Social Department

Social Department

Mediation Department

The Mediation Department
Mediators are a specifically trained group of players who are responsible for helping to diffuse conflicts onsite and mediate between players. It is a department that is under the social umbrella. Once you have passed the social exam and the Mediator Training Program you will be trained to assist in the conflicts here on Vaxia. There will still be conflicts that have to be mediated by leads. However some of the time you may be tasked with overseeing a mediation yourself. There will always be at least one other lead involved to sure that the mediation stays on track, but as a mediator you will be guiding the dialogue as the primary voice of neutrality.

One of the primary jobs of the mediators is to help prevent small IC or OOC outbursts from becoming bigger ones. They are also able to help by assisting with OOC problems between players through encouraging dialogue and discussion, while they maintain a presence as a neutral third party to keep things civil.

It is important to note that if you are part of this group, you will need to conduct your own behavior accordingly. If you are engaged in a conflict with another player, you may find that you are temporarily unable to mediate for others. If you receive a strike, you will be unable to become a Mediator for several months. It is unlikely that this will happen but there is a chance that you may receive a lot of flack for stepping in to mediate. Players may not appreciate what you are asking them to do, and they may respond harshly. If they do, they will face repercussions for their actions. But they may be reflexively rude or hurtful to you as a Mediator.

If you see a conflict beginning and feel as though it may spiral, keep close track of it, and make sure that you step in when necessary to prevent it from boiling over. Often times a gentle nudge to a more pleasant topic is all that it takes. Sometimes though no amount of persuasion will be enough. In those situations you may need to involve another mediator or a lead to assist you. As a trained mediator you are one of the few people on site that are actually qualified to step into the mediator role. Asking other site members to stop harmful behavior is fine for anyone to do. But when it starts to border on mediation territory it is a problem if they have not been trained in the various ways to handle conflicts amicably. If someone not trained in mediation begins to impersonate a mediator, stop them immediately. That is a strikeable action if it occurs more than once (after a warning the first time).

There may also come times where a conflict is too much for you to handle. There is absolutely no problem in stepping back and saying that you cannot handle a case you have been given. After all, your mental health and well being as a mediator and player is just as important as those who you are mediating for. You should never feel like you are “forced” to help. Tagging out is preferred rather than causing yourself distress. In this case, contact one of the Social Department Leads (preferably the one in the mediation with you already) and they will take over. If they are not already involved, make sure you take notes or link to any relevant mediation you have done to make it easier on the person who takes up the mediation. This will help everyone involved.

Before you take the test, it is important to very carefully analyze yourself and your behaviors to see if you would be right for this position. If you find yourself easily annoyed, hurt, stressed by other players actions, or quick to anger, you may not want to put yourself in the position of mediator. This is an optional position. You can decline or step aside at any time. However, if you are part of the program, you will be expected to help when you can.

It is important to note that unlike the other tests on the site, the Mediation test is an essay test. Much like our SH test. The reason behind this is because conflicts rarely have clear A,B,C, or D answers. There is a subtle hand at play in working on mediation, and so the test needs to show that accordingly. Your test will be graded by the other mediators. You will need at least a 3/4ths majority in order to become a mediator. You can take the test again if you don't pass the first time, but please take into consideration any notes you are given by the Evaluators before attempting to retake the test.

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General Guidelines

This page is a section of additional guidance to further clarify and support the Code of Conduct page.

General Guidelines:

Two wrongs don’t make a right –- If someone has offended you, that doesn’t allow you to break the rules in response. No matter who started it, the actions of both participants will be reviewed, and disciplinary action will be applied if appropriate. Special consideration is not given for ‘who started it’.

"I didn't mean it like that..." –- If you didn't mean it, you shouldn't have said it. On the off chance that someone misunderstood what you said, apologize as soon as you realize that they were offended. We all say things that can be misunderstood. It's an honest mistake only if we are willing to say we're sorry and help clear up the confusion.

Just because you're okay with it doesn't mean everyone is. If you are not sure if something will be offending, it is best not to say it. If there is any question about the comfort level of participants, ask to verify whether an intended action is alright before continuing. Remember that when you post things they are forever onsite. Just because the people in the room at the time may be alright with your comment, that doesn't mean that someone couldn't go back and read it and be hurt. So try to be considerate.

Be patient when it comes to getting help from Story Hosts (ASHs and SHs) –- If you ask a SH or ASH something, they will try to aid you as soon as they can. Sometimes, "as soon as they can" is not "as soon as you want”," though. Please be patient, polite and friendly. Either that A/SH or another will help you with what you need when they're able.

"But he got it and I didn’t..." –- Yes, at times it is possible that people doing what seems like the same thing might get different rewards. Not all SHs award the same amount of XP for the same length of session, or are as generous with items and silver. Most of the time this is just the normal variance between people on the site, not anything targeted at you. If you do feel like you've been targeted to receive less or more than someone doing the same thing and you aren't sure why, first ask the A/SH responsible, and if need be, contact the Social Department for a full investigation.

Other Considerations:

Our ASHs and SHs don't have to do what they do. They are volunteers. Please treat them with respect.

Be nice when you can. When you can't be nice, be civil. When you can't be civil, be elsewhere.

You are not required to participate with any other member or any activity on the site. You always have the right to decline participation, or being the subject of a discussion or activity.

Please keep Out of Character information or feelings out, and do not involve them in In-Character RP.

The old policy of "negative in private, positive in public" is no longer in use. It runs directly in contrast to our new rules and site Transparency policies. While the idea behind it was well intentioned, it allowed a lot of problems to be overlooked. Players were abused under that system, and their voices were lost. Which is something we will not tolerate in the future. It goes against our Site Policies

If you have any questions or concerns, contact an A/SH. A/SHs can be contacted via private messages or forums. If you are concerned there is ongoing activity which may be in violation of site rules, forward a link to the A/SHs. You are not expected to moderate other members. If you attempt to do so, you will be in violation of the code of conduct (impersonating a mediator).

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Vaxia Helpers

The Vaxia Helper System
Vaxia Helpers are a specific subset of the Social Department In order to become a vaxia helper, you must pass the social department membership training and the vaxia helper training. Access to this position is not dependent on any other earned rank ­ only on passing the relevant tests.

Once you have completed the training you will be responsible for directly assisting members of the site. This will include, but is not limited to:

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  • Helping players find the relevant links that they need, and assisting them with their questions about site navigation in general.

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  • Taking the time and helping them with RP in order to get them used to the flow of the game. A Helper should encourage them to make descriptive and complete posts, and teach them all about the social etiquette when RPing. Most often this will be done either in Limbo the discussion room, via private messages, or in the OOC box at the bottoms of your posts. Some General Guidelines can be found here: http://vaxia.org/forums/tips-how-rp-considerately

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  • Directly working with players to teach them about how to make characters. Sometimes a player will make characters that consistently fall outside of the normal build guidelines. When this happens, a newbie helper is assigned to train them to help make their characters fit into the game world.

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  • Assisting players when they arrive with any training they might need as far as getting used to the site and the way it works. Either through direct messages in limbo or private messages.

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  • Teaching new players about the policies on vaxia and how the site is run. One of these things is managing expectations http://vaxia.org/forums/managing-expectations-ie-what-expect-your-time-here. Try to guide them into understanding the time line of the game. It's a game that moves at a nice slow pace, so if they need something faster, you may need to work with them on getting used to the way things are here.

  • If they have a question that you can't answer, try and get help from another Helper. You don't have to be an encyclopedia to be a Vaxia Helper. You just have to be willing to take the time to help others.

As a Vaxia Helper you will find yourself in charge of really working with new players one on one. It's a great opportunity to help someone see the best parts of the game through your eyes. Use your experience on the site to help their learning process be easier. The Vaxia Helpers are a very valuable group. However it is not mandatory to be part of the Vaxia Helpers. If you don't think you have the patience or the knowledge to help new players, then don't feel like you have to take the test. If you decide to join, you will be responsible for working when you can, so take that time commitment to heart before you make your decision. You can at any point decline your position in the Vaxia Helpers. There is no problem with leaving the department even once you've gone through the training.

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Social Department

The Social Department is responsible for maintaining the health of the community of vaxia.org. This includes moderation duties, interpersonal conflict resolution, communication assistance, helping newbies, creating and maintaining site and newbie tutorials and running community activities. In addition, the social department may act as a neutral party in disputes, assuming the social department itself is not in Conflict of Interest

The forums are the best way to contact Social with any ideas or concerns. This will allow for all members to see the discussion and contribute as needed. The current year's leads will also be posted there with the department's yearly to do list. Forum with the Election Results

Social Department Forum
If unable to post in the Social forums then use the General Discussion Forums

Due to the nature of some of the things social handles, it is understandable if you do not want to post on the forums that information. You can post on the forums that you need to talk to a member of Social or use the Anonymous Mailer PMs can also be used, but it may take some time for whoever was pm'd to see it.

Vaxia Helpers Vaxia Helpers are a specific subset of the social department. In order to become a newbie helper, you must pass the social department membership training and the newbie helper training. Access to this position is not dependent on any other earned rank - only on passing the relevant training. They are responsible for directly assisting the newest members of the site, providing player-targeted training, general site guidance, and assisting with RP opportunities to get new players settled in. The social department is responsible for creating training material and keeping newbie helpers trained.

Mediation Department
The Mediation Department is a group of players who have undergone additional training in order to be able to handle the interpersonal conflicts here on the site. It is an optional position, and the essay test may be taken once a player has passed the social department test and earned at least 40xp on their account. Once the test has been passed with at least a 3/4ths majority vote from the other members in the Mediation Department, the player will be qualified to oversee mediations. There will always be at least two mediators in any given mediation in order to protect everyone involved. Mediators are trained to give out notations and yellow strikes, although the social leads must sign off and give a second set of eyes before the strikes become official. The Social Department is in charge of training mediators and keeping the test current and up to date with current site protocols.

Violating Site Policies
The social department is the department responsible for initial investigation and handling of violations of site Code of Conduct and the site Harassment Policy The social department may require a player to undergo additional training, coordinate a session schedule or request other behavior changes to avoid further violations. The Setting Department may also make recommendations to leads regarding revoking access for a player or removing a character from play for violations of site policy by the player if it will resolve ongoing violations. Revoking player access or removing a character from play requires 3/4ths of the current leads to approve the request based on provided evidence.



Wiki Main : Go to Wiki Main Page
Site Policies : Go to Site Policies Main Page
Advanced : Go to Advance Story Hosting Page
SH Course : Go to SH Course Main Page

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