Re: Request from Manzanita Village in Arizona: How does your community handle members who abuse the community e-mail?
From: Chris Roth - Communities Editor (
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2021 05:03:46 -0800 (PST)
These are the email agreements that everyone who moves to Lost Valley needs to sign onto in order to reside at the community (part of the Community Living Agreements at

*Email Etiquette or “Netiquette”:*
1.    I will use Lost Valley email primarily to communicate functional information, and to confirm agreements that are made verbally. 2.    If I have doubts as to whether or not my email is appropriate I will refer to a friend, staff, or community council member about its content or style BEFORE sending.  If I still have any doubts after several hours I will schedule a face to face meeting with the recipient(s) or arrange a mediated meeting from a community council member. 3.    I will talk to people in person regarding topics where either or both parties are feeling heightened emotions.  If I believe that it is essential to communicate negative feelings by email I will use non-violent communication strategies. 4.    I will respect the confidentiality of information by sending emails to relevant parties only.  Campus is not an appropriate target for sensitive topics. 5.    If someone sends me something I think is inappropriate, or addresses a larger audience than I think needs to be involved I will schedule a time to talk to the person about this concern.  If that conversation doesn’t solve my concern I will ask the Community Council for help. I will not use email to argue back. 6.    I will write using normal capitalization, in order to assume a calm textual “voice.”  I will use the words URGENT and IMPORTANT cautiously. 7.    I will not make any libelous, sexist or racially discriminating comments in emails, even if they are meant to be a joke.  I will not forward emails that contain any of this content unless it is to report a violation of agreement(s).

Violations are processed through the Community Council, also described in that Community Living Agreements document:

*Policy Infraction Resolution Process (PIRP):*
The Community Council is a small group of people elected by the community of resident staff and students at Lost Valley existing to help resolve conflicts and/or policy infractions that need special attention.  First is a written warning delivered by council member(s).  Repeated misconduct or complaints results in additional written warnings, and a wisdom circle with the whole council.  Outstanding conflict beyond steps one and two is resolved by the council’s recommendation to the appropriate body for remediation of said issue. If I am reported as having been in violation of any part of this agreement, another resident may enter me into the resolution process facilitated by Community Council.  I recognize that I have the same right to request reasonable help from the Community Council.  If I cause distress with multiple people on-site, enough such that Community Council cannot foreseeably resolve community tensions, the Council may recommend an end to my residency to the Site Manager. I agree to maintain healthy relationships with other residents and visitors to the best of my ability. I will proactively work to resolve any conflicts and/or misunderstandings in a timely manner. This includes making a good faith effort to work out interpersonal problems through third-party mediation, as appropriate, and as determined by Community Council. I agree to make myself available for a scheduled mediation within two weeks after a request from Community Council. An extension may be granted under extenuating circumstances. Noncompliance with a Community Council request for timely participation in mediation may lead to a larger community circle or other measures, including a possible recommendation for end of residency.

Despite the existence of these documents, infractions still occur, especially among more recent arrivals in the community who haven't fully "grokked" all the agreements yet, but dealing with infractions is easier because of these policies.

On 1/14/2021 11:40 PM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:
Message: 1
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2021 12:29:41 MST
From: "Nan Henderson"<nhenderson [at]>
To:<cohousing-L [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ Request from Manzanita Village in Arizona: How does
        your community handle members who abuse the community e-mail?
Message-ID:<twig.1610566181.16479 [at]>

Greetings co-housing friends:  We are looking for solutions to our issue of about 4 of 
our 60 plus members occasionally abusing the community group e-mail by "calling 
out" by name in
disrespectful or even abusive posts other members they are upset with/have an 
issue with.  This issue has been raised, commented on, lamented, etc. but still 
people do this.
Have you found a way to solve a similar issue in your community?

Thank you for any help!
Nan Henderson (for the Membership Committee at Manzanita Village)

Chris Roth
Editor, Communities
81868 Lost Valley Lane
Dexter, OR 97431
editor [at]

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