PROMPTLY.

If someone has enthusiasm for your group, it's a good idea to welcome them into the fold quickly. You can add additional group administrators to help you out.

TAKE CARE NOT TO POST ANOTHER ALUM'S CONFIDENTIAL DATA.

Just because it is visible to you in their profile doesn't mean they've shared it with all alumni.

BLOCK MEMBERS ONLY WHEN ALLOWED.

Members can only be blocked from the group for violating the Terms of Use or the rules in this guide.

REMOVE POSTS ONLY WHEN ALLOWED.

Alums may flag discussion posts, blog posts, comments, albums and images as inappropriate. They can only be removed for violating the Terms of Use or the rules in this guide.

QUESTIONS? NEED HELP?

Visit our Alumni-Created Groups: Complete Setup Guide for detailed instructions on how to set up and maintain your group. If you have additional questions, please contact us at alumni.relations@law.stanford.edu.