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Hosting and URLs

Student Organization websites should be hosted in the orgs.law.harvard.edu domain. Student Journals are allowed to use a customized URL. The current content management system is WordPress.

The approved naming convention for student-run organization web sites, services and pages is orgs.law.harvard.edu/NAME. This format preserves and reinforces the HLS brand identity and is well established across the web, and encourages good content management, usability and accessibility practices.

All student run sites are hosted by HLS (through WPEngine) at no charge and will receive technical support through the Dean of Students Online Coordinator (dosweb@law.harvard.edu).

Blogs are to be a part of the website of the affiliated Student Organization or Journal, and created within their existing domain.

Any website created by a Harvard Law School student organization outside of the designated server will be issued a termination request by Harvard Office of General Counsel.

Affiliation and Disclaimer

The appearance or design of a Harvard Law School affiliated web page should not create confusion that a reasonable person viewing that page would believe that it is an HLS website, or is otherwise sponsored or endorsed or created on authority of an HLS department or administrative unit.

All Student Organization websites must visibly display its affiliation with the school by stating that it is “a student-run organization at [your school’s name]” or “an officially recognized student-run organization of [your school’s name]” (or something similar to these). This identity tagline must be placed in a prominent location on the main page of the website (typically in conjunction with the student organization’s name) and in a font size comparable to other fonts being used on the website. In addition, the website’s main page shall also state: “The [your school’s] name and/or shield are trademarks of the President and Fellows of Harvard College and are used by permission of Harvard University.”

Journals must adhere to the guidelines put forth by the Trademark Office. Any changes to their visual branding (such as logos) must go through an approval process. (Get protocols from Sheena Prosper)

Accessibility

Members of your audience with visual impairments use adaptive software programs to navigate the internet, including screen reader software. The following guidelines will help ensure that the information you put on WordPress will be accessible to all:

Event Images

Avoid images that have text or logos. Screen readers cannot read text that is embedded in an image. If the event has a poster, instead of uploading the poster, use the background image of the poster as the image.

If you must use text in an image, make sure to include the complete text in the “alternate text” field.

Gallery Images

Avoid images with text on them. If you must use text in an image, make sure to include the complete text in the “alternate text” field.

Alternate text should be brief, but informative to someone who cannot see the image itself, and describe the relevance to the image in relation to the text. If an image is decorative and does not serve to illustrate the text, that should be noted here as well.

Website Links

It is better to embed hyperlinks than to write out the full website address. For example HLS Dean of Students Office is preferable to https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/dos/.

Headings

Assign your headings correctly, and be sure they are nested appropriately. For example, any “Heading 2” items should be nested under a “Heading 1” category. Do not assign heading tags to text for aesthetic reasons- the headings dictate how a screen reader parses your web page.

While student run websites are exempt from strict compliance to the Harvard Digital Accessibility Policy, it is best practice as a representative of Harvard University to adhere to it as closely as you are able. If you have any questions regarding accessibility, contact the Web Coordinator (dosweb@law.harvard.edu).

Copyright

Only use images, videos and audio on your website that are advertised as free for public use. This includes Creative Commons licensed and public domain material. UnsplashWikimedia Commons and Canva are good resources for free stock photos.

If you are looking for stock photos of Harvard Law School related content, you may contact photo@lists.law.harvard.edu for photos related to your topic.

If you are using stock photos on your website, you must credit the image source in your post or on the page that features the image- even if the website you obtained the photo from doesn’t explicitly require it- for the purposes of consistency and best practices.

You may not include any copyrighted material on posts or blogs without explicit written permission from the original creator- for example, excerpts from published works or quotations. If you have express permissions and/or the material is in the public domain, it can be included in the blog with appropriate citation or attribution.

Maintenance

Official web pages must be kept up to date. Out-of-date information should be removed and new information added on a regular basis.

Web sites that contain out-of-date information will be requested to make the necessary corrections by the Dean of Students Office. Web sites failing to comply following such request will be edited by the Online Coordinator, unlinked from official HLS pages, or deleted.

Student organization websites should contain at minimum, the following information: Names and class years of current student organization leadership, a description of the organization, and contact information.

All content managers will have their access revoked upon graduation, or when they leave HLS.