Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Schools/Archive 6

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Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7

How many years to be spent at a school for inclusion on alumni list?

I have been editing List of Old Falconians, it is very large and we need to know what the policy is with inclusion on an alumni list. Apart from notability, does an entry had to have graduated from the school? Spent a majority of their schooling at the school? Spent some arbitrary amount of time at the school? Or just one day? Refer to this user talk. - Grumpyyoungman01 23:03, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Alumni means a graduate of. The time spent there is not an issue. Being a graduate is the criteria. Vegaswikian 23:27, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
By the definition of an alumnus, they only have to have attended to be included, you may establish more stringent guidelines on inclusion based on notability however. Adam McCormick 23:28, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Agree with Alanbly; alumnus=having attended for any period of time. Metros 23:43, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
An alumnus is a graduate of the school no matter how long or short of time he/she attended. Wiktionary does list "pupil" as the qualification first, but "a male graduate (a person who is recognized by a university as having completed the requirements of a degree studied at the institution)" is listed next (I'm uncertain if the numbers of the entries indicate priority). clearly puts the emphasis on "graduate" ("a graduate or former student of a specific school, college, or university"), however. Certainly common usage – in America at least – presumes the person graduated from the institution, not merely attended the school (check out all the alumni directories, for example: the graduation year is almost always listed).
 Jim Dunning  talk  :  00:25, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
But either definition included attendees, priority in a definition is meaningless. And your American perspective is WP:OR. This is a heavily debated subject (even in America) so site your source at attendees not being alumni. Just because lots of people are wrong doesn't make them all right Adam McCormick 00:45, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Alumnus states - An alumnus (pl. alumni) according to the American Heritage Dictionary is "a male graduate or former student of a school, college, or university." So former students who did not graduate are still alumni. A year at a school/college/university - yes, an alumnus. A few days ... probably not. -- roundhouse 01:04, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

so spending 1 year or even 1 month makes someone an alumnus? I think you can push that definition to say even 1 week. which I don't think makes someone an alumnus. In Australia, universities only award degrees if someone has completed at least 50% of their subjects at that university. therefore, if someone spent 1 year of say a 4 year course at another university does not make them alumnus of that university. the whole point of listing people as famous alumni/graduates on Wikipedia, is that that educational institution had some influence in making them a famous or notable person. if someone spent 5% of their schooling there, I think not. Michellecrisp 01:45, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Once again, opinions don't matter. Can you find one source, any source, that says an alumnus isn't an attendee? Adam McCormick 02:55, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
it's not an opinion, it's a fact that in Australia, universities only award degrees if someone has completed at least 50% of their subjects at that university. You cannot be an alumnus by completing less than 50% of the subjects. I understand a different definition may exist for schools. Michellecrisp 03:03, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with roundhouse, this is an Australian definition from[1]

individuals who have been granted a degree or other qualification approved by the Academic Senate of the University, or its antecedent institutions, including those individuals awarded honorary doctorate degrees Michellecrisp 03:11, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

more Australian definitions by University of Sydney
Alumni=Graduates including former Diplomates and Honorary Degree holders. [2] Michellecrisp 03:23, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
You should note that this is a project about Secondary schools, not universities. But the definition of the word is what's disputed here, not who can join an alumni club, so quoting an alumni association is hardly authoritative. And you must remember that these definitions need to apply around the world so an Australia-specific definition is irrelevant. I'm not disputing Degree requirements, only whether a degree is what makes one an alumnus. Adam McCormick 03:55, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes it is very relevant for Australia but there may not be in fact a worldwide definition, why should an American definition that is not entirely correct for Australia be applied to an Australian list? The word Alumni is not really used in Australia to describe a high school finisher (we don't even say graduate from high school). Alumni is almost exclusively used for university graduates in Australia. why should Wikipedia have an American focus? Michellecrisp 04:10, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Comments so far missing the point, focus needs to be on a consistent WikiProject policy, not dictionary definitions

The heading more or less says it. It seem logical for different High School alumni lists to have different standards of notability. But when we are dealing with students who have been to many different schools, a consistent standard needs to be adopted across all WP alumni lists.

A project policy could be based upon a definition of 'alumnus', but it would be better to have actual reasons for a policy. Words aren't as concrete - for instance, despite most lists being called "Old boys", "Old girls" or "almuni" the lists are in the category 'people by school affiliation'.

I myself favour inclusion based upon any length of time spent on a school roll, because anything else except for graduates only, is completely arbitrary. I think that the only logical and simple opinions to hold are my one and graduates only.

Once this debate has been had, can the consensus be made official policy and placed on the project page itslef? - Grumpyyoungman01 04:24, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Grumpy, to me it's still unclear on what length of time constitutes being an old student etc. how short do you go? 1 week, 1 month? I know this is off the topic but the Australian Macquarie Dictionary says an alumnus is a a graduate or former student of a school, college or university. But it also says this is "chiefly a US definition". Michellecrisp 04:33, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Maybe im opening up a whole new argument conversation here, but here's a question. The Virgina Tech shooter, Cho Seung-Hui, attended Centreville High School for one year as a freshman before attending Westfield High School as it had just opened and the boundaries were re-drawn. So does that make him an alumnus of both, one, none, or just a pupil/attendee of the schools? KeepOnTruckin Complain to me | my work here 23:21, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

That is precisely the type of thing we need to consider (and keep consistent). Totally relevant and related issue. - Grumpyyoungman01 04:35, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Put to a vote

Xaverian High School

Can a few other folks please add Xaverian High School to their watchlist? A new editor, Xaverianhs, has recently been deleting sourced material from the article. He or she left a bizarre message on my Talk page attempting to justify the deletions. There may be a legitimate issue here but that remains to be seen. There also appears to be a conflict of interest but I have not yet addressed it. In any case, some additional eyes on this article and assistance figuring out what, if any, legitimate issues there are with the disputed content would be much appreciated! --ElKevbo 20:15, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

I just looked at the edit history for Xaverian High School and I admit it is one of the stranger revision trails I've seen. Couple that with the misspellings and weird word choice in the message above, it's even stranger. My guess is that Xaverianhs is someone from the school (given the username and email address) that has a very liberal sense of copyright violation and a strong sense of information control. The original contributor(s) may have used the school's website and other Xaverian related sites as a starting point, and carefully summarized and reworded everything to not violate copyright (and they appear to have at least provided the sites as references to cover themselves), but Xaverianhs objects to even this.
Xaverianhs may be someone in the technology department there who is very sensitive about content being lifted from their site out of its control. Since most of the copy is unsourced they are technically correct (about it being removed), and per WP policy it should either be sourced sufficiently or removed. Also, sources other than the school's website should be used. This may be a challenge, however, since I had trouble finding any useful information any place else on the Internet. It's almost as if XHS has thoroughly scrubbed the Internet of unofficial data about itself (which it very well may have done). Note the statement on its website ("XAVERIAN.ORG is the ONLY OFFICIALLY SANCTIONED SITE OF XAVERIAN HIGH SCHOOL. Any .COM site bearing the Xaverian name is NOT ours and does NOT reflect Xaverian High School's policies, standards or interests.") and how assiduously it has removed and replaced alumni names from the article (I count well over a dozen partial or complete reverts by Xaverianhs in the past couple weeks!). It appears they are very serious about maintaining tight control of school info. I'm unsure what Xaverianhs thinks is confidential material, too, since all the information appears to come from publicly accessible places.
I found a clear WP:COPYVIO in the contested copy, but curiously it's not from XHS's site— "Founded in 1957, Xaverian High School is part of an international network of schools sponsored by the Xaverian Brothers and is one of New York City's leading college-preparatory schools for young men. Rooted in the missionary charism of St. Francis Xavier and consistent with the principles and commitment of the founder of the Xaverian Brothers in America, Theodore Ryken, . . ." is verbatim from Private School Review, which is about the only non-XHS website that has information about the school.
Unfortunately, the situation is aggravated by Xaverianhs' difficulty in communicating clearly and resulting strange messages and edit summaries (possibly due to lack of familiarity with WP tools and methods?). My suggestion is rewrite the article with only basic information obtained from the school website, and ensure that 95% of the rest is from non-XHS sources. Source and cite everything so Xaverianhs cannot remove it and the edit war can stop. Good luck.
 Jim Dunning  talk  :  04:57, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I am concerned that this user could end up violating WP:3RR if things keep going the way they are, so I have left this user a note on their talk page just to make him/her aware of this concern. Camaron1 | Chris 11:01, 6 June 2007 (UTC)


I would like to report that many of the school articles I have seen are not put into the appropiate categories. GreaterWikiholic 00:17, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

  • It helps if these are fixed when found. Vegaswikian 02:06, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes I do fix them, I request that WikiProject Schools joins in in putting schools in the appropiate categories. Thanks. GreaterWikiholic 04:08, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
Sorry... which categories are we/you talking about? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Victuallers (talkcontribs)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (schools)

We would be grateful for some input on the above guideline. The suggestion is that we follow the existing Wikipedia conventions for place names when disambiguating school articles. There are however so many inconsistencies in the existing policies that it is very difficult to decide on a consistent global policy for disambiguated school titles. There seems to be general consensus that schools in America and Canada should be disambiguated as Any High School (Municipality, State/Province). UK schools are currently disambiguated purely by place name, eg, Forest School (Walthamstow). We then however have schools in other countries where there do not seem to be any clear guidelines. For example, there is a New English School in Jubriya, Kuwait and another one in Amman, Jordan. There might well be other schools of the same name in other countries. Should these disambiguated by place name, by country, or by both place name and country? Dahliarose 09:55, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Examples of good school articles

As part of my research for the above debate on naming I looked at [[Eton College"[1]. When you look on the talk page it says "Featured article star Eton College is a showcase article at The Schools Portal, as it has been identified as one of the best school articles on Wikipedia. ". It may have been a good article but it has few references. It would not get a high rating now.


Replace the "EduFA" template so that it gives access to who is in the top 10? schools as examples of what good school articles are best

  1. People see what good schools look like
  2. Competition is good
  3. It updates itself as schools that fail to stay in the top 10 are not there
  4. We already have that list available

Victuallers 13:03, 12 June 2007 (UTC)


  1. ^ which starts off by telling you thats its name is "King's College of Our Lady of Eton beside Windsor"
I don't understand the complexities of templates but this sounds like an excellent idea. The Schools Portal page doesn't seem to have been updated for at least a year and as you say some of the articles in the list are very poor and also very badly referenced. Dahliarose 17:17, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Collaboration of the week

Would anyone have any objections if I changed collaboration of the week to collaboration of the month? I seem to be the only person at present who is updating the list and once a month seems more than adequate. A week is not long enough in any case to allow people to have time to make contributions. Dahliarose 23:06, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Agree Good idea, especially considering particpation levels.--Hjal 23:30, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree A good point, once a month is more realistic and will make it more easy to take part in. Camaron1 | Chris 16:10, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree We need some realism - if we say week then we shouldnt mean month. I must admit though that my vote should get a lower weighting as I only contributed a bit to the collaboration. Sensible change. Victuallers 18:01, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I've now changed the title. I'm not used to doing page moves so perhaps someone could do a double check that I haven't overlooked anything. All the links seem to be historical ones as far as I can make out. Dahliarose 10:40, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Fair use school logo images

I am a little concerned about the amount of fair use school logo images which do not have a fair use rationale included, such as the one with Perins School. One is required per Wikipedia:Fair_use_rationale_guideline and images can be deleted if they do not have one and should do. I am going to start adding fair use rationales to uploaded fair use school logos to prevent large numbers of school articles loosing their logo images, any help available would be appreciated. Camaron1 | Chris 20:47, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Do you have an example of a good Fair Use Rationale for use in school articles? DoubleBlue (Talk) 21:21, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
There is already a bot which is going round threatening to delete logos within one week unless a fair use rationale can be provided. The goalposts seem to have been moved. Many people have uploaded logos at a time when there was no such requirement. It is however a fairly simple matter to add some standard words from a template on the following page Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline. Dahliarose 22:50, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
You will find an example at The Petersfield School, The Sholing Technology College and also at SimCity Societies and British Airways as other projects have to do the same. Camaron1 | Chris 10:27, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Proposal: Delete nearly all employee names from school articles

I'm running across more school articles in which teachers, administrators and even secretaries are named. Any benefit to the reader from this is minuscule and the opportunity it opens up to vandals is enormous. It is much easier to vandalize with a name than in other ways. If a vandal misspells a name or changes a job title or even inserts a student's name as a teacher, it is difficult to even know that vandalism has taken place without constantly checking the school's Web site. I can think of three exceptions (there may be more): The names of superintendents of schools belong in school district articles; principals belong in school articles; just possibly a few other names belong in articles about large schools (house headmasters, for instance) and teachers who win very prestigious awards. Whatever the exceptions, the use of names (other than alumni lists) should be very rare in school-related articles. I suggest the following:

  1. The project page should have a statement strongly discouraging use of employee names in school-related articles, with the exceptions mentioned above. Any remaining names must be footnoted so that they can be checked (preferably with a Web link).
  2. All editors should delete names as they run across them in school articles.
  3. Whenever an editor puts a person's name in a school-related article, it is important to provide a footnote -- even more important than when adding other information. Even names in information boxes must be footnoted (either in the box or in the text of the article, where the information might be repeated). Noroton 16:07, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment - I think that there is a lot of good sense in this. Certainly, I have routinely been deleting names below principal(US)/head teacher(UK) level. However, a presentational improvement would be to state when names are permitted rather than when they are not. I suggest:
==Permitted names in school articles==
Names are only permitted in a school article:
  • Of the Principal/Head teacher
  • Of anyone who has won a notable award, or taken part in a newsworthy event, that is sourced
  • In lists of notable alumni (sourcing being needed either in the school article or the underlying alumnus article) TerriersFan 16:31, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
I like TerriersFan's idea a lot (my only change would be to remove the "Of the" and "Of" wording in the first two items). Noroton 19:29, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment - I generally think some kind of project page mini-guideline to use of pupil/employee names is a good idea overall. I do personally think employee names are over used in many school articles and that listing all the employees in a school does not add much to an article. I still think mention of names should be dealt with on a case by case basis - but a project guideline which help matters a lot. Camaron1 | Chris 18:15, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Ahh - I think I know. Can we have a short list of things that are not required. We can put this on the main page where it tells you how to create a school page (no need for a big deal).

We do not need:

  • List of employees (excluding the top management team and staff who are notable in their own right).
  • List of subjects that are taught that would be expected of any school
  • Linking of obvious terms like Spanish and 1974
  • A reminder that GAs have <30% lists
  • Alumni who have no 3rd party reference of their notability
  • Unsourced claims to awards Victuallers 19:19, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Looks good, but what's "GA"?Noroton 19:30, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Good articles Jim Dunning | talk 20:15, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with all the above comments. I suggest we amend the structure section so that the "Faculty" (ie, staff/teachers to us Brits) is removed. Dahliarose 20:19, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree as well. I like the idea of providing guidance on such items as to what to link and not, like subjects (Spanish mentioned above) and athletic and other extra-curricular activities. Jim Dunning | talk 20:36, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
I've had a go at amending the structure section. I've included links to the relevant Wikipedia style pages, and also a section entitled "What not to include". The referencing of alumni is already covered. I'm sure more could be done. Dahliarose 21:22, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

This is just referring to lists for the sake of lists and not people who are quoted right? Then I agree also--some of these articles sound downright brochure-ie. Miss Mondegreen talk  06:03, June 21 2007 (UTC)

Good work, Dahliarose. Now can we address what to include and not include in the Curriculum section and when to wikilink subject and extracurricular activity names (e.g. Spanish, English, band, baseball, etc.). Thoughts? Jim Dunning | talk 06:31, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I've deliberately avoided the subject as I'm not sure what should be done and I don't think we should be too prescriptive. I was hoping (perhaps somewhat wishfully!) that the existing Wiki guidelines might suffice! Many Wikilinks for school subjects are useful, especially for people from overseas. I wouldn't know anything about school bands for instance, and anyone outside the UK would not know what ICT or PSHE are. I've now had another go at redrafting the structure section. I've tried to de-Americanise it as some of the terminology (eg, Faculty, Campus) was very US-specific. I've removed the suggested sections on ""Students"" and ""Faculty". I've suggested that student statistics should be included in the intro. Rather than the Faculty heading I've included further down the list suggested headings for notable faculty/teachers. If you don't agree please feel free to amend as appropriate or discuss further here. Dahliarose 10:54, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

School songs

What do people think about the inclusion of school songs in school articles? I don't personally think they add anything to an article, and there are of course potential copyright implications unless the lyricist died before 1937. (In Europe copyright expires 70 years after the death of the writer. I'm not sure what the situation is in the US.) Dahliarose 23:09, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't think copyright is a real-world issue. The songs are almost always on the order of folk songs: no known author, anybody can already reprint them (and for bigger schools, probably has). In the U.S., if you don't protect your copyright after others use it, it's a gonner. If a school wanted to assert copyright, it would have to prove in court that it somehow already owned the song (for instance, that it was created by a school employee for the school). Since Wikipedia can pretty easily delete all references to a school song if the issue comes up, I don't think copyright should be a reason for removing it. As for whether quoting the song adds anything to the article: No more than Santa or St. Nicholas add to Christmas. Noroton 23:51, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Copyright is very much a real-world issue and should not be ignored. As a project we should set responsible guidelines and not encourage blatant copyright infringement. Many school songs do have known authors, and the lyrics are often published in school histories. There is a relevant Wikipedia page covering general copyright issues with many helpful links - Wikipedia:Copyrights. Dahliarose 10:23, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, then why don't we say the circumstances in individual cases are what rule. I find it difficult to believe that authors would have written school songs and treated them in any way like copyrightable material (do they get a royalty check if the song is heard on a college radio station, the way the holders of the copyright on "Happy Birthday" were getting? You don't like the idea of school songs appearing in Wikipedia, I do, but either way, I don't think we should be limiting editors unless it can be shown that school songs generally fall under copyright. Given the folk song-like creation of many of them, the lack of concern with copyright that I can recall seeing and the age of many of them, I think a case must first be made before we start discouraging editors. Noroton 16:17, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
These Web pages are worth looking at. They aren't conclusive proof, but strongly indicate that there isn't generally a strong copyright case to be made by school songs:
  • A listserve posting showing that words to many school songs come from other school songs.
  • Truman State University has an old school song that a student wrote in about 1901 and that a professor liked -- so he just printed it up and handed it out one day. The community liked it and adopted it. The article says nothing about any official adoption by the school at that time. Then the name changed and no one really knows when or how or why. Then the university adopted a new one in a more formal way. Notice that if the school has any concerns about copyright (which, I agree, doesn't have to be asserted) it makes no mention of it on this Web page where it publishes the lyrics. Again, not conclusive, but ...
  • School songs are not exactly the same thing as fight songs, but they're very similar. Wikipedia appears to have a robust tradition (consensus) of articles about sports fight songs, as can be seen here: [[Category:Fight songs]].
  • Note the attitude displayed here: "It might be fun to generate new words to our school song, which have grown a little trite over the years. It’s based on an old western ballad in form, and will be easy to supply new words." The music appears to be noncopyrightable and the idea seems to be that students can create the song. Again, no proof of anything here, but it just doesn't sound like the kind of thing that organizations are concerned about copyrighting. Sometimes schools are concerned about their names being used in commercial enterprises or in organizations that they fear might bring disrepute on the school, so they take legal action to limit that, but no one makes money off a school song, so while it might in theory be copyrighted, in practice it would be interesting to find a case where that's happened. Noroton 16:56, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
On the other hand although the Harrow School song is not copyrighted (if only because it's so old), nobody better use the Toulon High School song without permission, and there are, in fact, a number of copyrighted school songs, as shown by the description of this book. So it seems to me, one better check to see if the words being uploaded to Wikipedia have a copyright on them, although I still don't think that we should need positive proof of no copyright first.Noroton 17:24, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

For most of the pages I've edited, I've removed outright placement of the lyrics of the songs, since they don't serve any function, and may actually border on boosterism. What I've tried to keep, though, are discussions about school songs (history, etc.). This might be an approach we can consider. What do you guys think? Rmcsamson 16:53, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

List of... articles?

Greetings! I just saw that List of high schools in Oregon was put up for deletion here. I don't see any discussion on the list of… article formats, yet I do see them for nearly every US state. Is there consensus on these articles? I didn't see anything in the talk archives, but I defer to a project member with more familiarity with the discussions here. Thank you. —C.Fred (talk) 01:20, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Project page clean

I have given the project page a clean so the request lists are trimmed with old nominations removed and the FA/GA nominations are up to date. I have also split the participants list onto its own page as it was getting very long - apart from that it is the same as before. Camaron1 | Chris 12:02, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

I have also created a new section for articles with good article assessments and I have moved the Did you know? section so it can all fit in. Camaron1 | Chris 13:52, 28 June 2007 (UTC)