Communicating in Canvas

It has come to my attention that there have been instances of students who have used the ‘email/conversation’ component in CANVAS to promote a non-class event.  Especially troubling are those messages that have strong political or personal agendas.  Because CANVAS is a learning management system, the sharing of information via this system could interrupt class instruction (this would be the equivalent of somebody standing up in a face-to-face class promoting a non-class event without first asking the instructor).

I realize that freedom of speech is important and encouraged in the NMSU student code of conduct, but would also like to suggest that under Discipline Related Policies and Procedures, , it states:

“…Members of the campus community, as well as visitors, are expected to behave in ways that do not interfere with the rights of others to pursue an education or disrupt community living on-campus. Behaviors of any individuals that interfere with, disrupt, impair or obstruct the processes, procedures, or functions of the University, are prohibited…”

For those in major courses in public health, the BCH handbook (graduate students have the same requirements) clearly articulates appropriate protocol.  (page 23 of the BCH handbook at

I am respectfully asking each of you to keep these policies in mind when you want to send a blanket email/conversation, unrelated to class topics, to your colleagues or fellow students. Please be cognizant of the fact that by sending an email to everyone in the class, recipients may interpret this as interfering, disrupting, or obstructing their progress at the university.

If you have any questions, please run it by your instructor.


Mark J. Kittleson, PhD
Academic Head of Public Health Sciences


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