Using Slack for better communication and community in FIRE


FIRE Semester 1 - Joining Slack

  • FIRE will be hosting a single Slack workspace for all sections of FIRE Semester 1.

  • Who is invited? The 600+ students in FIRE Semester 1 plus all FIRE faculty. (This includes your FIRE course instructor!) 

  • You will be invited to this workspace during Week 3 of the semester through your UMD Terpmail address.

FIRE Semester 1 - Slack Channels

  • #assignments - This is a place to talk about assignments for FIRE Semester 1

  • #general - A channel for all FIRE-related communication and chat.

  • #random - Got a random thought or question not related to FIRE? You can post it here.

FIRE Semester 1 - Abilities

  • Send messages to everyone via the workspace channels.

  • Coordinate with classmates on team-based assignments via private messages.

FIRE Semester 1 - Limitations

  • Options to set up private channels have been disabled. However, you can still send group private messages,

  • Options to edit messages or delete them have been disabled.

FIRE Semester 3 - Overview

  • FIRE will be hosting separate workspaces for each FIRE stream. 

  • You will be invited to this workspace during the first week of classes through your UMD Terpmail address.

  • Some FIRE streams may not participate in the use of Slack in favor of other modes of communication and community interaction.


Where is my invitation?

Invitations to FIRE Semester 1 students will be sent at the start of Week 3. In order to receive an invitation, you must have your Terpmail address set up. To activate your Terpmail, refer to the steps here.

Am I required to participate?

No. FIRE courses and streams will operate using ELMs and Google resources. The use of Slack is optional.

Can I use a personal Slack account?

No. For security, accountability, and privacy reasons we are requiring the use of a Slack account connected with a Terpmail email address.

​Can I change my profile name?

Yes. Technically, you can as this is a feature of all Slack workspaces. We encourage you to keep your profile name your real name (or the one you go by) to as to allow for the best and most authentic interactions between students, FIRE Research Educators, and FIRE Leadership.

​Can I talk about non-FIRE things with other students in the FIRE Slack workspace?

Yes! We want you to interact with each other and FIRE in a broad range of ways. This might include the discussion of FIRE assessments, events, research. This might include the discussion of music, movies, streaming shows.  (Secret: adults talk about non-work stuff in business meetings All. The. Time.)

​How do I report inappropriate conduct or communication?

Please reach out to Patrick Killion or Ian Page in your FIRE Slack workspace or email us at any time.  We will quickly handle all reports with confidentiality.


  • We encourage you to be yourself - your best professional and collegial self - at all times. We want your personality, joy, enthusiasm, and even sense of humor. We just need it to be expressed in a way that would be appropriate for any work or research environment.

  • We recognize you can change your Slack profile name. We highly encourage you to keep your real name to allow for the best and most authentic interactions between students, FIRE Research Educators, and FIRE Leadership.  This is a place for you to be your University of Maryland and professional persona - not other personas and identities that you might use for public social media.

  • For all communications in a FIRE Slack workspace (even private communications with other students), please act as if your FIRE Research Educator is present.

  • FIRE will follow the UMD Student Code of Conduct at all times. 

  • FIRE will not tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination at any time.

  • FIRE reserves the right to remove any student from a Slack workspace at any time.