Terms and Conditions

Columbia University Online Alumni Community updated Oct 2018

The Columbia University Online Alumni Community (Community) is provided by the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) and Columbia University (CU) and is designed to facilitate communication among alumni for personal or University-related purposes. We reserve the right to update these Terms and Conditions at any time.

Student access

Beginning spring 2019, eligible Columbia University students will have access to use the alumni directory within the Community to network and build relationships with alumni in their region, field, or area of study. Alumni are unable to search for students, but may respond to direct messages received from students. Students reaching out to alumni will be clearly labeled as such in all Community notifications, and alumni may opt out of appearing in search results to students at any time within their Community preferences. For more information, see section III. Student Access Guidelines.

I. Privacy and Security

The CAA has taken all reasonable precautions to secure the personal information available through the Community. The Community is password protected to allow access by registered University alumni, select University staff members, and students only. Although this precaution should effectively protect any personal information available through the Community from abuse or outside interference, a certain degree of privacy risk is faced any time information is shared over the Internet. Therefore, through the Online Directory feature of the Community, you have the ability to hide your information from being viewed by other Community members.

All user information is strictly guarded for use by individual alumni or students and the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) for personal and University-related purposes only. Columbia University and the CAA only share select information with third-party partners for the purpose of alumni services and benefits. Current partners are Bank of America and Travel Study Services. No student information is shared with third parties.

Neither the University nor the CAA is responsible for screening communications in advance but reserve the right to monitor messages and activity in the Community to ensure there are no violations of usage terms or inappropriate behavior. This is not a fail-safe to prevent any and all abuses from potentially occurring. For this reason, it is essential that users of the Community report any abuse or misuse immediately to the CAA.

The CAA and CU abide by all University-wide policies including GDPR, Acceptable Usage of Information Resources, Columbia University Privacy Statement. A full list of all policies are outlined here

II. Policy and Guidelines for Proper Use

To safeguard the operation of the Online Alumni Community, the CAA has adopted many guidelines and policies that are used by the University to govern conduct that occurs in an online environment.

In addition to the University's policies and guidelines, which for students includes the Student Conduct and Community Standards, all users of the Community must abide by the following specific rules and regulations:

A. Use of information or communications available through the Community for any commercial, personal fundraising, public, or political purposes is strictly prohibited. Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, solicitations for commercial services, cold-calling of any kind, or mass-mailings for commercial purposes. Also prohibited are personal fundraising campaigns not sanctioned by the University. Information available through the Community may be used for networking and University-related purposes only. Members may not use the Community to engage in hate speech, inappropriate behavior, or spam the group with multiple postings or continual discussions about one issue or topic that is not productive to Community discussion or connections. All views and communications should be shared in a thoughtful and respectful manner.

B. Users are limited to 24 direct messages within a 24-hour period. Users should be both thoughtful and purposeful in their messages.

C. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, republishing, uploading, downloading, posting, transmitting or duplicating any information or posted material contained within is prohibited. You may download or copy any downloadable materials displayed on the Community for home, non-commercial, and personal use only; provided, however, that you maintain all copyright, trademark and other notices contained in such material and you agree to abide by all additional copyright notices or restrictions contained in any material accessed through the Community.

D. Users shall not restrict or inhibit any other user from enjoying or productively using any service on the Community. Posting of obscene materials or use of obscene language, posting of vulgar materials, or use of vulgar language, or use of abusive, defamatory, disrespectful, profane, or threatening language of any kind, will constitute a violation of these policies governing the use of the Community. Additionally, users shall not upload, transmit, distribute or otherwise publish any materials containing a virus or any other harmful component. Trolling is also strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.

E. If the CAA determines that a user's participation in the Community creates a liability for the CAA or the University or that the user has violated the policies set forth herein, the CAA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take appropriate actions against the user. The CAA reserves the right to expel a user and/or deny a user further access to the Community if such user violates its policies or any applicable laws or regulations.

III. Student Access Guidelines

Students must adhere to all guidelines outlined below:

  1. Students may use the Community for their individual networking purposes only.

  2. Students are limited to 24 direct messages to alumni in the Community within a 24-hour period; if you are using the Community for networking purposes, you should be both thoughtful and purposeful in how you contact alumni to accomplish this goal (visit the “Using the Alumni Directory” section of the Students page for further usage recommendations and details).

  3. It is prohibited for students to use the Community to solicit alumni or businesses for financial support of any kind, regardless of personal connections.

  4. Students and student groups must contact the Columbia Alumni Association to inquire about inviting alumni to speak at or attend events, or other outreach related to alumni engagement and support regarding school or student club related events and projects.

  5. By signing into the Community, students are opting in to receive important updates and notifications regarding the Community platform.

Students who do not follow these guidelines will lose access and privileges related to the Community.

IV. Liability and Indemnity

Participation in the Online Alumni Community is a privilege.

The reliability of the information available through the Community is largely dependent upon the actions of Community registrants. The CAA can make no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information stored within the Community.

The CAA does not warrant that the Community website will operate error-free or that the site and its server(s) are free of computer viruses or other harmful material. To the fullest extent permitted by the law, the CAA disclaims all warranties, including the warranties of merchantability, non-infringement, and fitness for particular purpose. In no event shall the CAA or the University be liable for any damages whatsoever, including, without limitation, incidental, consequential, or punitive damages, resulting from the use of or inability to use information or materials available on the Community website.

By using the Community, you agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the CAA, the University, and their respective agents from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, costs, and expenses that may arise from your use of the Community website or your breach of these policies. The CAA will provide notice to you of any such action or claim, and reserves the right to participate, at our expense, in the investigation, settlement, and defense of any such action or claim.

Please note that the CAA may revise these policies and your continued use of the site constitutes your agreement to comply with such modifications. You should review the policies periodically to ensure that you are familiar with them.