When we created the CUNY Academic Commons a few years ago, we began with two simple rules: members had to be members of the City University of New York community and they could not be undergraduate students. The first rule would ensure that the Commons would be dedicated to building community within CUNY; the latter would acknowledge the reality that our small support team could not hope to accomodate a potential userbase of 250,000 undergraduate students.
Over the past few years, we have received inquiries from members of the Commons who had projects that they hoped to bring to the Commons. The problem was that some of these projects included cross-institutional partnerships that extended beyond CUNY. Though these members wanted to use the Commons for these projects, they could not do so if the Commons membership was restricted to members of the CUNY community.
To date, requests for non-CUNY memberships have been considered on a case-by-case basis by the CUNY Academic Commons Subcommittee of the CUNY Committee on Academic Technology. The committee decided a few years ago that when non-CUNY members were directly involved with CUNY projects, they could be added to the Commons, in part because it seemed a shame to turn such groups away from the Commons just because some non-CUNY members were involved in their project. As a result, groups like the CUNY Games Network and the NYC Nursing Education Consortium in Technology (NYCNECT) now have the ability to request accounts for non-CUNY members of their groups.
In the past, accounts for new members have had to be created manually by site administrators. We’re very happy to announce a new process for adding non-CUNY members to CUNY Academic Commons groups: projects can now request a special sign-up code for their group, and potential members with non-CUNY members can use it during the sign-up process. And the sign-up code can be associated with the group in question, so that the new member is automatically added to the group upon sign-up.
If you are involved in a project that uses or is thinking about using the CUNY Academic Commons as a platform for communication and would like to request a sign-up code, please let us know, and we’d be happy to discuss it with you.