Rules

Please note that the rules can change at any moment without prior notice. We will send updates to UnisaGroupsChannel as they are finalized.

Be Proactive! Do your research before asking, and help where you can, and drive discussions

  • Many questions can be answered by reading Tutorial letters(especially when searching for lecturer emails) / going to UNISAs website / doing a search on google
  • Google first, seriously!
  • Use the related group only
  • Do your homework yourself!
  • If you have something that can benefit a fellow student, share it in the Group than sending a Direct Message, inboxing undermines the community!
  • If you have something that can benefit a fellow student, share it in the Group than sending a Direct Message
  • Some groups are quiet, encourage people to participate
  • Some groups are busy (as long as its module related, that’s good right?)
  • When asking for help, be courteous and show what you’ve already tried to alleviate your situation, giving context and info about the issue at hand

Code of Conduct

  • Always treat others with kindness and respect, even if you don’t agree with them.
  • Stay on topic, don’t intentionally derail discussions, don’t troll, don’t spam.
  • Use appropriate language.
  • Do not intentionally insult or offend others.
  • We don’t tolerate hate speech, intimidation, harassment, sexual, racial, or ethnic slurs, and discrimination.

We will not tolerate :

  • Abuse or encouraging abuse of the bot and the “report to admin” mechanism
  • Academic dishonesty in any form e.g.
    • posting screenshots of an ongoing quiz or assignment.
    • Posting screenshots of an ongoing assignment.
    • Posting screenshots of an ongoing assessment.
    • Disseminating the abovementioned or exams.
    • Requesting “assistance” with the abovementioned.
    • Seeking answers to the abovementioned in anyform
    • The only time the above is exempt is when the submission portal for such is closed indefinitely, or when discussing the CONCEPT of a particular subject(e.g. “how does one solve a quadratic equation?”, not “What is x+2y=”.
  • Derailing group topics(e.g. discussing NSFAS or CHE1501 in the CMY2607 group).
  • Posting your own as well as other people’s personally identifiable information (i.e. name, address, email, myLife email, phone number, place of work, etc.).
  • Posting links to phishing sites, malware, spyware or groups not belonging to @UnisaGroupsBot, or WhatsApp
  • Asking randomly “who’s doing [insert qualification here]“. Any enquiries as such regarding the aforementioned qualification should be directed to the Student Lounge, as long as there is no intent to undermine the greater community as a whole, by means of recruitment or study buddy requests. Only to gather information regarding it.
  • Impersonating group moderators, administrators, UNISA staff or other users
  • Spamming, bashing, flaming, trolling, or abusing other users
  • Gaslighting users, admins, moderators or UNISA staff
  • Performing actions that may cause psychological or emotional harm to admins, moderators, UNISA staff, or fellow users.
  • Insipid bickering with users, moderators, UNISA staff or admins in groups. ~doing such will result being muted or banned~
  • Posting something that is knowingly false
  • Hijacking or posting messages that are unrelated to the original topic and make it difficult for others to follow the discussion
  • Claiming to be a tutor or advertising such services without prior admin authorization
  • Posting a % achieved for an assignment or assessment. Sadly, it has become a means of unauthorized tutors’ and scammers’ recruiting students to engage in academically dishonest services. We would love to celebrate with you but we can’t do so safely.
  • Posting pornography, inappropriate or offensive content, and things that are generally considered not suitable for work(NSFW).
  • Posting, or having, a profile picture/Bio, containing sexually explicit or NSFW(Not Suitable For Work) content.
  • The groups, and its constituents, are not dating sites, any inappropriate behavior towards its’ members will not be tolerated, even if it’s a joke.
  • Threats of violence, harassment or privacy breach – even as a joke
  • Using a third party’s intellectual property (full or partial scans of articles, PDFs, books, full transcriptions of articles, etc.) unless you have permission to do so.
  • Selling, advertising, referrals, auctioning unless it is in a group specifically for this purpose
  • Use of language that is abusive, vulgar, hateful, defamatory, obscene, profane, threatening, privacy-invasive, or law-violating.
  • Advertising via your Telegram profile picture or Bio in any form.
  • Encouraging anyone else to break these rules or instigating to do so.
  • Taking any other actions that are deemed inappropriate by the admins (at our sole discretion).

Groups are not to be joined to invite people to other groups or platforms 

This includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:

  • Leaving your credentials (posting your number in a group). This is a serious security concern, and it reduces the activity in the groups. 
  • Joining a group and giving a link to any other group not found via @UnisaGroupsBot. People sharing group links are undermining the student ecosystem we have created!
  • Asking in a group if a anyone can add you to a group
  • Sending a message with only your phone number
  • Sending a message asking to be added to a group
  • Asking to create a study group or creating one.
  • Asking for people who live in the same area as you to contact you
  • Recruiting users to groups on Telegram or WhatsApp, which do not belong to @UnisaGroupsBot.
  • Posting your e-tutor group designation will be treated as recruitment.(e.g. “I’m in group 12E”, “group 4Y show your hands”) – if you do not know what your group designation is, if any, contact your lecturer.

Basically any action that will result in being added to a different platform. These actions can result in a permanent ban – potentially without prior warning.

We do not prohibit you from using Telegram and WhatsApp. Find the WhatsApp groups using different methods (this is the main issue here), not using Telegram.

No spam allowed

Spam in this context will be defined as ANYTHING not directly topic related or not academic. For example:

  • Chain messages (“SEND THIS TO 5 GROUPS”)
  • Posting, or requesting users to post, petitions. Why? Because it causes excessive spamming between users and groups, derailing them. – seek another platform for such actions.
  • Posting excessive GIFs, stickers or videos.
  • Advertisements (“CHECK OUT MY …”, “I am selling…”)
  • “Tutors” who sell exam packs or assignment solutions will not be tolerated
  • Upstanding tutors are an exception to the advertising rule
  • Posting the same message, or forwarding it, to multiple groups will be treated as spam.
  • Please contact an admin in the lounge or using the bot (with the /admin command) if you are unsure

Speak English only

Your degree is in English. Only Modules where you are learning a different language are excluded from this rule, in the sense that you can also speak the language being learned.

We acknowledge that there are other officially recognized languages in South Africa, but it’s universally accepted that English is understood by all.

The excuse of “excitement”, “frustration”, or “I did not know”, nor any such insinuation, will not suffice as exemption from the rule.

Only language module groups are exempt. However, communication with an admin or moderator must be in accord with the Speak English only rule, even if the event occurs in a language module group.

Academic groups are for academic topics and discussions

Having discussions about religion, politics, humour, etc in the academic groups will be treated as spam

Breaking the rules

  • Will get you banned from either the group or from all our groups depending on the severity of the offense
  • We reserve the right to delete any message that we feel breaks any of the rules
  • If you are confused about any particular action taken that involves you, please contact us via @UnisaGroupsBot.
  • Depending on your transgressions, this might be a ban from just one group, being muted in one or all groups,  or being banned from all groups permanently. Please don’t force us to do this!

The Admins reserve the right to remove any member at their own discretion

  • If you have any questions, please do not start a public discussion, but rather ask in the lounge to get in touch with an admin or using the bot (with the /admin command)
  • If you want to invite someone else to the group, ask them to use the bot

We do not condone the sharing of copyrighted materials and any students doing so will be liable for their actions.

Students engaging in such activities are solely responsible for any risks incurred, issued by admins or any third parties involved. Because there can not be an admin in every group, we rely on the community to report any copyrighted material that has been shared. Reply on the offending material using the /admin command.

As the content owner, you can use the /admin command and we will gladly remove the content as soon as possible. You might have to verify ownership / that you are the content creator.

Read more here: Textbook Piracy: What’s Legal and What’s Not

The role of admins

With over 4500 student-run groups and minimal official support, volunteers step up as admins, prioritizing maintaining order even when not subject matter experts or officially connected to the groups they oversee. Read more here: Get help from Unisa and the role of Telegram Admins

Tutors and Prospective Tutors

  • “Tutors” who sell exam packs or assignment solutions will not be tolerated.
  • Approved tutors are an exception to the advertising rule.
  • Any prospective tutors must please contact an admin before they advertise on the groups. We have very specific rules for the tutors.
  • Not following these rules will get you banned.
  • A copy of the rules for tutors are available here
  • Any tutors advertising their services without contacting an admin first will be banned.
  • The NUMBER ONE rule for tutors is that you must be active in the groups you wish to tutor.
  • It is within the discretion of the admins to allow tutors on the Unisa Telegram Groups and these privileges can be revoked at any time without prior notification.

Why no WhatsApp

This very community used to be run in WhatsApp, and over time the admins came aware of a few limitations (as at 18 Nov 2023):

  • WhatsApp: Groups are limited to 1024 members
    Telegram: Has a limit of 200,000 members
  • WhatsApp: No access to chat history
    Telegram: you can see chat history
  • WhatsApp: Have to repeatedly ask people to “please share …”
    Telegram: All files shared before you joined are available
  • WhatsApp: Limited Security, not possible/difficult to ban a user in all groups
    Telegram: Better security for the groups. Rogue elements can be removed and banned from all the groups
  • WhatsApp: Sharing your personal number – spam SMSs & unwanted calls
    Telegram: Better security for you, no need to share your phone number
  • WhatsApp: You have to wait for people to add you to groups… eventually
    Telegram: We have a bot, that you can use to search and join all the groups you want, by yourself, instantly

With this in mind, the admins decided it is time to make a change. There are ups and downs, Telegram is not perfect. But it sure is a lot better. All these changes took years, and many many hours of work. Thus, by sharing WhatsApp in Telegram, it is not good for the community as a whole.

What Happens to Groups During Exams or Assessments?

All groups that have an exam scheduled will be muted automatically, via @UnisaGroupsBot, for the duration of the exam and upload time.

This is an automated process, so asking to not mute said group before the exam paper is available, will be a superfluous act.

You can however forward the exam paper to @UnisaGroupsBot and reply to the forwarded document  with the text /admin, as well as a request for an admin to post it in the given exam module group on the same message line. An admin will then post the exam document in the requested module group, as soon as possible.

I Seem to Be Banned All of A Sudden!

It is quite likely that you’ve not verified your account within 48 hours of joining the groups. We have done everything within our power to notify you before this happens, but it seems you were not available.

Please verify your account via the bot if you’ve not already done so.

Should you still be unable to join groups via the bot, please log an enquiry via the bot.

To submit feedback, please talk to us in the lounge

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