Dear members, I am writing to remind you of the “ASHS policy on the use of social networking sites” which has been in place since April this year.
Please remember that we have in place processes to provide feedback to the society, including Management Council and Branches, which allow fair and reasonable consideration of any issues that may be brought to our attention.
There have recently been some comments made on social media sites that could be in breach of the Society’s policy.
I have taken advice from the Chairman of the ASHS Board, Joy Poole, in regards to dealing with this issue, that advise being to reissue the policy to all members in South Australia as a reminder and to ensure everyone is aware of the possible consequences should such alleged breaches be elevated to the Board, investigated and proven.
Please act with integrity in all communication where social media is concerned, and at all times act as ambassadors for ASHS, a status that comes with your membership.
If you would like to discuss the contents of this communiqué, please feel free to contact me either by email or phone. Alternately correspondence may be addressed directly to SA Management Council Kind regards Cherie Jolly
President SA Management Council
ASHS Policy On Use Of Social Networking Sites
Friday 20th April 2012
Social networking sites such as Facebook have become an increasingly popular means of communication in recent times and have facilitated widespread communication between people without the geographical barriers that have previously existed to such communications.
Of course, there are problems inherent in the use of technology in this way and I wish to alert Members to a serious problem that the Society has recently encountered, and the policy that has now been adopted by the Society to prevent similar situations arising in the future.
A recent event conducted by the Society was the subject of a widespread and heated exchange of communications on Facebook during which, unfortunately, a number of derogatory, scurrilous and in some cases defamatory comments were made about certain circumstances and certain individuals.
The Society will not tolerate the use of social networking sites to facilitate or broadcast denigration of the Society or individuals within it, whether they be Directors or Members. The Society’s Articles, Rules and Events Handbook contain long-standing provisions which provide a formal avenue for the making of complaints and for the hearing of them. These cover the conduct of individuals, both Members or Directors, and the conduct of Judges, breeders and competitors.
These provisions have been established to provide a fair and just means for Members to complain about matters of concern to them, and a framework for the complaints to be properly and constructively dealt with and for disciplinary action, if warranted, to be taken. The provisions are necessary to maintain the integrity the Society as a strong, cohesive and reputable organisation. That is to the benefit of all of us.
The Board has now adopted a policy to the effect that the making of derogatory, derisive, inflammatory and defamatory comments relating to the Society or any of its events, Members or Directors may be referred to the Disciplinary Committee as conduct that is unbecoming of a Member and/or prejudicial to the interests of the Society. The Disciplinary Committee constituted under Article 25 of the Society’s constitution has the power to exercise disciplinary powers in appropriate cases, including the impositions of fines, suspension of membership and even expulsion.
I would ask all Members to support the Society in achieving its aims and objectives in this regard.
The Australian Stock Horse Society Limited.